The World Health Organization Encourages A Limit On Alcohol Sales
The World Health Organization’s regional office in Europe issued a reminder that drinking alcohol won’t help protect against the coronavirus and can actually increase the risk of getting it. With most of the world in self-isolation, the European leg of WHO is encouraging a restriction on alcohol access and consumption to avoid a spike in alcohol-related deaths and other health issues tied to the substance.
Alcohol is linked to more than 3 million deaths worldwide every year, according to WHO/Europe. “Alcohol is consumed in excessive quantities in the European Region, and leaves too many victims,” WHO Europe’s program manager of alcohol and illicit drugs Carina Ferreira-Borges said in a statement:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behavior on others, including violence.
The organization’s news release further explained that alcohol compromises the body’s immune system, increases risk-taking behavior, and overconsumption can be fatal. With liquor stores deemed as essential businesses during shelter-in-place orders, people who are at risk or already have alcohol-related problems are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of the substance, as are those who live with them.
If access to alcohol isn’t restricted, WHO/Europe notes that, at the very least, “any relaxation of regulations or their enforcement should be avoided” and the risks of alcohol consumption should be discussed with the public during this time.
You can read more about the organization’s suggestions here.