Monthly newsletter from Alcohol Focus Scotland

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eFocus - July 2015

Evelyn Gillan
Our chief executive, Dr Evelyn Gillan, passed away on Tuesday 14 July 2015 after a short illness. Evelyn was an inspirational woman and public health advocate who was hugely respected both here in Scotland and by colleagues internationally. Her enthusiasm, leadership, energy and passion to change the world for the better were evident to all who had the privilege to know and work with her. She will be deeply missed by us all.

Read Lesley Riddoch's tribute to Evelyn in the Herald

Most Britons harmed by others' drinking

More than half of Scots and three quarters of people in the North West of England are harmed by another person's drinking, according to a new report, Alcohol's Harm to Others. Most people reported experiencing multiple types of alcohol-related harm including being harassed or insulted in the street, feeling unsafe in a public place, being kept awake at night, and being sexually harassed. The report highlights government figures that estimate alcohol's harm to others costs the UK economy over £15bn a year. It concludes that more must be done to raise awareness and address harm to others.
Video of key findings


Over half a million ABIs delivered since 2008
Over 569,000 Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABIs) have been delivered to help people in Scotland cut down on their drinking, potentially reducing the need for more costly alcohol treatments later on. For 2015/16 the Scottish Government is doubling the capacity to deliver ABIs in wider settings such as mental health and criminal justice, to increase coverage of harder to reach groups and support a focus on deprived communities. Read more
Licensing toolkit for community members
AFS is developing a national toolkit for members of the public to support their involvement in the licensing process. The toolkit will explain how the licensing process works and how local community members can seek to influence local licensing issues, including providing evidence to inform local policy and objecting to/making representations on licensing applications. The toolkit will be trialled with local community groups before being made available on our website in the autumn. 
Harmful drinking among middle class over 50s
People over 50 who are healthy, active, sociable and highly educated are more at risk of harmful drinking than their less well-off peers. The Age UK study of more than 9,000 people concluded that the over 50s should be targeted with explicit age-specific guidelines on alcohol consumption. Read more
Substance misuse in older people: an information guide
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published a comprehensive guide to the assessment, treatment and care of older people with substance misuse problems. Download guide
Plans unveiled for 50p minimum unit price in Wales
Wales is following Scotland's lead with plans to introduce a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. The Welsh government estimates that minimum pricing would lead to 50 fewer deaths a year and help prevent 1,400 hospital admissions. Read more Meanwhile, the publication of Ireland's Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which includes plans to introduce minimum pricing, has been delayed until the autumn.

Call for new EU Alcohol Strategy
A group of MEPs have sent an open letter to the European Commission President expressing their concern about the decision not to proceed with a new European alcohol strategy. The letter states that "...they are alarmed by the lack of an effective or ambitious EU policy on alcohol and by the recent collective resignations of public health organisations from the EU Alcohol and Health Forum".  
AFS response to Lobbying Transparency Bill
AFS has responded to the Scottish Government's consultation on the Lobbying Transparency Bill, highlighting that while we support a statutory lobbying register in Scotland, we are concerned that the current proposals do not go far enough and would not provide a full picture of lobbying activity in Scotland. Read our response

Latest research

PhD research appeal - Sharon Greenwood is looking for young people aged 16-25 who have been affected by parental substance misuse. To find out more please email Sharon

Alcohol pricing and purchasing among heavy drinkers in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The relationship between alcohol and gambling behaviours


Licensing training - PLH and Refresher

Licensing courses run from 9.15am-5pm at our training room in Glasgow city centre.
Next dates: Tuesday 4 August, Tuesday 1 September, Tuesday 13 October

More information and booking

Training for practitioners - children/families affected by alcohol
A very busy few months lie ahead with training for practitioners using our Rory and Oh Lila resources in Glasgow, Highland, Angus and the Western Isles. We are also piloting our new CHAT resource (Children Harmed by Alcohol Toolkit) in North Ayrshire with social work and voluntary organisations. More information

Global Alcohol Policy Conference 2015
The Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPC) will take place from 7-9 October 2015 at the EICC, Edinburgh. The conference themes are implementing effective alcohol policies, building support for children's right to grow up free from alcohol marketing, and building a global network. For more information and registration please visit the conference website
Alcohol and Young People Conference
27 August 2015, Glasgow
The conference will be chaired by Tam Baillie, Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People, with the keynote address delivered by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood. More information and booking
'Alcohol Occasional' seminars
SHAAP and SARN are looking for proposals to present innovative alcohol research at their forthcoming seminar series on the theme "Alcohol, Europe and the world". The seminars take place from 12.30-2pm at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh. If you are interested in presenting please email Eric Carlin at SHAAP.
Alcohol Focus Scotland
166 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 2LW
tel: 0141 572 6700
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