ACUK reports on the failures of online retailers in protecting children from alcohol harm
A new report by Alcohol Change UK’s team in Wales has highlighted major weaknesses in retailers’ ability to protect children from alcohol harm.
The research found online age verification methods and in-person checks to be inadequate, with nearly three-quarters of 18 and 19-year-old participants being handed alcohol on the doorstep without seeking proof of age. Interviews with delivery drivers also revealed their confusion about retailers’ policies on checking age, and a lack of decent training on how to verify age on the doorstep. Delivery to intoxicated customers is another issue that requires urgent attention.
Sobriety tags rolled out in England and Wales
The government has announced plans to further roll out its alcohol-monitoring tag scheme.
The intervention hopes to curb alcohol-related crime, which is estimated to cost society £11.4 billion a year.
So far, 3,121 offenders have been monitored by the tags, with more than 3,000 staying sober while monitored. Those found breaking their ban could face a prison sentence or fines. By 2025, it is estimated that 12,000 offenders will have had their drinking monitored as part of the government’s £183 million expansion of electronic monitoring.
There is still no data on whether the sobriety tags reduce alcohol-fuelled crime once they are removed.
IAS Small Grants Scheme
The Institute of Alcohol Studies’ Small Grants Scheme is now open, funding innovative ideas that can help inform public policy debates on how to tackle alcohol harm.
The IAS invites applications from UK researchers – especially early career researchers – for projects between £500 and £10,000, and the deadline for outline applications is Friday 13th May 2022.
Funding for successful projects will be available from September 2022, with a flexible start date. Priority will be given to proposals that align with our organisational objectives, as outlined in our Strategy 2020-2023.
Survey on LGBT+ substance use and treatment experiences
A research team at the University of South Wales are conducting a study exploring drug and alcohol use and experiences of treatment in the UK LGBT+ population in collaboration with Gwent Drug Alcohol Services.
The project seeks to understand why some people in these groups use alcohol and/or other drugs and why there is an underrepresentation of these groups within drug and alcohol services, despite being at a greater risk of hazardous alcohol and drug use than heterosexual cis-gendered men and women.
Please consider helping the team by sharing their survey with your networks, which is open to anyone aged 18 years or older, identify as LGBT+ and have used alcohol and/or other drugs in the last year. Any questions can be directed to Shannon Murray firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humankind fundraiser attempts to break world record
A Staffordshire man who previously used drugs and drank heavily for 15 years is now set to attempt a World Record breaking 70 triathlons in 70 days to mark his recovery.
Andy Stone is raising funds for the Staffordshire Treatment and Recovery Service (STARS), a drug and alcohol support service run by Humankind, Mind and Alcohol Change UK.
Paul Townsley, CEO of Humankind, has said “Andy is a fantastic example that it is possible to recover from substance use, achieve new goals, and live a healthier and happier life. Everyone at Humankind will be cheering him on as he goes for the World Record.”
Faith, families, and recovery
Alcohol Change UK and Adfam
12 May, 10-11.30AM
Alcohol: Sharing the truth
Navigating the complexity of harm and care: a qualitative study of self-harm and alcohol use
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems
23 May, 12.30-2PM
‘I’m just getting the impression I have to sort myself out’: How people with co-occurring heavy alcohol use and depression describe the care they receive in a fragmented health system
Royal College of General Practitioners and Addiction Professionals
21 June, 12.30-2PM
Meet the Members
Every month, we speak to a member of the AHA to find out more about what they do and how their organisation is working to end alcohol harm.
Today we meet Richard McVey, Head of Service at Aquarius, who has just celebrated 25 years with the charity.
How does your organisation help to reduce alcohol harm?
We are a charity with services across the Midlands, supporting people affected by alcohol, other drugs, and gambling. We have over 40 years’ experience providing evidence-based, high-quality services to help change behaviour and change lives. Our focus is on helping people understand their behaviours and finding alternative ways to cope.
What inspires you most in your job?
What is really inspirational is seeing people’s ability to change and create a life of value and worth from sometimes the most adverse of circumstances. To see people flourish and recover is the true motivation for why I keep doing what I do.
What change do you think would make the biggest difference in reducing alcohol harm?
We need an overall cultural change in the way we approach drinking in the UK. We each have a responsibility in changing attitudes to stop sober shaming and encouraging people to make healthy and informed choices around their drinking. As organisations we need to apply pressure to ensure there is the legal framework to support this around advertising, labelling, licensing, and minimum unit pricing that supports healthier choices.