Tackling Scotland's Alcohol Problem
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Alcohol and Ethnicity reporting- still a long way to go?

Alcohol and Ethnicity reporting- still a long way to go?

12th November 2021

By Stacey Jennings, PhD student from Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Stacey is working on the Alcohol and Ethnicity study as part of her PhD (www.alcoholandethnicity.com).

In this blog post, Stacey Jennings discusses the need to properly assess and address ethnicity in alcohol research, highlighting that we must improve representation of ethnic minorities across inclusion, reporting, and analysis. This is part one of two SHAAP blog posts on alcohol and ethnicity.

Keeping an eye on the ball – alcohol marketing and sports sponsorship

Keeping an eye on the ball – alcohol marketing and sports sponsorship

5th October 2021

By Dr Sheila Gilheany, CEO, Alcohol Action Ireland

In this blog post, Dr Sheila Gilheany discusses a recent report on alcohol marketing in the 2020 Six Nations Championship prepared for SHAAP, the Institute of Alcohol Studies and Alcohol Action Ireland by the Institute for Social Marketing and Health, University of Stirling. Dr Gilheany then describes the soon to be implemented legislation on alcohol advertising and sponsorship in Ireland; the importance of marketing to Big Alcohol; and asks "What next for alcohol policy in Scotland?".

Care and treatment for people with alcohol-related brain damage: a matter of human rights

Care and treatment for people with alcohol-related brain damage: a matter of human rights

23rd September 2021

By Julie Paterson, chief executive, and Dr Lisa Schölin, researcher, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

Alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) is a condition caused by prolonged, chronic alcohol use. It can impact many, if not all, aspects of a person’s life. In this blog post, Julie Paterson and Dr Lisa Schölin discuss findings from a recent report by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland – a statutory organisation which protects and promotes the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disability, dementia and related conditions. The report looked at rights and treatment of people with ARBD in Scotland as part of the Commission’s task of visiting people subject to welfare guardianship orders to make sure their rights are respected.

Myths, Lockdowns, Curfews & Bans: Alcohol consumption & harms during COVID-19

Myths, Lockdowns, Curfews & Bans: Alcohol consumption & harms during COVID-19

2nd September 2021

By Yvette Mojica-Perez (PhD student, La Trobe University) and Dr. Claire Wilkinson (Senior Research Fellow, University of New South Wales)

Last month the International Confederation of ATOD Research Associations (ICARA), with the support of SHAAP and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN), held the last of a series of webinars on the impact of COVID-19 on alcohol, tobacco and other drug research and services. Attendees were treated to four fantastic presentations unpacking the impact of the pandemic on alcohol consumption and harms in South Africa (Professor Charles Parry), India (Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni), Australia (Dr. Sarah Callinan) and England and Scotland (Professor Niamh Fitzgerald). Here, we provide a summary of each presentation and then discuss some overarching themes.

New SHAAP Director, Elinor Jayne

New SHAAP Director, Elinor Jayne

9th July 2021

By Elinor Jayne, Director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP).

In her first week in the job, SHAAP's new Director reflects on the interesting yet challenging times ahead as SHAAP continues its work in tackling Scotland's alcohol problem, and supporting recovery.

Men drinking

Men and Alcohol: Hiding in Plain Sight

14th June 2021

By Colin Shevills, Ex-Director of Balance, the North East of England’s alcohol office.

Men continue to drink more and consequently face more alcohol-related harms than women. In this blog post, Colin Shevills discusses men and alcohol, covering male identity, sport, and positive signs that young men are turning away from alcohol. Colin discusses public health responses that will make it easier for men – and indeed for everyone – to make healthier decisions every day.

3 years of MUP in Scotland: promising signs, more to be done

3 years of MUP in Scotland: promising signs, more to be done

30th April 2021

By Dr Alastair MacGilchrist, Chair of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP).

MUP has gained wide acceptance from policy makers and the public. There are encouraging signs of reduced sales and reduced deaths. These improvements are modest, alcohol deaths and harm remains way too high, and in this blog Dr MacGilchrist argues that the MUP level should be raised to 65p per unit without delay.

Developments in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – a UK perspective

Developments in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – a UK perspective

17th March 2021

By Dr Lisa Schölin, public health researcher, formerly Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and member of the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN).

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy, and is thought to be the most common neurodevelopmental condition in Scotland. FASD affects both physical and mental health and can significantly reduce life expectancy. Here, Dr Lisa Schölin from the UK FASD Research Collaboration discusses FASD in the UK with a focus on the Scottish context, including recent research and developments.

Alcohol monopolies

Alcohol monopolies

12th February 2021

By Robin Room, Professor at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Scotland has made progress in reducing harm from alcohol and an important part of that approach has been attention to regulating the price, availability and marketing of alcohol, known as the World Health Organization's ‘Best Buys’. However, the Scottish off-trade alcohol market remains lightly regulated in comparison to many countries. Here, Robin Room discusses international examples of alcohol monopolies.

Residential rehabilitation: powering up in 2021

Residential rehabilitation: powering up in 2021

21st January 2021

By Dr David McCartney (@DocDavidM), Addiction Medicine Specialist, Clinical Lead of LEAP (NHS Lothian) and Chair of the Scottish Government’s Residential Rehabilitation Working Group

“Rehab? What’s the point of it? There’s no evidence that it works. I don’t refer anyone to rehab. Do you?”

The addiction worker was talking to a colleague – another practitioner working in the field. What he didn’t know was that his workmate was in long term recovery from addiction and felt he owed his recovery, at least in part, to his three months in rehab several years before.

When I heard this, my initial response was a tight smile at the irony of the situation. But as the clinical lead of an NHS residential rehabilitation service (LEAP), I also felt frustration at our colleague’s contempt for the option of rehab as a treatment intervention. In practice, his own beliefs would be a barrier to his clients accessing rehab. Our own attitudes can profoundly affect those we have pledged to help.

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