AHA Bulletin – October 2020

Addiction services not equipped to treat the 8 million people drinking at high risk during pandemic, warns RCPysch

Addiction services in England are not equipped to treat the soaring numbers of people drinking at high risk during the pandemic and must receive a multi-million-pound funding boost in the upcoming spending review, says the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The College’s new analysis of Public Health England’s latest data on the indirect effects of COVID-19 found that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million in February.

But the deep cuts made to addiction services since 2013/14 mean the estimated 8.4 million higher risk drinkers, and the hundreds of additional people with an opiate addiction needing help, could miss out on life-saving treatment.

Prof Julia Sinclair, Chair of the College’s Addictions Faculty, said: “Covid-19 has shown just how stretched, under-resourced and ill-equipped addiction services are to treat the growing numbers of vulnerable people living with this complex illness.”

Alcohol and COVID 19 campaign: Stay healthy, stay safe

Earlier this year, Balance responded to rising concerns about alcohol consumption during COVID-19 with the launch of its Stay Healthy, Stay Safe partner toolkit and campaign. As we go into the Autumn, and new are restrictions announced, Balance has updated the set of partner resources.

The campaign previously focused on the risks to immune system, mental health, and the serious conditions linked to alcohol. The resources have been updated with new messages around alcohol and social distancing, as well as alcohol and weight, as these two issues have become more topical.

Find out more

AHA member research up for an ONS award

Research published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies, examining experiences of alcohol-related violence, is up for the ONS Research Excellence People’s Choice Award.

The research, by authors Lucy Bryant and Dr Carly Lightowlers, found that lower incomes groups are more likely to experience alcohol-related violence.

Watch a video of the findings

Cast your vote now

Understanding alcohol use in rural Scotland – new report

SHAAP launched their latest report, Rural Matters – Understanding alcohol use in rural Scotland: Findings from a qualitative research study, on 23 September. The report presents findings about the cultural and social context of drinking in rural areas and barriers to accessing services in rural Scotland.

A literature review was undertaken, and five community consultations and 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted with healthcare and service providers, individuals with lived experience of alcohol harm, young people and family members of people with alcohol problems. The report presents recommendations for research, policy and practice from this evidence.

‘Supporting People Bereaved Through a Drug- or Alcohol-related Death’ – new book

People who lose a loved one through an alcohol-related death require very specific support through these unique circumstances.

Supporting people bereaved through a drug or alcohol related death by Peter Cartwright contains contributions from a range of leading experts in the field on how to help people bereaved in this way, with examples of good practice. It combines theory, research and practice in a straightforward and untechnical way, clearly describing the complex, severe nature of these bereavements and how to support bereaved people through this complex grieving process. The book also explains bereavement, substance use and how addictive substance use can affect a family and provides comprehensive case studies that illustrate how to support and counsel.

Find out more

Drinkcoach blog: why intervention has never been more important

The Drinkcoach blog has recently published a series of articles taking a look at intervention. The first explores the importance of early intervention, and steps to improving your relationship with alcohol before it becomes an addiction.

The second, written by Dr Tony Rao examines the untapped potential for older people to use online resources to change their drinking habits.

Visit the Drinkcoach blog


Working with the whole personalcohol, mental health and complex needs 

Alcohol Change UK’s first online interactive conference
Wednesday 2 December and Thursday 3 December 2020

The harmful use of alcohol is often just one symptom of the complex challenges in someone’s life. Alcohol Change UK have gathered together a multidisciplinary slate of academics, practitioners, and people with lived experience, to help us all work better to support the whole person. Find out more and book places below.

More information and registration

Courses, grants and opportunities

Recruitment: AHA Campaigns Admin Assistant

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK is recruiting a Campaigns Admin Assistant to support their small team to campaign to improve the lives of people affected by alcohol harm.

This is an opportunity to work on a high-profile issue which cuts across a range of the biggest social and political issues of the day, including addiction, health inequalities, taxation, marketing, domestic abuse, homelessness, and the role of business in setting government policy. It’s a great chance to get experience in charity communications and campaigning and to build relationships with leading health organisations.

Download the job description for details of how to apply.

Submissions open for the Special Issue: “Alcohol-Related Violence: The Impact of Drinking Pattern, Drinker Personality and Drinking Context”

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is seeking submissions for a special issue focusing on the relationship between alcohol, aggression and violence, including the impact of drinking patterns, drinker personalities, and drinking contexts.

Editors welcome submissions covering interventions that address alcohol-related aggression, including interventions in vulnerable populations, such as dependent drinkers and their families. Submissions can focus on activities that impede or facilitate the formulation and implementation of promising alcohol policies, including collaborations with policymakers, improving advocacy strategies, and exposing and countering conflicts of interest and/or the actions of industry actors. While the focus will be on empirical and review articles, articles with an editorial style or that propose methodological innovations will also be considered.

Find out more