Salvation Army & The University of Stirling

Recently, the University of Stirling announced the launch of a new centre in conjunction with the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research has been established to take forward the Salvation Army (TSA) Drug and Alcohol Strategy (SDAS) through collaborative working between TSA and the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Stirling. Dr Tessa Parkes, Centre Director, is joined by Dr Hannah Carver (Knowledge Exchange Fellow), Marcus Cusack (Knowledge Exchange Assistant) and Dr Maria Fotopoulou (Lecturer in Criminology). Within the Centre, the University of Stirling will deliver the following:

  • New, interdisciplinary research on addictions and on interventions that can prevent related problems for individuals, families and communities;
  • Research on the impact of TSA services;
  • Research synthesis through literature reviews, practice reviews and knowledge exchange activities;
  • Dissemination of new and synthesized research through publication, including on-line publication;
  • Policy analysis and policy briefing to inform the work of the Salvation Army;
  • Education through accredited university programmes;
  • Training for front line Salvation Army workers through cascaded training, short courses, workshops and stand-alone accredited modules.

You will be able to hear much more about the centre at the next SARN meeting which will take place between 10am-1pm on Monday the 22nd of May at the University of Stirling.

October 2016: The Verdict is in on Minimum Unit Pricing

Thanks to the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Research for the following press release:

Health professions welcome Court of Session ruling on Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland
Scotland’s doctors and health professionals have welcomed the Court of Session’s final decision today that the Scottish Government’s Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy is legal.
SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems), representing the Scottish medical professions, has argued the case for MUP for almost a decade.
The Scottish Government passed legislation to set a minimum price for alcohol in April 2012, with no opposition in Parliament, but the implementation of the law has been delayed by legal challenges here and in Europe by a consortium of global alcohol producers, fronted by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
International bodies, including the World Health Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, have consistently supported price controls, including MUP as effective tools to reduce alcohol-related harms, saving lives and reducing costs to public services.
Off-sales and supermarket alcohol prices in Scotland are at historically low prices. A recent report from the UK’s Alcohol Health Alliance Cheap alcohol: the price we pay”, found that alcohol can be purchased for as little as 18p per unit in Scotland (3L ‘White Ace’ cider). The average child’s weekly pocket money of £5.75 can buy more than double the Chief Medical Officer’s weekly recommended adult limit (14 units) of alcohol.
Twenty-two Scots die every week because of alcohol. Twenty-two avoidable deaths.
Dr Peter Rice, SHAAP Chair, said:
“As the heaviest drinkers in Scotland have switched from drinking in pubs to drinking at home, and from whisky and beer to vodka and strong cider, doctors and health professionals have seen the impact on our patients.
“We are satisfied that the Scottish courts have concluded that MUP is legal, as we have argued for many years, and we now call for it to be implemented without delay.
“During the years when the SWA and its backers have prevented implementation, front line staff have seen hundreds of deaths and thousands of lives damaged. Much of this harm would have been avoided if MUP had been in place.
“We now call for the SWA to step aside and allow this life saving measure to go ahead.”
Eric Carlin, SHAAP Director, said:
“We welcome the ruling today and call on the Scottish Government to implement the legislation as a matter of urgency,
“The global alcohol industry’s actions in Scotland have delayed a measure that could have significantly reduced alcohol-related harm and saved thousands of lives over the last four years.
“This was never about Scotch Whisky; so-called ‘quality’ whisky brands are unaffected by MUP. 
“We now urge the Scotch Whisky Association to respect the decision of the Scottish court and consider this matter closed.”


Call for Papers for Alcohol Workshop, 20th January 2017. Advancing theory and understanding of risky drinking behaviour: Insights from alcohol warning messages

Advancing theory and understanding of risky drinking behaviour: Insights from alcohol warning messages

As part of a British Academy funded research project on alcohol warning labels Bangor University are running a one-day free workshop aimed at researchers, practitioners, and policy makers on the topic of alcohol warning messages. 

