From Alcohol Change UK <[email protected]>
Subject Alcohol Awareness Week, duty reform and much more
Date November 27, 2020 9:00 AM
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Plus your chance to campaign for change.

** Your November newsletter: Alcohol Awareness Week, #DutyToRecover and much more

This month saw the biggest Alcohol Awareness Week yet, on the theme of alcohol and mental health. A huge thank you to everyone who took part! Coming up, we're joining with other organisations to call for alcohol duty reform - and we need your help. More on this below, plus Dry January, our upcoming online conference, exciting new updates to our Try Dry app, and the latest alcohol news.

** #DutyToRecover: help us call for alcohol duty reform

The current UK alcohol duty system is complex, illogical and unfair. Alcohol harm costs the country more than £27 billion every year, but we raise less than half of that - about £12bn a year - in alcohol duty.

Lifting the price of cheap alcohol is a well-evidenced and effective way of reducing harm and strain on public services, and raising more in tax would help pay for the costs of alcohol to these same services: the NHS, police and alcohol treatment services. This is more necessary than ever as government finances face the enormous strain of COVID-19. Find out more ([link removed]) about why the system should change.

We urgently need reform to make sure alcohol duty at least matches the cost of alcohol harm to the NHS and public services.

You can help us in three ways:

1. Take action on Twitter today - Friday 27 November. Please tweet at Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Kemi Badenoch, to show your support for our calls. Tweet with just two taps ([link removed]) .

2. Send a personal message ([link removed]) to the Treasury team to tell them why it’s so important to tackle alcohol harm. Our simple form makes this super quick!

3. Sign up as a campaigner ([link removed]) to support our policy influencing work.

Find out more about the alcohol duty system ([link removed])

** Alcohol Awareness Week – thank you!
Over 4,000 communities, organisations and local places took part in this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week to raise awareness of the links between alcohol and mental health. A huge thank you to everyone who engaged with, shared and got involved with the campaign.

Some of the highlights from the week include:
* New research we commissioned into people’s drinking during lockdown and the impacts on mental health. It found that over half of drinkers (53%) said they have drunk alcohol to try to manage how they were feeling in the past six months. Read more findings. ([link removed])
* We launched a new quiz on our website about alcohol and mental health. Try the quiz. ([link removed])
* We were able to share fascinating blogs, including on the links between alcohol and mental health ([link removed]) , how we can better support those with co-occurring mental health and alcohol problems ([link removed]) , loneliness ([link removed]) , personal stories and more. Check out the Alcohol Awareness Week blog. ([link removed])

If you took part in the campaign and would like to tell us what you did, we’d love to hear from you!

Tell about your Alcohol Awareness Week (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Alcohol%20Awareness%20Week%202020%20)

** Dry January is just around the corner

2020 was… not great. Many of us have spent it stressed out, scared and tired. We’ve found ourselves slipping into habits we wish we could break. It’s no wonder that many of us don’t feel much like ourselves.

That’s where Dry January comes in. 31 days alcohol-free. Your chance for a break. A reset. This isn’t about stopping drinking forever. But it’s about more than January. It’s about you, year-round. It’s about learning that you don’t need alcohol so that for the rest of the year you’ve got a real choice. It’s about making 2021 the best it can be.

Dry January isn’t about giving anything up. It’s about getting something back. Get your fun back. Get your calm back. Get your energy back. Get your YOU back.

Alcohol Change UK is here to help. By downloading our free app ([link removed]) or signing up for coaching emails you double your chance of having a totally alcohol-free month and getting amazing benefits that last.
Running Dry January in your community or workplace? We can send you free digital resources.

Get yours now ([link removed])
You can also buy low-cost printed materials from our shop, including great value bundles.

