MORE alcoholics than ever before admitted themselves into a rehab clinic in Runcorn during the four-month peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is according to figures from the UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT), which show how between the starts of April and August, 72 per cent of all admissions into Runcorn-based Oasis Recovery were for alcohol addiction.

In comparison, 67 per cent of all admissions during the same four months of 2019 were for alcohol addiction.

A total of 160 clients checked into Oasis between April and August this year, of which 115 were for alcohol treatment, compared to a total of 116 in 2019, with 78 seeking help with alcohol.

“The coronavirus crisis has affected people in different ways, and a way of coping for some would have been to turn to alcohol or to drink more than they did previously,” said Nuno Albuquerque, group head of treatment at UKAT.

“But it is important to remember that alcohol is a depressant, and regular heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are key for good mental health.

“Feeling relaxed after a drink is short-lived, whereas over time, alcohol can have an impact on your mental health and can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

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“Worse still, it actually makes stressful situations like the Covid crisis harder to deal with.”

For others however, the forced isolation of lockdown allowed contemplation of what is important to them.

Nuno added: “For some, drinking heavily was a way of suppressing feelings of worry, loneliness and fear.

“But for others, it was a time to reflect and to ask themselves if continuing to drink was the right thing for them.

“Thankfully, those people decided that enough was enough, and we are seeing more and more people than ever before across the north west take that first brave step in asking for help.”

For help with alcohol addiction in Runcorn, visit