The British Academy funded Alcohol Workshop will be held on the 20th January 2017 in Chester, UK. The event is a free one-day workshop aimed at researchers, practitioners, policy makers and PhD students on the topic of alcohol messages.

You can submit a paper for the workshop until 5pm on the 15th November. More information can be found here.

Please get in-touch with if you have any questions about the workshop.

October 2016: Congratulations to Hannah Carver on her recent publication!

Hannah Carver, PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University and member of SARN, has recently published a paper entitled: Parent-Child connectedness and communication in relation to alcohol, tobacco and drug use in adolescence: An integrative review of the literature.


Previous reviews have highlighted parent–child connectedness and communication as important protective factors against adolescent substance use. However, these reviews focus on single substances such as alcohol. An integrative review of the literature was conducted to examine which elements of parent–child connectedness and substance-use specific communication are effective across adolescent alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Forty-two English language, peer reviewed articles were reviewed. Open communication occurs within the context of high connectedness between parents and their children. Conversations about health risks are associated with lower levels of substance use while more frequent conversations, those about parents’ own use, permissive messages and consequences of use are associated with higher levels of use. There are disparities regarding conversations about use of each substance: alcohol and tobacco are easier topics of conversation while drug use is rarely discussed. Parental alcohol and tobacco use can influence the credibility of their communication with their child. Parents should be encouraged to have open, constructive, credible, two-sided conversations with their adolescents about substance use. Interventions to improve parents’ communication skills around substance use, particularly drug use, should include the types of approaches and messages highlighted in this review, and, where possible, these interventions should include all family members.

The full text can be found here.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to get in touch with Hannah via e-mail. All correspondence can be sent to>



Alcohol Occasional Programme 2016/2017

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) are pleased to announce our programme for 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.

The theme for this seminar series, from October 2016, is ‘Alcohol and Health Inequalities’. This series of presentations will provide insights and stimulate discussion about alcohol and health inequalities in different contexts, drawing on a range of disciplines and opening up debate about implications for policy and practice. Following the seminars, SHAAP will produce briefing papers, which will aim to capture the main themes and to communicate these to a wider audience. You can access reports from previous seminars here.

All of the Alcohol Occasional seminars will be run in conjunction with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and will take place from 12.30 – 14.00 at their historic premises at 9 Queen Street Edinburgh, EH2 1JQ. Lunch will be provided free of charge.

Thursday, 13th October 2016 Dr Katherine Smith, Global Public Health Unit, The University of Edinburgh Tackling Health Inequalities in Scotland & Implications for Alcohol Policy
Monday, 5th December 2016 Dr S Vittal Katikireddi, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow Does harm from drinking differ by socioeconomic status? Exploring the alcohol harms paradox
Tuesday 24th January 2017 Oceana Maund and Vic Valentine, Scottish Transgender Alliance How inclusive are we? A trans perspective on alcohol and drug services in Scotland
Thursday 27th February 2017 Neil Martin, Research and Information Manager, Balance, the North East Alcohol Office Alcohol admissions and health inequalities: is the tide finally turning?
Monday 13th March 2017 Dr Lesley Graham, Clinical Lead for Alcohol, Drugs and Health in Justice Settings, ISD Scotland Alcohol problems in criminal justice settings: an opportunity not to be missed
Thursday 11th May 2017 Dr Andrew Symon, Senior Lecturer, Mother and Infant Research Unit, University of Dundee Drinking in pregnancy: a comparison between areas of high and low deprivation in Scotland
Wednesday 14th June 2017 Dr Catherine Chiang, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Alcohol Deaths in Glasgow 2010.  Has Service Redesign had an Impact?


Important: These events are popular and places are limited. We need you to confirm if you would like to attend these events. You can register via EventBrite by clicking on the title of the event(s) you wish to attend. If you have not booked, you will not have a place.