Alcoholics Anonymous groups expect record membership on Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca after lockdown finishes as people face the grim prospect of no money and no work.
THE coronavirus lockdown has led to a mushrooming of online support groups for people coping with drink problems, with organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous also having to deal with meetings being hijacked by trolls.
Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca have been deeply affected by the lockdown leading many people to take to the bottle, with no prospect of an early end to the restrictions and being locked up most of the day, for some, it is a way of coping with the stress and boredom.
Membership to AA groups is expected to at least double when all this is over, cheap booze and the thought of seeing their friends and family for the first time in months will play a part in this.
Drinking is on the increase
Shoppers in Spain have been buying more alcohol since the Spanish government declared a State of Alarm in a bid to slow the coronavirus pandemic. The sale of beer rose by 77.65 per cent with respect to the previous week, while wine jumped by 62.7 per cent and alcoholic drinks by 36.58 per cent.
Large purchases were also seen as the lockdown eased during the first two weeks of confinement. The peak of the shopping frenzy was reached between March 11 and 14, just before Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the State of Alarm.
“In these two weeks, the number of visits made by each shopper has dropped and the size of each individual purchase has increased slightly, in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities. These shopping purchases reflect the lockdown the Spanish population is under,” says Felipe Medina, the secretary general of Asedas, which represents the main businesses in the supermarket sector as well as 19,100 establishments.