AHA Bulletin – May 2020

Help map industry responses during COVID-19 pandemic

NCD Alliance and the SPECTRUM research consortium have launched an initiative to map the ways in which unhealthy commodity industries have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intention is to document and analyse actions by alcohol, gambling, fossil fuel, tobacco and ultra-processed food industries in this context, including corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, new marketing activities, increasing availability, partnerships and collaborations and influencing policy responses.

Help gather examples by keeping an eye out for industry actions, activities, communications and behaviours that strike you as interesting, curious and/or concerning, and use their online tool to record what you find.

Find out more about this project

MUP in Scotland: what have we learnt?

Two years on from the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland, the Institute of Alcohol Studies have produced a briefing, which collates, summarises and critically evaluates the data we have so far on consumption and health harms. It finds that every available source shows a fall in alcohol sales in Scotland relative to England, or England and Wales, since the introduction of MUP, and that the most robust available evidence suggests alcohol consumption per adult has fallen by 7–8%. There is less robust evidence on health harms so far, and it may be years before we have a clear idea of the impact of MUP on deaths and hospitalisations.

In a new blog, Alison Douglas, Chief Executive at Alcohol Focus Scotland, also reflects upon the second anniversary of MUP in Scotland, urging the need to continue long-term focus on alcohol.

Read the AFS blog

ACUK research highlights changes to drinking habits in lockdown

Alcohol Change UK commissioned new research from Opinium to find out whether people’s drinking habits have changed during lockdown, following the UK government’s introduction of stringent new measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was found that one in five adults who drink alcohol are drinking more often since lockdown. At the same time, 35% of respondents claim to have reduced how often they drink or stopped drinking altogether.

ACUK also worked with Alcohol Focus Scotland and Balance North East to conduct booster surveys for Scotland, Wales and north-east England. The full data tables for each of these are being made available to share the evidence and allow for further analysis by anyone wishing to investigate more. Read about the survey results here and find the full data tables here.

Alcohol fuels rise in assaults on over 50s, study suggests

New research from Cardiff University has found the number of people in their 50s and 60s needing emergency hospital treatment after being assaulted is at its highest level for nine years.

Nearly 21,000 people aged over 51 went to A&E in England and Wales in 2019 for violence-related injuries.

Researchers said many of the incidents were fuelled by alcohol.

Read more about the research

NOFAS-UK launch project to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy

NOFAS-UK has launched a new three year project to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy among 15-25 year olds. The project has a new website featuring an award-winning film, RISK, and other resources. This project is made possible by the Sylvia Adams Trust.

WCRF share advice about cutting down alcohol in lockdown

World Cancer Research Fund’s Health Information Officer and nutritionist, Matt Lambert, has provided some tips on how to cut down on alcohol during stressful times such as during lockdown. His tips also cover other stress-related habits such as over eating.

Read the blog

Alcohol Change UK publishes new research strategy

Alcohol Change UK are excited to continue funding inspiring work, and are pleased to be sharing their funding priorities and plans for the next three years in their new Research Strategy.

ACUK want alcohol policy and practice to be developed on the basis of robust research evidence; new ideas about alcohol harm reduction created, tested and shared; and the knowledge base enriched by the experience of those affected by alcohol harm.

Read their new Research Strategy to find out more.

Courses, grants and opportunities

Alcohol Change UK launches new funding programme

ACUK are delighted to invite applications for their New Horizons grants programme.

The programme will fund up to four research projects to explore topics connected by a single theme on ‘Groups, Communities and Alcohol Harm’. 

ACUK are calling for proposals that explore how people’s experience of alcohol harm is affected by their membership of, identification with, or exclusion from groups and communities, and how constructions of meaning within a community may promote or prevent alcohol harm amongst its members. We welcome proposals that address any aspects of alcohol use, harm and treatment services, and how these relate to groups, communities and meaning.

Project awards will be between £20,000 and £65,000. The deadline for applications is midday on Friday 31 July 2020. 

Find out more and apply for funding

Recruitment: Family Support Development Officer, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs

SFAAD have secured funding from the national Challenge Fund to establish a new two-year Family Support Development Officer post, working across South Lanarkshire.

Applications are open until 24 May.

Find out more