Alcohol Related Brain Damage: An Umbrella (term) for The Approaching Post-Covid Monsoon

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant lockdowns have led to significant societal, economic and health impacts. These include bringing about a significant increase in high risk drinking behaviours1–3 and the largest rise in alcohol-related deaths since 2001.4 The change in alcohol related harms observed during the pandemic represents an issue that if addressed now that will benefit, both the current burden faced by health services but also the longevity of the National Health Service long-term.
Current estimates of disease burden and societal impact do not account for those already, and projected to be, affected by Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD). Pre- pandemic, levels of awareness of ARBD among health care professionals, and service provision, was severely limited.5 In addition, the scarcity of accurate epidemiological data may suggest that the number of those living with ARBD is underestimated.6 Following the changes in drinking behaviours observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact on the health service this is predicted to have, reactive change in service development and delivery is needed. ARBD is a potentially reversible condition if support is provided in a suitable manner. As well as improving the quality of life for individual patients, this could help avoid time consuming, and costly rehabilitation measures. However, currently our health service is under prepared, under resourced and unaware of the approaching population of post- pandemic high risk drinking individuals with complex cognitive impairments and rehabilitation needs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFuture Healthcare Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Aug 2023


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