NORTH Wales residents are being asked to rethink their drinking following a warning that 'hidden' alcohol consumption could be putting their health at risk.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has said more than 60% of people who completed the health board's online alcohol assessment tool over the last six months were found to be at increasing or higher risk of alcohol-related harm.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread changes in drinking habits occurred meaning many more people are damaging their wellbeing by drinking more, and more often.

National research has shown that around one in three people throughout Wales increased how much alcohol they drank during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes to routines – including furlough, and flexible and home working – were a significant contributor, as well as pandemic-linked mental health conditions including anxiety and depression, and boredom and loneliness.

This Alcohol Awareness Week, people across North Wales are being urged to reconsider their alcohol consumption as part of the Rethinking Our Drinking campaign being run by the health board and its partners.


Teresa Owen, Betsi Cadwaladr Executive Director of Public Health, said: "Lifestyle changes made during COVID-19 lockdowns have left some people drinking more and drinking more often – frequently at home, and sometimes enabled or encouraged by new working patterns and social habits.

“As a result, more and more people who might not think of themselves as drinking too much could be at risk of causing themselves harm. This hidden drinking can creep up on people without them realising it, increasing the likelihood of a wide range of health and social problems."

Other benefits of cutting back on alcohol often include sleeping better, losing weight and better skin – as well as saving money.