Poland: Wave of New Alcohol Problems Expected
High anxiety and unhealthy coping mechanisms during COVID-19 are expected to lead to a wave of new alcohol problems in Poland.
Dorota Woronowicz, psychologist and addiction therapist, shared her concerns on how high anxiety during COVID-19 may lead to increased alcohol problems and how to deal with addiction during this challenging time.
Consuming alcohol while in isolation at home is increasingly seen through people who post on social media. Another concerning trend is online alcohol sessions where people gather in a video conference to consume alcohol. This is further enabled by alcohol delivery services established by the alcohol industry to maintain as much business as possible also during lockdowns and protect as much of their profits as possible, despite the fact that alcohol will further aggravate the current health emergency by adding to the burden.
With the onslaught of bad news and negative news stories that is overwhelming people, anxiety about the future and what will happen is growing. this situation can be specially challenging for people who are recovering from alcohol use disorders. Even the smell of alcohol in disinfectant can be a trigger. Spiraling into negativity can lead to consuming alcohol as either a way to cope with the situation or because of the attitude “everything is going wrong so why not?”.
Dr. Woronowicz emphasizes that online support sessions are helpful for people in recovery. Addiction often means loneliness and therefore, a key aspect of recovery is connection.
… patients end such online meeting with a sense of relief, community and identification. It can spurn life. And calm down,” said Dr. Dorota Woronowicz, as per Wirtualna Polska.
One of the major problems during the current crisis is the unpredictability of the future. Lives and routines have been disrupted, people are unprepared to stay in isolation or stay with the same people to the extent they have to currently. Dr. Woronowicz advises focusing on the “here and now”. This means to focus on short-term attainable goals. This is also a good time to take care of our bodies physically and mentally, to have good sleep and eat healthy food and exercise. These are things which can be controlled now, which people can focus on to have a sense of predictability and control with their lives.
Dr. Woronowicz asks those who are having trouble during this time to seek for support through online counselling or recovery support.