From Alcohol Change UK <[email protected]>
Subject How can we better protect vulnerable dependent drinkers?
Date September 30, 2021 7:59 AM
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Read our new briefing and accompanying blog, and more, in this month’s newsletter!

** Welcome to our September newsletter
This month our team in Wales held our online Rebuild and recover conference, which was a great success! We heard presentations from many interesting speakers, covering topics such as providing peer support during the pandemic, supporting the families of heavy drinkers during lockdown, and how to address alcohol issues in communities where drinking is taboo. We’ll be making the presentations available for purchase on our website ([link removed]) soon.

Also this month, we launched our briefing on safeguarding vulnerable dependent drinkers. This document aims to enable professionals in England and Wales to use legal frameworks to manage and protect vulnerable dependent drinkers. Read on to find out more about this, as well as updates about Alcohol Awareness Week, upcoming fundraising events, the latest alcohol news, blogs and more.

** How to use legal powers to safeguard highly vulnerable dependent drinkers
Over the past 18 months, we have been working with our consultant Mike Ward and Professor Michael Preston-Shoot, and a network of local authorities and alcohol agencies across England and Wales, to develop a briefing on safeguarding vulnerable dependent drinkers. The briefing aims to enable professionals in England and Wales to use legal frameworks to manage and protect vulnerable dependent drinkers.

This guide is an important missing piece in the jigsaw of care for this complex group of people. Its central focus is on the main legal powers which can protect vulnerable dependent drinkers, and how these can be used to best effect: the Care Act (England), the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales), the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act. It also focuses on a handful of other relevant powers such as the 2014 Anti-social Behaviour Act and the Human Rights Act.

Our Director for Wales, Andrew Misell, has written about the briefing in this blog ([link removed]) .

Read the briefing ([link removed])

** Get ready for Alcohol Awareness Week!

This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week is taking place from 15-21 November, on the theme of ‘Alcohol and relationships’. Figures from Public Health England show alcoholic liver deaths have increased by an unprecedented 21% during the pandemic, and there's been a 58.6% increase in people reporting drinking at increasing or higher-risk levels.

With so many people drinking more heavily and at risk of serious mental and physical harm, this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week offers a great opportunity to get people thinking and talking about their drinking. We’ll be sharing stories, factsheets, tips and more to help us better understand the ways in which alcohol can affect us and our relationships with those around us, and the benefits of cutting down.

Want to get involved?
* Sign up to the mailing list ([link removed])
* Organise an event in your community or workplace ([link removed])
* Share a story ([link removed]) - if you have a perspective on the issues around alcohol and relationships, we would love to hear from you.
* Spread the word on social media ([link removed])

** Invitation to tender: Exploring the barriers to engaging with our behaviour change campaigns - deadline approaching soon
We are delighted to announce that we have a new invitation to tender open for a research project that will help us to better understand the barriers people face to taking up our Dry January offer and, more broadly, when trying to make positive changes to their drinking, and how such barriers might be overcome. The project should not merely comprise an examination of what people may or may not find appealing about our Dry January offer, but much deeper considerations about some of the things that may be preventing people from changing, or trying to change, their drinking behaviour. The deadline is 9am, 11 October 2021.

Find out more ([link removed])

** Take on a running fundraising challenge!
Now that events are back on following lots of delays and cancellations, we’re looking for people to dust off their running shoes and fundraise this autumn and winter! If you’re into running or would like to do more of it – whether that be a 5k, an ultra-marathon, or something in between, we’d love to hear from you. We have places for lots of events, taking place all over the country! Some of the challenges include:
* Newport 10k – 24 October 2021
* Reading half marathon – 7 November 2021
* Crystal Palace 5/10/20k – 12 December 2021
* Goodwood motor circuit half/marathon – 13 February 2021
* Cardiff half – 27 March 2021
* Brighton marathon – 10 April 2022

To find out more, or to see if there’s a run (or another challenge event) closer to you, get in touch with the fundraising team – they’re always happy to help!

Contact the fundraising team (mailto:[email protected])

** Alcohol news

** More than a fifth of adults drank more during pandemic

The UK Drug and Alcohol Survey 2021 report, published last month, has revealed that 22% of adults in Britain increased their alcohol consumption during the pandemic. The biggest pandemic drinking increase was found in those aged 18-24, with almost a third (32%) saying they had started drinking more in the past year when compared to the previous year. Overall, 49% of UK residents said they had consumed alcohol in the last twelve months.

Read the report ([link removed])

** World Health Organisation says thousands of cancer deaths could be avoided by doubling alcohol duty
Around 5000 alcohol-related cancer deaths could be prevented every year by doubling alcohol taxes in the European Region, the WHO/Europe has said. The study ‘Modelling the impact of increased alcohol taxation on alcohol-attributable cancers in the WHO European Region’ reports that the UK could avoid 10.9% of new cancer cases and 10.9% of avoidable deaths.

Read more ([link removed])

** ‘Alcoholic’ language puts many heavy drinkers off cutting down

New research has found that heavy drinkers may be less likely to make changes to their drinking if they think about it in terms of ‘alcoholism’. The study found that problems affect a far broader spectrum of people who experience harm from drinking, but don’t recognise the damage to their health because they are not ‘alcoholics’. It calls for policymakers, clinicians, media and the public to avoid using language such as ‘alcoholic’ and ‘alcoholism’ and use more neutral and person-first language such as ‘problem drinking’ and ‘person with an alcohol use disorder’.

Read more ([link removed])

** Drink-driving injuries and deaths rising
The number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in drink-driving crashes rose to an eight-year high in 2019, according to new figures published by the Department for Transport. 2,050 people were involved in KSI accidents where at least one of the drivers was above the alcohol limit, 8% up on the prior year and the highest level since 2011.

Access the data ([link removed])

** Latest blogs

** Jimmy's story: experiences of a plumber

Master plumber Jimmy shares his experiences of the impact alcohol consumption can have on people's health and safety on construction sites, and calls for change.

Read the blog ([link removed])

** Henry’s story: going alcohol-free during lockdown

Henry explains his reasons for going alcohol-free, his love of beer, and how lockdown helped him on his quest to find the best low and no-alcohol alternatives.

Read the blog ([link removed])


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