New Video from Glasgow Caledonian’s Substance Use and Misuse Team

The Substance Use and Misuse Research Group at Glasgow Caledonian University has recently released a video to highlight some of  the current research interests of the group.

The research group, led by Dr. Carol Emslie, aims to understand the social context of substance use and develop interventions to reduce harm. Areas of interest include but are not limited to: gender and alcohol consumption across the lifecourse, alcohol-related violence, smoking cessation, substance dependence and stigma, exploring and reducing inequalities in substance use, and substance use, media and subculture.

If you would like further information about the research being undertaken by members of the Substance Use and Misuse group please have a look at their website and/or twitter feed. Alternatively, you can contact Carol.Emslie@gcu.ac.uk.

New support for Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing.

Thank you to Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) for the following article.

Scottish Health Professionals welcome new report from Edinburgh University Law School, backing Scottish Government’s Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing case

As the Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) court case returns to the Court of Session on 7 and 8 July, SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) welcomes a new academic study which strongly supports the moral and legal validity of this Public Health measure.

 The new study, by Dr Arianna Andreangeli, Making markets work in the interest of public health: the case of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012, draws on the experience of a number of Canadian provinces that show that minimum unit pricing may well be the most effective tool to address the health-related and social ills arising from alcohol consumption.

Dr Andreangeli calls on the Scottish Court of Session to be “courageous” and…’to embrace the “brave new world” of price controls as tools of “genuine” public interest regulation. The Scottish Government’s legislation continues to be blocked by a consortium of global alcohol producers, fronted by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Dr Andreangeli asserts that the SWA case, ‘pits the demands of free, competitive and efficient markets against the protection of high levels of public health in light of the needs of Scotland’s population’.

The author ‘strongly suggests’ that:

“minimum pricing rules, compared with other price-based policy tools, may be more effective in achieving the reduction of demand- and, consequently, of alcohol-related health and social damage, especially among disadvantaged layers of the Scottish population.”

Dr Andreangeli argues that experience in Canada has shown that Minimum Unit Pricing legislation has had direct effects on alcohol-related mortality: in British Columbia, in the years between 2002 and 2009, a generalised increase in the minimum price by 1% was estimated to lead to an immediate, substantial and significant reduction in “wholly alcohol-attributable” deaths–i.e. deaths that find their “underlying cause” in the alcohol consumption–of 3%.  The same study highlighted an immediate reduction of mortality of 35.25% overall as a result of an increase by 10% on the price of spirits and a lagged reduction in years 1 and 2 following the same increase in the price for cider and coolers (i.e. mixed drinks).

Eric Carlin, Director of SHAAP, said:

“The MUP legislation has not been implemented because of the ongoing legal challenge by global producers, led by the SWA, prioritising profits over health. This new research provides important additional support for the Scottish Government’s case.

“Twenty-two people die every week in Scotland because of alcohol. The Scottish medical professions have to deal with the harms caused by cheap, strong alcohol, sold for as little as 18p per unit, which devastates the lives of individuals, families and communities.

“I hope that the Court of Session will make its decision, in favour of MUP, wisely and swiftly, in the interests of the people, reducing the burden on GPs, hospital and emergency services and the distress and harms caused to Scottish people.”

 About SHAAP

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) provides the authoritative medical and clinical voice on the need to reduce the impact of alcohol related harm on the health and wellbeing of people in Scotland and the evidence-based approaches to achieve this. As a partnership, it is governed by an Executive Committee made up of members of the Royal Colleges.

For further information and comment contact:

Eric Carlin (Director) SHAAP: 0750 5081784 and shaap.director@rcpe.ac.uk

Alcohol Occasionals: Call for Proposals

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) are pleased to announce a Call for Proposals to present at our 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 in Queen Street, Edinburgh.

The theme for our forthcoming seminar series, from October 2016, is ‘Alcohol and Health Inequalities’. We’re particularly interested in presentations which provide insights and can stimulate discussion about alcohol and its impact on health inequalities in several 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.

The 2016-2017 seminars will take place from 12.30–14.00 on the following dates
13th October 2016 • 6th December 2016 • 24th January 2017 • 13th March 2017 • 11th May 2017 • 14th June 2017.

If you are interested in presenting your work, please email Eric Carlin, SHAAP Director, at shaap.director@rcpe.ac.uk by 22nd August 2016 with a proposal of no more than 300 words.

University College London Release APP to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

University College London have released an APP to help Iphone users curb their alcohol consumption. The Drink Less APP allows people to keep track of how much they drink, set goals to drink less, get feedback, and access unique and fun ways of changing attitudes towards alcohol.

The APP allows you to:
– Keep track of your drinking and see how it changes over time
– Set goals for the targets that matter to you and get feedback on your progress towards them
– Complete a daily mood diary so you can better understand the effects of your hangover
– Play games designed to strengthen your resolve to drink less alcohol
– Create plans for dealing with situations when you may be tempted to drink excessively
– Take part in exercises designed to change your relationship with alcohol

The Drink Less APP has been created by a team of psychologists at University College London who are researching what techniques help people reduce their consumption of alcohol. The app can be used fully without taking part in their study and there is an option to opt-out of it at any time.

If you are 18> and have access to an Iphone then please consider downloading the APP. Participation will help the researchers to understand what works to reduce alcohol consumption.

You can get more information or download the APP here.

 

The Telegraph, 12th May: For the first time this century, we are drinking less alcohol

Thanks to SHAAP for their weekly media monitoring.
This article was taken from The Telegraph 11th May

Global alcohol consumption has declined for the first time this century amid the slump in oil and commodity prices, currency volatility and economic headwinds in China.

The volume of alcoholic beverages drunk in 2015 fell by 0.7pc to 248bn litres as the worldwide population imbibed 1.7bn litres less than the year before, according to Euromonitor International.

This follows an increase of 0.2pc between 2013 and 2014 and is the first decline since Euromonitor started tracking this data in 2001.

China recorded a 3.5pc decline amid economic difficulties and a clampdown in extravagant lifestyles.

The Asian powerhouse is the world’s biggest alcohol market, at almost twice the size of the US, and accounts for around a quarter of global consumption.

China’s growth slowed last month to its weakest pace since the financial crisis and Shanghai stocks continue to languish far below pre-summer sell-off levels.

Alcohol consumption in Russia and Ukraine fell by 8pc and 17pc respectively as political tensions, economic sanctions and tumbling oil prices took their toll on the countries’ economies.

“While terms such as authenticity and craftsmanship are losing traction, the trajectories of sophistication, moderation, perceived exotic credentials, accessibility and aspirational attributes remain the key driving forces fuelling pockets of buoyancy,” said Spiros Malandrakis, senior alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor.

“Premium English gin, Irish and Japanese whiskey and dark and non-alcoholic beer are the flag bearers of growth and it is no coincidence that those also happen to be the segments gaining further momentum with the ever-important millennial demographic in mature western markets.”

Euromonitor expects alcohol consumption to recover this year, rising by 1.3pc to 251.3bn litres.

Russia’s shrinking alcohol market spelt bad news for vodka, which relies on Russia for around a third of its global sales.

Globally, vodka and rum were among the worst performers, while tequila and bourbon remained at healthy levels and a resurgence in cognac helped boost the spirits sector by 0.8pc.

Cider consumption jumped by 4.5pc although beer lost 1.3pc as young consumers turned to “aspirational” and “exotic” alternatives