Underage online alcohol sales and deliveries
Between February and March 2022, Alcohol Focus Scotland conducted a survey to ask young people about their views and experiences of online alcohol sales and deliveries.
Out of the 196 respondents (whose average age was 15.5), 20% had bought or tried to buy alcohol online. Of these 40 children and young people, 38% were not asked to confirm they were over 18 years when paying online, and over half (57%) of the respondents who requested alcohol delivery were not asked for proof of age.
The report raises questions about the adequacy of measures intended to prevent underage alcohol purchasing, and highlights the need for further action to better understand the extend and impact of online alcohol sales.
Access an infographic summary of the survey
Change Grow Live feature in BBC ‘Addiction’ documentary
A new BBC documentary, ‘Addiction’ has been made in partnership with Change Grow Live, featuring their Wirral Ways to Recovery Service and shining a light on the positive impact the charity has had supporting people in recovery. Focusing on work done in Birkenhead, the show foregrounds the stories and experiences of staff, volunteers, peer mentors and service users.
Andrew Cass, a service manager at Change Grow Live, said the documentary provides ‘a true insight into the work carried out by [the charity] and its many services across the UK. The services play a huge role in so many positive stories of recovery and I’m proud to be part of an organisation that strives to provide the very best support to anyone who may need it.’
‘Deep Dive’ into family support services across Scotland
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs have published a report identifying an ongoing lack of vital support services for families of those in treatment, recovery or active addiction.
Services described feeling underfunded, with workers operating at or over capacity, and unable to embark on outreach or preventative work with families. A significant number of services relied wholly or heavily on volunteers to provide support, and there were particular challenges in remote and rural areas. Despite these obstacles, family support services were passionate about supporting families, with staff speaking of how difficult it was to know they could not meet the level of need in their local communities. Listen to the report author, Rebecca McColl, discussing the key findings on Scottish Families’ latest podcast episode.
Alcohol consumption and cancer
Nicole Musuwo and Olivia Rogers from the World Cancer Research Fund present the scientific evidence on alcohol and cancer in the latest AHA blog post.
Alcohol has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, and linked to seven types of cancer. The authors outline exactly how alcohol is thought to increase cancer risk, and why drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco together increases this.
Finally, Nicole and Olivia provide tips for cutting down drinking to reduce cancer risk, including identifying why people drink, replacing alcohol as a stress-relief or social activity with other interests, and opting for no and low-alcohol alternatives.
‘Love Your Liver’ roadshow
The British Liver Trust held its first “Love Your Liver roadshow” outside the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood on 18 May. Over 35 MSPs attended the event, including Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf, Minister for Public Health, Maree Todd and Chair of the Scottish Health Committee, Gillian Martin, who pledged their support for the BLT’s campaign to make early diagnosis of liver disease routine. BLT was supported by Alastair MacGilchrist, Mathis Heydtmann, Elinor Jayne and Alison Douglas.
Access to Alcohol Treatment
Alcohol Action Ireland
8 June, 11am-12.30pm
‘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
21 June, 12.30–2pm
AHA Seminar Sessions: Alcohol harm and ethnicity
Alcohol Health Alliance UK
29 June, 2-3PM
Reducing harm caused by alcohol
Alcohol Focus Scotland and Alcohol Marketing Expert Network
30 June, 10-11am
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 Eunan McKinney, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Alcohol Action Ireland since 2017.
How does your organisation help to reduce alcohol harm?
Our vision, as a non-governmental organisation, is of a society free from alcohol harm; we support this by fearless advocacy and advancing evidence-based policy that, if implemented, will reduce alcohol use and the related harm throughout our society.
What inspires you most in your job?
The principal inspiration for my contribution is that much of the evident alcohol related harm we see throughout our society, and which tragically accounts for four deaths in Ireland every day, is largely preventable. Ireland is a wonderful place to live our lives but so much human possibility – creative, entrepreneurial and innovation, is being lost to a manufactured devotion to alcohol use. This can be addressed; through perseverance and resilience, change is possible.
What change do you think would make the biggest difference in reducing alcohol harm?
The most significant measure to reducing alcohol harm is the establishment of meaningful statutory prohibition of alcohol marketing. In a democratic society, we simply cannot continue to allow a minority commercial interest perpetrate such falsehoods and omissions about the risk from alcohol use. With comprehensive control of marketing, much as what has been achieved with tobacco, citizens would be less exposed to a fabricated promise and hold much greater appreciation and understanding of the inherent risk.