From Alcohol Change UK <[email protected]>
Subject Support our submission to the Women's Health Strategy
Date May 28, 2021 8:00 AM
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** Welcome to the May newsletter from Alcohol Change UK
In this month’s newsletter, we’re inviting you to tell the government to focus on alcohol harm in their new Women’s Health Strategy consultation. Make your voice heard by supporting our submission or making your own – find out more about this below.

Also this month, apply for National Institute for Health Research’s call for applications for a research project or projects to increase the understanding of three cohorts of substance users not in contact with treatment services, read more about our search for freelance training associates, the latest alcohol news, and more.

** Tell the government to focus on alcohol harm in the Women's Health Strategy

The government is inviting people in England to tell them what should be included in the first ever Women's Health Strategy - so now is the time to make sure alcohol is included.

Alcohol has significant effects on women’s health. It increases the risk of breast cancer, affects fertility, and can cause pregnancy loss and harm to an unborn foetus. Evidence suggests that women may face greater risks than men as a result of alcohol, even at lower consumption levels.

There are two ways you can help.
1. Support our submission. Send us a short statement ([link removed]) to include in our submission to the Government's consultation. You could share why action on alcohol harm is important to you – for example your personal experience of alcohol harm, or the experience of a loved one. You can do this anonymously if you wish. Deadline: Monday 7 June.
2. Make your own submission. If you would like, you can make a submission directly to the consultation - it's open to everyone in England aged 16 and over. You can do so here. ([link removed]) When given the option, make sure you select the topic ‘Health themes’ - then you can choose ‘Alcohol, drugs and addiction’ as one of your priorities. There are other optional sections where you can describe the impact alcohol has on women’s health, including your personal experience. Deadline: 13 June.

** Alcohol Awareness Week – time to begin planning

Research shows that many of us have found ourselves drinking more to deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation during the pandemic. As we leave lockdown and return to normal life there will be new pressures too – pressures to drink, pressures we put on ourselves to get back to ‘normal’ socialising.

This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week, which takes place from 15-21 November, will be on the theme of ‘Alcohol and relationships’. We’ll be looking at the ways in which alcohol can affect our relationships and sharing stories, factsheets, tips and more.

We would love all of our partners across the UK to join us for this year’s campaign and there are many ways for you to do so, including:
* Helping us spread the word by tweeting today ([link removed]) .
* Sharing a blog. If you have a perspective on the issues around alcohol and relationships, we would love to hear from you. You can share your story here ([link removed]) , or email us at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
* Organising a community or workplace event. Take inspiration from some of the 2019 events in this blog. ([link removed])

Sign up to our mailing list to stay in touch about this year’s campaign.

Sign up now ([link removed])

** Rebuild and recover: Alcohol Change UK’s 2021 online conference

On 22 and 23 September we’ll be bringing you an online conference that puts alcohol in context: an opportunity to reflect on the reasons people drink, and the many routes to harm reduction and recovery for a diverse population. Across the two days, we’ll be seeking to learn lessons from the lockdown and understand how best to respond to the challenges of the post-pandemic world. Speakers include:
* Dr Lee Hogan and members of Moving On In My Recovery, on providing peer support in the pandemic
* Justina Murray of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, on supporting the families of drinkers through lockdown and beyond
* Dr Emmert Roberts, on what can we learn about alcohol harm reduction from the hotel-based emergency housing programme
* Author Millie Gooch, on changing how we think about not drinking
* Community development expert Cormac Russell, on remaking connections post-Covid-19.

Find out more and book your place ([link removed])

** Moving On In My Recovery
We’re delighted to share the findings from a new study led by Dr Lee Hogan from Bangor University and funded by us on the Moving On In My Recovery (MOIMR) programme. ([link removed])

MOIMR is an acceptance-based cognitive behavioural group programme which aims to bridge the gap between formal treatment and mutual aid. It is targeted at people who have already achieved abstinence through attending treatment services but are now looking for support to maintain that abstinence and have the best possible chances for long-term recovery. The findings highlight the importance of seeing recovery as a long-term journey and the need for continued support.

Read the findings ([link removed])

** National Institute for Health Research call for applications
The NIHR has opened a call for applications for a research project or projects to increase the understanding of three cohorts of substance users not in contact with treatment services: dependent alcohol users, crack users and opiate users. The deadline is 15 June.

If you intend to apply and would like to discuss any aspect of your application with Alcohol Change UK, please contact Lucy Holmes, Director of Research and Policy, at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

Find out more and apply ([link removed])

** Freelance training associates
Alcohol Change UK’s Training and Consultancy team is seeking to recruit training professionals with experience of delivering training on alcohol harm to workplaces, and also training professionals with experience of delivering training to support practitioners and volunteers working with change-resistant drinkers.

To apply, send your CV and a covering letter to [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) before 30 June.

** Alcohol news

** Alcohol deaths “highest for 20 years” in England and Wales

Alcohol killed more people in 2020 in England and Wales than in any of the previous 20 years, new data shows. There were 7,423 deaths from alcohol misuse last year – 20% higher than 2019, the Office for National Statistics says. Deaths increased from March 2020 onwards when the UK's coronavirus epidemic resulted in the first national lockdown. Most deaths were related to long-term drinking problems and alcohol dependency.

Read our response ([link removed])

** UK study warns “no safe level of alcohol for brain health”
There is no safe amount of alcohol consumption for the brain, with even moderate drinking adversely affecting nearly every part of it, according to study of more than 25,000 people in the UK. The study, which is still to be peer-reviewed, found that people with higher blood pressure and BMI, as well as those “binge drinking”, may be at increased risk of alcohol-related brain damage.

Read the study ([link removed])

** Ireland to push ahead with minimum alcohol pricing

The Republic of Ireland's cabinet has signed off on plans for alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP). The measure will come into effect on 1 January 2022. The charity Alcohol Action Ireland said that MUP "will make a significant contribution to the public policy objective of reducing alcohol harm in Ireland and lowering alcohol use to a 2013 target of 9.1 litres per capita".

Read more ([link removed])

** Latest blogs

** Alcohol and the Army: failing, learning, winning

In this Sober Spring blog, Rob Page shares his experience of alcohol in the Army, what positive changes have been made, and what changes he would like to see in the future.

Read the blog ([link removed])

** Sarah-Jane’s story: my uncle Nick

Sarah-Jane’s uncle, Nick, passed away in 2020 after struggling with his drinking for many years. Here, she shares his story and the impact his drinking had on her and her family.

Read the blog ([link removed])


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