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UK alcohol report looks at harm to men

Wednesday September 9th 2020

Efforts to reduce alcohol consumption among men need to confront the extent to which it is bound up with male identity in the UK, a report says today.

The report on the relationship, between men and alcohol, written by the Institute of Alcohol Studies and the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems.

The report, ‘Men and Alcohol: Key Issues’, is released today (9 September). It contains a series of key findings and recommendations for policy and practice, taken from their 2019/2020 Men and Alcohol seminars.

Professor Lindsay Paterson of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems says: “In Scotland, the alcohol-specific death rate for men was 2.2 times higher than women in 2018, and rates of alcohol-related stays in hospital were 2.5 times higher.

“These figures underscore the importance of understanding how alcohol use impacts on men’s mental and physical health in particular ways, if we are to tackle and reduce alcohol-related harms.”

It covers the ways in which alcohol is closely connected to male identity, as well as how men are less likely to seek help for mental health problems. It also covers the potential impact of COVID-19 on health-related behaviours and the dangers of resulting cuts to services.

The recommendations include greater restrictions on alcohol availability, more enforcement of alcohol advertising bans, raised taxes and pricing policies, and increases in ‘alcohol-free’ spaces.

In terms of health care practice, the report calls for joined-up services, and a greater focus on the expertise of individuals with lived experience.

Professor Paterson continues: “In all eventualities, this report highlights how we must not lose ground in the gains we’ve made in regulating alcohol in Scotland, as well as the crucial importance of investing in alcohol treatment and recovery services, in addition to improving youth services and opportunities for skills and learning development”.

Tags: Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Men's Health | UK News

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