DOCTORS fear ‘a second health crisis’ from people drinking too much alcohol after sales rose nearly 300 per cent during the lockdown.
Now scientists have launched a global study to find out how many people are turning to booze to handle stress, anxiety and boredom while they are confined to their homes.
It comes after figures from Nielsen showed a 291 per cent rise in alcohol sales during the pandemic.
Dr Matt Parker, of the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘It is unprecedented to have so many millions of people across the world effectively locked away from their jobs, friends and families. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence of people responding by drinking more alcohol.
‘Alcohol misuse is one of the leading causes of preventable mortality, contributing annually to about three million deaths worldwide.
‘This period of isolation might lead to a spike in alcohol misuse, placing further strain on drug and alcohol services and the health service in general.’
People from Britain, the US, Australia and Europe have signed up for the survey and reporting on weekly use of alcohol as well as stress and boredom levels.
Researcher James Clay said: ‘We hope the results will help health providers and governments to prepare for, and potentially mitigate, a second health crisis if many people are consuming more alcohol.’