AHA Bulletin – December 2019

December 2019

Burden of liver disease continues to rise

The sixth annual report of the Lancet Commission for Liver Disease in the UK was published on 29 November. The sub-title is ‘Unacceptable Failures’ reflecting, among other issues, the lack of progress in reducing the disease burden from lifestyle issues of excess alcohol consumption and obesity, taking into account the encouraging results being obtained with the first year of MUP in Scotland. The findings of a ComRes poll carried out during this past year show an appalling lack of awareness of liver disease by the general population, raising important questions as to the government’s prevention initiatives in informing people with respect to their chances of developing liver disease. There is also a strong message in the report on the need for re-instituting adequate addiction and alcohol services in the community to match the increased investment in alcohol care teams in the hospitals.

New study: Service user evaluation of faith-based alcohol treatment

A new report from Cardiff University, funded by Alcohol Change UK, is asking a number of important questions about faith-based recovery services. Against a background of cuts to other services, faith communities are plugging many of the gaps and helping people who might otherwise fall by the wayside on the road to recovery. It’s not clear, however, how some organisations see the role of faith in their recovery package, and the researchers warn of the risks of anyone seeking to proselytise to vulnerable drinkers.

Read the report
Read blog post by Andrew Misell, Alcohol Change UK’s Director for Wales

The ‘Cardiff Model’ helps locate and prevent alcohol related violence

Half of all violent incidents that lead to emergency hospital treatment in the UK are not reported to the police.

The Cardiff Model is a multi-agency approach to violence prevention, built on collaboration between police, the NHS and local government. The model combines data collected in emergency departments with information known to the police. This facilitates much better identification and targeting of violence hotspots and weapons at the right times.

The Cardiff Model has been implemented in many cities in the UK including Cardiff, Glasgow and London. Published evaluations demonstrate that implementation has reduced serious violence by over 40% in Cardiff relative to cities where it was not implemented. According to the 2019 government impact assessment, annual savings amount to £2.7 million for each community safety partnership which implements the Model.

Read more about Cardiff Model from Jonathan Shepherd, the founder of the Crime and Security Research Institute on Apolitical.

Support Dry January 2020

Dry January is just around the corner! Those who sign up are twice as likely to stay dry for the whole month than those who attempt Dry January without support. Please share on your social media channels encouraging people to sign up. You can also sign up to receive social media resources. Alcohol Change UK will shortly be releasing a blog summarising research on Dry January to date.

Teens exposed to harm from others’ alcohol use

Young people are at risk of assault and sexual harassment when others drink around them, a new study has found.

The Australian research, published in the latest issue of Public Health Research and Practice, involved nearly 3500 teens who drink to a level considered risky for their age and gender.

71 per cent of females aged between 14 and 19 years reported unwanted sexual advances from someone who was consuming alcohol. 34 per cent of males of the same age group reported being harassed by someone who had been drinking.

Alcohol is a major obstacle to sustainable development

A new analysis conducted by IOGT International suggests that alcohol harm adversely affects 14 out of 17 sustainable development goals.

Evidence pulled together in the analysis shows that alcohol is a cross-cutting risk factor in many areas of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, including: eradicating poverty; ending hunger; ensuring healthy lives for all; ensuring quality education; achieving gender equality; ensuring drinking water for all.

Kristina Sperkova, IOGT International President, said: “To free people around the world from poverty, and to achieve the SDGs, it is fundamental to address the role alcohol plays in creating and exacerbating poverty and hindering sustainable development.

The equation is simple and tells decision-makers what to do: Less alcohol consumption means less alcohol harm, which means less poverty, inequality, exploitation and more sustainable development.”

Read the report

Children, Christmas and alcohol

Are we at risk as a society of teaching our kids that the meaning of Christmas is alcohol? That is the question Balance is asking in a new blog by Director Colin Shevills as the festive run-in delivers its annual mix of drink adverts and price wars in supermarkets, and with consumption set to rise.

Since November 2018, Balance has been running the “What’s the Harm?” campaign in the North East, based on enabling more children to have the best start in life when it comes to alcohol and raising awareness among parents of the Chief Medical Officer guidance that it is healthiest and safest for children to drink nothing before 18, and if they do drink it should definitely not be before 15. Six out of 10 parents who saw the campaign said it made them twice about allowing children to have alcohol in the future and over one in 10  said they stopped drinking in front of their children.


Men and Alcohol Seminar Series

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) are jointly hosting a series of seminars relating to Men and Alcohol, the upcoming dates are:
Men, Alcohol and Health – January 24, 2020 – Edinburgh
Men and Alcohol: What’s Next – March 20, 2020 – London

The aim of these seminars is to bring together academics, health professionals, policy makers, media and members of the public to discuss with a critical perspective topics related to men and alcohol. The events are free of charge and open to all members of the public. 

Learn more and register.

Managing Drugs & Alcohol Problems in Primary Care Conference

30-31 January 2020, London

The RCGP and the Substance Misuse Management in General Practice are holding a joint conference for GPs, healthcare professionals and researchers interested in, and involved with the management of drug and alcohol users in primary care.

The theme for this year’s conference is Navigating in Stormy Weather. With shrinking budgets there is a greater need to meet together to share best practice, get encouragement from other areas and learn how it is still possible to provide an effective service. Confirmed speakers include Professor David Nut and Lord Charles Falconer.

Event organisers are still calling for papers, so make sure you submit yours.

Find out more.

Courses, Competitions, and Grants

The Innovation Fund

Change, Grow, Live

The innovation fund offers grants between £500 and £2500 for residents (aged 18+) or charities/not-for-profit groups looking to fund projects located within the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster.

Applications are welcomed from charities, voluntary or community group with an income of less than £100,000 per annum. The grant is available to support new and innovative ideas, but cannot be used to continue to fund projects that are ending.

The Big Lottery Fund has a number of useful documents on their website to help people plan their future projects. For more information email [email protected].