Draft Drug and Alcohol Strategy open for feedback

The Scottish Government has published the draft of the drug and alcohol strategy, called All Together Now: our strategy to address the harms of alcohol and drugs in Scotland. The draft strategy is open for comments and feedback by partners and stakeholders, with the deadline of Friday 5 October.

The PDF of the draft strategy and information on how to contribute to the engagement process can be found here.

Call for poster abstracts for the European Alcohol Policy Conference

The European Alcohol Policy Conference, hosted in Edinburgh on 20-21 November 2018, is a great opportunity for SARN members to get involved with researchers, government representatives and third sector organisations from all over Europe. The organisers have announced a call for poster presentations, covering six topics:

  • Justice
  • Health
  • Gender
  • Economics
  • Youth
  • Recovery

How to submit your poster proposal

The deadline for submission of poster proposals is Monday 8 October 2018. Please send your poster proposal to 8eapc@rcpe.ac.uk

You will receive a confirmation email once the document has been received. All notifications of outcome will be sent out by Friday 19 October 2018.


Please submit to us an abstract of a maximum of 300 words, outlining the content of your poster. Please also including a short title, your name, organisation, email address and country. If your poster proposal is accepted, you must register as a conference delegate and do the following:

  • Create and print an A0 size poster based on the accepted abstract
  • Bring your poster to the conference venue (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh) by 19 November 2018
  • During the allocated times specified in the conference agenda, you must remain by your poster to answer questions and engage with delegates

The organisers will present an award certificate and £100 prize for the best poster. If you have any questions, then please get in touch with the organisers.

SHAAP/SARN ‘Alcohol Occasionals’ 2018-2019 – Call for Proposals

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) are pleased to organise the lunchtime ‘Alcohol Occasional’ seminars. These showcase innovative research on alcohol use and provide the chance for researchers, practitioners and policy makers and members of the public to hear and discuss alcohol related topics, over lunch in the historic Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh at 9 Queen Street, Edinburgh.

We are now seeking proposals to deliver seminar presentations during 2018/2019, with a focus specifically on Alcohol and Recovery. We are interested to hear from researchers from any discipline who wish to share their findings with an audience made up of fellow researchers, practitioners, policy makers and the general public. We would particularly welcome presentations from new and early career researchers.

The dates for the 2018/2019 seminars are (all Thursdays): 25th October and 6th December 2018; 17th January, 7th March, 25th April and 23rd May 2019.

If you are interested in presenting your research, please email us at shaap@rcpe.ac.uk  with a short proposal (max. 300 words) and an indication of your availability. Closing date for submissions: Friday 31st August 2018.

Gender and alcohol in focus during Glasgow Caledonian University’s Research Week

The Glasgow Caledonian University Research Week took place between 14th and 19th of June, which focused on research that has the potential to make significant changes in the world and address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of this focus, and addressing Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being), an event on alcohol and gender, entitled “Women, Men and Alcohol – Exploding the Myths” was organised by SARN members Dr Carol Emslie and Dr Justina Murray, on 18th June.

The event demonstrated why gender is important in understanding drinking, alcohol-related harm, recovery and family support. Speakers explored the double standards which are applied to men and women’s drinking, the ways in which alcohol marketing targets men and women, and why gender matters in terms of family support and recovery.  This session was led by the Substance Use and Misuse research group at Glasgow Caledonian University and Scottish Families affected by Alcohol an Drugs, and included expert input from Alcohol Focus Scotland, and families who have been affected by substance use.  Comments from those who attended:

“The gender issue for family support is more around getting men in the door – and maybe returning”

“Men are vulnerable through alcohol as well, but media focuses on women”

“We don’t always need to separate the genders – common message (e.g. safety) are important”

“Marketing play on male and female stereotypes to encourage drinking”


Dr Carol Emslie leads the Substance Use & Misuse research group at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her work focuses on gender and drinking across the lifecourse. Recent research involved an analysis of newspaper representations of men and women’s ‘binge’ drinking, an exploration of drinking in midlife and the social context of drinking in LGBT communities. The Substance Use & Misuse Research Group works closely with the third sector and engages extensively with practitioners, policy makers, and the public through blogs and social media (@SubMisuseGcu has > 2100 followers), and presentations at public events and the Scottish Parliament.

Dr Justina Murray (@ceosfad) leads Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, which has an ongoing commitment to recognise and support families affected by someone’s substance use.  She has a strong background in research, policy and partnership working, having previously held roles as Chief Officer of South West Scotland Community Justice Authority, Community Planning Coordinator for the North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership and the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust in New Zealand.