Talking about inequalities in alcohol use and harm
Language is important, and terminology can be empowering as well as potentially harmful. As part of the Institute of Alcohol Studies’ (IAS) 2023–2026 strategy, the team have developed a language bank as a guide to writing about and discussing inequalities.
The document covers:
- socio-economic inequalities
- aspects of identify, including but not limited to protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2020
- how inequalities are talked about in relation to alcohol policies.
Dr Sadie Boniface, head of research at IAS, has written an accompanying blog, which explains how and why the report was developed.
The document will be reviewed and updated as and when the need arises because language changes over time, and IAS welcome suggestions for updates.
British Medical Association campaign against drink driving
The British Medical Association (BMA) is working towards influencing policy on alcohol and drug-related harm, particularly the harms caused by driving under the influence of these substances. This includes campaigning to lower the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving, educating the public on the risks of all drugs that could impair driving (including alcohol), and campaigning to improve alcohol and drug treatment services.
As part of Road Safety Week in November, the BMA published two blogs. The first is a was authored by the chair of the Public Health Medicine Committee on the disproportionate impact of substance misuse harm and how austerity has rendered the public health system unable to meet demands. The second is a blog from the chair of the Board of Science, who reinforced the ‘one drink, don’t drive’ narrative and further explored how the impact that alcohol and drugs, including prescription medicine, can impair safe driving.
The campaign received news coverage throughout the week, including a piece in the Mirror featuring an interview from BMA president Professor Sir Ian Gilmore: ‘Every accident, particularly a fatal accident, harms not just the individual but those around them… The risks are so high and the consequences are so big.’
Call for proposals: 2024 SHAAP/SARN Alcohol occasionals
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) invite researchers to submit their proposals for the 2024 SHAAP/SARN Alcohol occasionals series.
Last year’s series was based on the theme of Alcohol in a changing world and attracted 532 registrations across four seminars.
The 2024 theme will be Transforming Scotland’s relationship with alcohol. The team encourage researchers to view the theme in the broadest sense and encourage researchers from other countries to consider how their work could be relevant to changing Scotland’s relationship with alcohol.
Find out the proposal requirements and complete your application. The deadline is Monday 18 December 2023.
Get involved with the alcohol-related liver disease multi-stakeholder hub
If you or someone in your network is interested in shaping future research around the issues of stigma, engagement and inclusion in people with alcohol-related liver disease, consider joining the alcohol-related liver disease multi-stakeholder (ARMS) hub in-person symposium on Wednesday 21 February 2024 in Birmingham.
This is an NIHR-funded partnership to develop research proposals based on priorities identified by stakeholders and people with lived experience and their carers.
Turning Point shortlisted for HSJ partnership award
Congratulations to Turning Point for being shortlisted for the HSJ partnership awards in the ‘Most Impactful Partnership in Preventative Healthcare category’ for their work with University Hospitals Leicester Trust and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Public Health teams on reducing alcohol related harm through use of FibroScan in primary care and community settings.
This award recognises the role of private and third sector organisations in developing strategies, engagement campaigns and/or direct interventions that help the NHS support citizens to live independent, healthier lives.
Turning Point nurses delivered FibroScans in community and primary care settings, targeting people drinking at harmful levels, with excellent results. This project has resulted in more people being referred to hepatology at an earlier stage, when the liver has a greater chance to repair, and increased motivation in the cohort to reduce their drinking or stop all together. It has resulted in reduced likelihood of hospital admission, increased quality of life for this group. You can read about the pilot in Leicester in their recent report, A sobering thought: The scale of alcohol harm and what we can do about it. Winners will be announced in March.