With more of us at home this year and dealing with stress induced by the pandemic, it’s hardly surprising that many people are resorting to drinking alcohol to unwind.
A recent study by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation also found one in five Australians felt negative about how much they drank in lockdown. A similar proportion of people have thought about reducing their consumption but is yet to take steps to do so.
The Flying Doctor is encouraging people to give booze the boot this October to increase wellbeing and improve mental health.
"Excessive drinking can cause serious health, personal and social problems. Ocsober is a great opportunity to stop and think about how much we drink, and why," RFDSSE Senior Alcohol and Drug Clinician Leyna Howard said.
Leyna supports people to change their relationship with alcohol and drugs. She vividly remembers helping a young farmer reaching out for assistance with an alcohol addiction that was getting worse due to the stress of drought.
"When he first started coming to see me, he was drinking at the pub before his morning appointment, had severe tremors and was only eating every few days as the drinking was his priority," Leyna remembers.
After receiving support from the Flying Doctor to get sober the young farmer has a new lease on life and his relationships.
"With the support of our program, he has been sober for two years now," Leyna said.
"Watching people get their lives back after being tormented by addiction and mental health issues is amazing to watch."
Leyna hopes that with initiatives like Dry July and this month’s Ocsober, non-drinking can move from a place where it is considered out of the ordinary, and encourage people to consider embracing who they are without a drink in their hand.