Substance Use during COVID
Canadians drinking their way through the pandemic are far from alone. Alcohol consumption has soared in many parts of the world — and the uptick has some experts concerned that misinformation is playing a role.
Addressing several myths that have been circulating, the WHO counters each of them in its factsheet. “Consuming alcohol will not destroy the virus,” it states. As other health authorities have similarly emphasized, drinking alcohol can actually weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness. Additionally, “consumption of alcohol will not kill the virus in the inhaled air,” and neither will it purify your mouth or throat.
The WHO also dispels misconceptions around drinking and stress relief. While you might pour a glass of wine thinking it will help you relax, alcohol is known to amplify symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. “At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence,” it said.
by Eveline Stewart