Ireland introduces minimum unit pricing
On 4 January, the Republic of Ireland introduced the minimum unit pricing (MUP) policy. It sets a floor price of €1 per standard drink (10 grams of alcohol) and is part of a broader suite of measures within the 2018 Public Health (Alcohol) Act.
It took over a decade of sustained advocacy to bring this life-saving measure into effect and the efforts of the Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland, modelled on AHA UK, were critical in this regard.
The success of this campaign drew on the experiences from other jurisdictions, including Scotland, Wales, provinces in Canada and Australia and states in eastern Europe. The authoritative voice of the World Health Organization also helped to draw this evidence together.
Alcohol Action Ireland thanks all the individuals, organisations, both nationally and internationally, who have helped to bring this about – hopefully other countries will be able to use the Irish experience to advance efforts around alcohol policy.
Humankind launches a new game encouraging young people to make safer choices around alcohol
Decide the Night, a new, immersive game designed to encourage young people to make safer choices around alcohol, has launched in Leeds.
The online game was co-created with young people by Leeds City Council, NHS Leeds CCG and Forward Leeds, the city’s alcohol and drug service.
Decide the Night invites young people to take part in five different drinking scenarios, with the aim of enjoying a full night out with their friends. Each scenario is story-based and focuses on a different drink and situation that was suggested by Leeds-based 14–15-year-olds.
The game is designed to be fun and engaging, while also educating players by providing them with a range of health and educational facts, as well as persona-based endings. It can be used for targeted drugs and alcohol education in school, youth work and youth justice settings as well as for young people to discover and use independently.
Balance North East Alcohol programme launches New Year campaign
Balance North East has launched a New Year health harms alcohol campaign following the festive period. ‘Alcohol Causes Cancer’ is a continuation of the campaign launched in November and featured radio ads from 27 December warning that alcohol causes cancers of the breast, bowel, mouth and throat.
Susan Taylor, Head of Alcohol Policy for Balance, said: “The North East has seen the worst rate of alcohol deaths in the country so as well as supporting Dry January, we have been running this campaign to counter the worrying numbers of people drinking at risky levels in our region.
“We’ve seen the positive impact of tobacco campaigns running at New Year so why not alcohol to help reinforce New Year motivations? We know that people who are more aware of the risks are more likely to take a break from drinking. Just like tobacco, alcohol causes cancer and people have a right to know this.”
Love Your Liver Awareness Month and APPG on Liver Disease and Liver Cancer
January is Love Your Liver Awareness Month and the British Liver Trust is raising awareness of the importance of good liver health and not drinking too much alcohol.
Wayne David MP launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Disease and Liver Cancer in December with the British Liver Trust taking up the Secretariat. A one-minute silence was held to remembered Sir David Amess for his contribution to liver health. Prof Steve Ryder updated the group from a clinical perspective.
Book review: Supporting People Bereaved Through a Drug or Alcohol-Related Death by Peter Cartwright
Addiction Professionals have written a review of Peter Cartwright’s latest book Supporting people bereaved through a drug or alcohol-related death.
This comprehensive handbook intends to help those whose work is supporting that group of bereaved adults who view substance use as a significant part of what led to the death of a loved one. It is divided into three sections – Making sense of substance related bereavements; How to support someone through a substance-related death; and Examples of good practice. Throughout the book, case studies helpfully illustrate the various approaches used. An extensive index of key words makes it easy to find sections on particular subjects and there is also an index by author or researcher.
If you would like to enter into a draw to win a review copy of the book, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training: How the PRIDDY toolkit can help
25 January, 28 February, 28 March
Marketing and Consumption of No and Low Alcohol Drinks in the UK
Institute of Alcohol Studies
Alcohol & Human Rights – IAS Sustainability Series
Institute of Alcohol Studies
RCGP & AP Managing Drugs & Alcohol Problems in Primary Care Conference
Royal College of General Practitioners and Addiction Professionals
24-25 March 2022
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 Sohan Sahota, Managing Director and co-founding member of BAC-IN CIC.
How does your organisation help to reduce alcohol harm?
BAC-IN is a Nottingham based, specialist drug and alcohol recovery support service for individuals, families and young adults from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
We help to reduce alcohol harm by providing a specialist treatment and peer led recovery services for people from those backgrounds. We also take part in health awareness events in local communities and deliver addiction recovery and cultural competence training.
What inspires you most in your job?
What inspires me most in my role is having the opportunity to participate in the journeys of change, transformation and personal growth of our peers/service users (whom we prefer to call friends of BAC-IN). We get to see the best in individuals and families as they begin their path to change, making connections and achieving sustainable recovery.
What change do you think would make the biggest difference in reducing alcohol harm?
Ethnic minority communities are underrepresented in alcohol treatment. The impact of cultural shame, lack of culturally appropriate support, past experience of racism, exacerbated with mistrust of services and language barriers, prevent many from coming forward for help.
We need to develop services that are fit for purpose, that possess the capacity to deliver, reach and engage people who need help, too many vulnerable lives are being compromised by the harms of alcohol in underserved and seldom engaged communities.