Here is how to save the situation if worries about health, families or finances because of Coronavirus lead you into a lapse, when really you are committing yourself to not drinking, using or gambling.

You’ve been doing well – dealing with temptations, knowing your triggers and avoiding situations where you feel vulnerable. But very few people can honestly say they are 100% confident they won’t slip up. So make a plan now to deal with a mistake – just in case.

What are mistakes good for? Exactly – you learn from them, so here are 3 steps to make sure you use a lapse to get stronger.

  1. Expect to feel bad – you’ve let yourself and others down. Recognise the feeling, know it will go away in time – and don’t use it as an excuse to make the lapse even bigger.
  2. Line up now a friend you can talk to – someone who won’t criticise and will just listen to you. Because talking it through helps you make sense of what happened and puts your thoughts in order.
  3. Be honest with yourself – work out what went wrong and how you will deal with it next time.

You may feel it won’t happen to you, but don’t assume you won’t slip up. People who have lapsed and learn are much stronger and more confident because of their experience. Make your 3 step plan now, don’t wait until you make the mistake because you’ll be too late!


Isolation can be a difficult time because of the reduced level of contact with other people.  It can also be boring, lonely and anxiety provoking.

In order to tackle difficult thoughts and feelings, you can try to re-frame these thoughts and to adopt a different approach.

Thought/Feeling Mindset Shift
I’m stuck at home I get to be SAFE in my home and spend time with my family/do activities I am normally too busy for.
I will get unwell I can self-isolate, wash my hands, this could significantly decrease my chances of becoming unwell and/or spreading any illness.
I will run out of items at home during self isolation I can prepare for this and use my items wisely.  I have everything I need for today.
Everything is shutting down, I am panicking The most IMPORTANT places such as medical centres, pharmacies and food shops largely remain open.
There is too much uncertainty right now! While I can’t control the situation around me, I CAN can control my actions.  I can do some breathing exercises, call loved ones, get enough sleep and proper nutrition and do activities at home.  This will all help during this time.

It is important to acknowledge other people’s feelings, but not at the expense of your own.  In a time of uncertainty, people who expect you to be a beacon of positivity and motivation during your hardest times have unrealistic expectations.  It is OK if you are the one looking for the light, you do not have to be the whole lighthouse.


Did you know?

£7.3 billion loss to UK businesses due to alcohol-related sickness and loss of productivity

Up to 17 million working days are lost each year because of alcohol-related sickness

£1.4 billion loss due to drug misuse

Institute of Alcohol Studies

37% of employees have admitted to taking alcohol or drugs to help deal with stress or pressure

68% have witnessed stress and pressure having a negative impact on a work colleague’s performance

35% have suspected a colleague of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the workplace

44% of respondents admit that the use of alcohol or drugs is having a negative impact on work performance. New charity service – Aquarius Life – is launched to offer wellbeing and specialist support services to organisations and their employees.

Research carried out by Aquarius as part of mental health week 2018.

3 in 5 employees have experienced mental health issues in the past year (Business in the Community).

UK employers are facing an average cost of £8,500 on Employment Tribunals brought by unhappy employees (British Chamber of Commerce).

Evidence strongly suggests that improvements in wellbeing improve workplace performance (Thriving at Work).

A member of staff under the influence of alcohol or drugs will only achieve 67% of their potential.

Drug using employees are 3 times more likely to require sick leave or benefits.

Alcohol is involved in 20-25% of all industrial accidents in the UK.

Substance misuse and the workplace, Home Office

27% of employers say drug misuse is a problem at work while 60% have experienced problems due to staff drinking alcohol.

DrugScope and Alcohol Concern survey

4.3% of adults between 16 and 59 had taken an illicit drug in the last month.

2017/18 Home Office, Crime Survey

It is estimated that 1.5 million people are addicted to prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the UK. Many of these drugs can have a significant effect on performance, concentration or alertness.

Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace, TUC

Between 3 and 5 percent of all absences are due to alcohol.

Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace, TUC

82% of people experiencing issues with alcohol are not in treatment.

Public Health England