The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning against turning to alcohol as a copying strategy during the coronavirus lockdown.
WHO Europe's Dr Aiysha Malik cautioned that using drink or drugs to cope with a crisis can "make things worse".
She said this week, via virtual conference, it's vital that services for people with alcohol issues continue during the lockdown.
That's because people with use disorders could be at a heightened risk of relapsing during the pandemic, she explained.
Alcohol could 'make things worse'
It follows the government's inclusion of off-licences on the list of "essential" businesses allowed to operate in the lockdown.
Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, fears it could imply that alcoholic drinks are "essential".
He told the Independent: "While keeping off licences open is consistent with clinical advice to protect those who are physically dependent on alcohol from going into dangerous withdrawal, they wouldn't want to unintentionally send the message that alcohol is 'essential' to all our lives.
They wouldn't want to unintentionally send the message that alcohol is 'essential'
"It's important that the government, alcohol producers and retailers keep reminding us that it's best to stick to 14 units a week or less."
He went on to warn that people's "routines out of the window" in the coronavirus lockdown. Therefore, many could find themselves "reaching for a drink more often".
Drinkers 'more susceptible' to viruses
Earlier this month, it emerged that drinking alcohol could actually make people more susceptible to catching coronavirus.
Speaking to Metro, GP Dr Aragona Giuseppe said: "Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol could cause damage to immune cells in the lungs and upper respiratory system."
She said this, in turn, can increase the risk of developing diseases such as pneumonia and make the drinker "more susceptible to viruses".
Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.