The COVID-19 situation poses extra challenges for most of us, but especially whānau who are under additional financial stress, and people who are affected by harmful alcohol use, whether it is their own or someone else's alcohol use. People may tend to drink more in an occasion, and more frequently, when they feel stressed. Alcohol is known to negatively affect mental health and wellbeing, and plays a key role in violence and family harm. For some people, staying home plus drinking may put them at extra risk.
Alcohol is also the cause of many injuries and chronic illnesses. These injuries and illnesses put extra strain on hospital and health resources. During the COVID-19 response, we need to do everything we can to reduce the alcohol-related burden on our health system.
Kiwis are strong, resilient and kind to others. Below is a list of services you can use if you have any concerns about alcohol:
Alcohol and Drug services
- Alcohol and Drug Helpline (0800 787 797 or text 8681)
- Kaupapa Māori treatment providers
- Alcohol and drug support operated by the Salvation Army (0800 53 00 00)
Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā (National Māori Pandemic Group)
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TRWU20/
Lifeline and other mental health helplines
- Lifeline (0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357, 0800 828 865 for suicide crisis)
- NZ mental health & addictions helpline: free text or call 1737
- Protecting vulnerable children
Advice on living sober or low-risk drinking
- Living sober
- Tips for easing up on the booze in a time of lockdown
- Low-risk drinking advice
- New Zealand Drug Foundation – useful advice to manage withdrawal, maintain recovery, etc
Healthline for health advice on COVID-19
- Healthline (0800 358 5453) – if you have any health concerns about COVID-19
If there is an immediate threat to your safety or the safety of others, please call emergency services on 111.
Please visit https://covid19.govt.nz/ for the most credible and updated health information on COVID-19.
Consumption of alcohol will not protect you from COVID-19! Check out and share the resources developed by the World Health Organization Europe on what you need to know about alcohol at this time.
The above list is not exhaustive, and there is a whole range of organisations not listed here. Please also visit other sections of ActionPoint.org.nz for all kinds of information on alcohol issues and actions you can take to reduce alcohol harm in your community.