Fears of long-term addiction and mental health issues in Tayside sparked by lockdown
Substance misuse support services have already seen an increase in people seeking help since the start of the pandemic but it is feared there are many more people whose mental health has deteriorated during lockdown, or who have developed addictions.
Kathryn Baker, chief executive of Tayside Council on Alcohol (TCA) fears that while lockdown reduced the spread of coronavirus, it may have created a raft of other problems.
"We are absolutely seeing an increase in referrals for alcohol support services," she said.
"We know alcohol consumption has gone up for a lot of people during lockdown, for a variety of reasons.
"It's still unclear just how severe and long term the effects of that will be and it is concerning.
"It may be that some people, as their lives return to normal, so will their alcohol intake, but for a lot of people drinking is very habitual and it is very easy to slip into a routine of a bottle of wine after work and that can increase very quickly.
"In our culture there is very much an attitude of treating alcohol as stress relief so as people find their way through what is a very different time, you can see how their dependency on alcohol can increase and what starts off as 'I've had a tough day so I'll have a glass of wine' can turn into an addiction."