On Wednesday 9th September 2020, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) held an online launch event for the publication of our final Men and Alcohol report: Men and Alcohol: Key Issues. The event was extremely well attended, and featured cameos by previous speakers from the highly successful 2019/2020 SHAAP/IAS Men and Alcohol seminar series.

The Men and Alcohol: Key Issues report summarises the contributions and key findings from the 2019/2020 SHAAP/IAS 'Men and Alcohol' seminar series, and makes clear recommendations for research, policy and practice.

It finds that alcohol consumption is intimately tied to male identity in the UK, often in ways that intersect with issues of culture, class and race. It also explores how alcohol-related harms, both mental and physical, remain a significant issue for men in Scotland and the rest of the UK, with men less likely to seek help for mental problems. The report argues that, in order to reduce alcohol-related harm among men we first need to address the stigma around seeking help for both alcohol and mental health problems, and address social and economic inequality.

Key recommendations for addressing alcohol-related harm among men in the UK from the report are:

  • to strengthen restrictions on alcohol availability;
  • to enforce bans on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion;
  • to raise alcohol taxes via taxation and pricing policies, and in Scotland to undertake a review of minimum unit pricing linked to affordability;
  • to invest in youth services and provide activities for young people to learn skills, develop relationships and have fun in alcohol-free environments;
  • for all services to be joined-up, trauma-informed and exercising professional optimism, and
  • for services to be guided by the expertise of individuals with lived experience, initiating peer-led support to reduce the stigma of seeking help.

The publication of the report was covered in various media, including the Scotsman and STV, and our Chair, Dr Peter Rice, was interviewed by John Beattie on the BBC Radio Scotland drivetime show.