Visit the shop ([link removed])

** Last chance to get tickets for our online conference
Working with the whole person: alcohol, mental health and complex needs. Wednesday 2 December and Thursday 3 December 2020

Our first ever online, interactive alcohol conference is taking place in less than a week. Alcohol misuse is often just one symptom of the complex challenges someone faces in their life. Such complex needs don’t lend themselves to simple solutions. That’s why we’ve brought together a multidisciplinary slate of academics, practitioners, and people with lived experience, to help us all work towards interventions that support the whole person. Bookings close on 30 November.

Last chance to book your place ([link removed])

** New Try Dry app update: custom goals and more!
Want to set a goal to drink nine units a week and specify which days of the week you drink? You can! Want to stay dry every day but Saturday? You can!

Our new custom goals function is here, letting you set the goals that suit you to help you cut down and manage your drinking. We’ve also made signing up easier, invested in better app hosting (making it less likely you’ll experience downtime) and made more tweaks to improve your experience. If you’ve already got the app, simply update it to see the changes. If not, download it now and see for yourself!

Download the app ([link removed])

** Support us as you do your festive shopping
If you’re going to be buying gifts in the next few weeks, you can do so while supporting Alcohol Change UK at the same time – at no extra cost to you. Doing your shopping through the Give as You Live website ([link removed]) will generate donations for us and help us continue our work to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

Get more fundraising ideas ([link removed])

** Alcohol news

** Drink Wise Age Well launch new helpline
Drink Wise Age Well, an organisation helping people make healthier choices about drinking as they age, launched a new helpline this month. The over 50s alcohol helpline is a free, national helpline running 7 days a week, providing confidential advice, information and support to anyone aged over 50 who may be worried about their drinking.

Find out more ([link removed])

** Stress and anxiety "driving pandemic drinking"
A new survey commissioned by Alcohol Change UK, and published during Alcohol Awareness Week, shows that almost one in three drinkers have been drinking at increasing or high-risk levels over the past six months. Over half of drinkers said they have drunk alcohol for a mental health reason - such as feeling anxious, stressed or worried, having trouble sleeping, or feeling sad or low - at least once in the past six months.

Read more findings ([link removed])

** Concerns raised about over-50s alcohol consumption

More than four million over 50s in the UK are binge drinking at least once a week during lockdown, according to new research from drug, alcohol and mental health charity We Are With You. The survey shows how the necessary restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus may be seriously impacting the drinking habits of older adults in the UK.

Read more ([link removed])

** IAS release new COVID-19 briefing

The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) have released a second briefing on alcohol and COVID-19, warning of the hidden harm from alcohol and the need for further attention to the issue from the UK Government. The briefing highlights that whilst there has been a modest overall decline in sales receipts, this masks important differences between lower risk/non-drinkers and heavier drinkers, many of whom report drinking more.

Download the briefing ([link removed])

** ‘Pocket-money priced alcohol’ harming the nation, study warns

“Pocket money-priced” alcohol is to blame for “colossal” harm on the nation, doctors have warned after new research showed people in England can buy an entire week's worth of alcohol for the price of a takeaway coffee. The analysis by the Alcohol Health Alliance UK said that it is possible to buy 14 units of alcohol for just £2.68 – the price of a coffee in most major high street chains. England is now the only country in the UK without a minimum unit price for alcohol.

Read the report ([link removed])

** Serving and ex-Service personnel “not seeking help” for alcohol problems

A new report from the University of Liverpool and King’s College London shows that more than two thirds of serving and ex-Service personnel who self-reported a current or prior alcohol problem, have not sought help. The report, funded by Forces in Mind Trust, shows that recognition of alcohol misuse problems and help-seeking for self-reported alcohol problems among serving and ex-Service personnel is low, with approximately only half who met the criteria for alcohol misuse recognising they had an alcohol problem.

Read more ([link removed])

** Latest blogs

** Denise's story

Denise shares her story about struggling with alcohol and mental health, and how writing became a therapeutic outlet - later inspiring her award-winning short film.

Read the blog ([link removed])

** John's story

The unexpected death of a drinking buddy inspired John to change his drinking, which had an unexpected positive effect on his mental health. In this blog, he tells his story.

Read the blog ([link removed])


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