Increased risk of cancer linked to alcohol and obesity
New research has found that being overweight or having obesity amplifies the harmful effects of alcohol, especially the risk of developing alcohol-related cancer and liver disease.
Dr. Elif Inan-Eroglu and colleagues found that those with the highest body fat percentage who drank within the recommended alcohol guidelines were 53% more likely to develop alcohol-related cancers than those with the lowest body fat percentage who never drank. People who are overweight or obese are also 50% more likely to develop liver disease compared to those of normal weight consuming the same level of alcohol.
It is vital that the public are aware of these health risks, with alcohol being the third most preventable cause of cancer behind tobacco and obesity, and the leading cause of liver disease in the UK. That’s why we are calling for better alcohol labelling to raise awareness and reduce alcohol harm.
New funding to help soldiers recover from alcohol and gambling addiction
Project Reset – a scheme delivered by Humankind to help soldiers in North Yorkshire recover from alcohol and gambling addiction – has received further funding from the British Army to continue its important work for another year.
With 10% of UK Armed Forces personnel meeting the criteria for harmful alcohol use (compared with just 3% of the general population), programmes to address this problem culture of drinking are vital.
79% of serving personnel who accessed Project Reset support for their alcohol use were successfully discharged as alcohol-free or controlled drinkers, compared with a national average of 38%. Project Reset also offers education outreach and harm reduction training across multiple locations.
Scottish Parliament debate SHAAP report on alcohol problems in LGBT+ community
MSPs met on the 11th of May for a Members’ Business Debate on the content and recommendations included in SHAAP’s most recent report: which was carried out by Professor Carol Emslie and colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University’s Substance Use research group.
Emma Roddick, SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands, and Co-Convener of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on LGBT+ scheduled a motion in Members’ Business.
New British Liver Trust resources for people with alcohol-related liver disease
The British Liver Trust have launched new and updated resources for people with alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD). They include a web page with information on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of ARLD, a comprehensive booklet, a bitesize factsheet for GPs to use with their patients, and a set of questions to ask the doctor to help people prepare for appointments and get the most out of them.
Job opportunity: Join the Humankind DrinkCoach team
Humankind are recruiting new DrinkCoaches to join their growing team. DrinkCoach is an established online alcohol coaching service for increasing and higher risk drinkers. They use a motivational interviewing health-based coaching approach to reduce people’s drinking across 4-6 sessions, lasting 20-40 minutes each.
If you are passionate about helping others, looking for a flexible role, and have experience working in alcohol treatment, this could be a great role for you.
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
21 June, 12.30–2pm
AHA Seminar Sessions: Alcohol harm and ethnicity
Alcohol Health Alliance UK
29 June, 2-3PM
More info TBC
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 Susie McClue, Senior Connecting Families Development Officer at Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (Scottish Families). Susie has been with the charity since 2014.
How does your organisation help to reduce alcohol harm?
Scottish Families supports anyone concerned about or affected by someone else’s use of alcohol or other drugs.
I lead our Connecting Families programme of work and we reduce alcohol harm by delivering innovative projects based on social contact and education. We hold community events like our Bound Together book and author series. We campaign to end alcohol harm through the work of our Alcohol Action Group who explore the presence of alcohol in everyday life and what this means for families, and help people get involved in influencing alcohol policy through sharing findings from their community surveys and conversations.
What inspires you most in your job?
I am most inspired by the power of story. I get to listen to people’s stories every day and these stories shape our thinking around what works to help those affected by alcohol harm.
What change do you think would make the biggest difference in reducing alcohol harm?
The population-level approach of making alcohol less affordable is one of the most effective ways of reducing alcohol-related harm. Scottish Families have been strong advocates for the introduction of minimum unit pricing in Scotland. This approach is effective in creating the conditions that limit harm.
Personally, I think the most powerful way to reduce alcohol harm is creating a society that is more connected, where every person can develop better self-awareness. This change in thinking would allow the reasons for partaking in harm to surface quicker anywhere that person is connected – in school, the workplace or in community spaces.