Rural Matters - Understanding alcohol use in rural Scotland: Findings from a qualitative research study

Rural Matters - Understanding alcohol use in rural Scotland: Findings from a qualitative research study

This project 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. Recommendations have been developed from this evidence for research, policy and practice, in order to prevent alcohol harms and improve support.

Recommendations from the report include:

  • Ensuring that the stated intention of the 2020 National Transport Strategy, "Minimising the connectivity and cost disadvantages faced by island communities and those in remote and rural areas" is prioritised, addressing the barrier of inaccessibility described by participants (Transport Scotland, 2020).
  • Ensuring that Scotland's 2017 R100 strategy to deliver superfast broadband to all homes and businesses including in remote and rural areas is prioritised.
  • Resourcing services to conduct assertive outreach, recognising that this may be challenging in some areas due to distances and stigma. This includes proactively taking care to patients, following up with patients who drop out of services and removing punitive measures such as witholding services if a patient misses appointments.
  • Ensuring adequate provision of training, education and networking opportunities for service providers and healthcare professionals on trauma-informed approaches, avoiding stigma, support for people with alcohol problems and their families, and information on available services and support.
  • Actively encouraging support for and investment in social spaces that do not provide or market alcohol. These spaces could include sports clubs, community centres/hubs, cafes, leisure centres, etc.
  • In reviewing licensing regulations, ensure that the particular needs of rurality are addressed, including the consideration of how online and telephone purchasing should be regulated.
  • Ensuring that funding is allocated to visible recovery groups in order to increase the varieties of activites and events they may offer.
File Name: SHAAP Rural Matters Report.pdf
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Created Date: 23rd Sep 2020
Last Updated: 23rd Sep 2020