The Alcohol Change UK Conference 2019: New insights into alcohol research, policy and practice

19 June 2019
10:00 - 17:00, followed by alcohol-free Drinks Reception
Rooms on Regent's Park, RCOG, 27 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RG

This event has now taken place. We would like to say a big thank you to all those who attended. Your contributions helped to make the event a huge success!

We would also like to offer our special thanks to the excellent line-up of speakers who shared some fascinating and thought-provoking insights in their presentations, panel discussions and in our interactive workshops.

We are extremely grateful to you all.

Presentations from the conference are available here and we very much look forward to seeing you next time!

Montage Post Conference 3

Speaker presentations

Anarchy in the UK? Why is England falling behind other nations in alcohol change?

Plenary sessions

Changing human behaviour. Insights from behavioural science and What changes social norms?

Interactive workshop

Where next for public health and alcohol?

Want to discover more?

Read our conference programme for the full agenda from the day and to meet our speakers.

Read more

The way we drink changes constantly. Today in the UK young people are drinking less, sales of alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks are increasing, and around 20% of the population have made the decision not to drink. But another 20% are continuing to drink at hazardous, harmful and dependent levels.

In England, a staggering 590,000 people are estimated to be alcohol dependent and around 200,000 children are living with an alcohol dependent carer. But around four in five people who are alcohol dependent and in need of treatment are not accessing it.

The consequences are stark. In England alone, around 304,000 hospital admissions every year are caused directly by alcohol. If we include all admissions where alcohol is a probable factor, the figure is closer to 1.2 million. This costs the NHS around £3.5 billion annually. In Wales there are around 10,000 admissions and in Scotland there are around 36,000 admissions each year. In the UK life-threatening health conditions such as liver disease are on the rise. In fact, we currently have one of the highest levels of liver disease in the world and – unlike in the rest of Europe – the level is rising.

There are many factors which affect alcohol harm including pricing, availability, marketing, treatment accessibility and quality, and drinking cultures. But as well as forming part of the problem these factors offer potential solutions.

This conference will look at the evidence on alcohol use and harms across the UK and the policies that have the potential to drive change. We will discuss the latest innovations in the treatment sector, and consider how we can shift cultural norms. We will also hear directly from people affected by alcohol harm, as effective change relies on a better understanding of individual experiences.

The conference will combine presentations, panel debates, and interactive workshops to encourage dynamic and productive discussion on how to make lasting change and deliver real benefits to individuals, families and communities.

  • What can we learn from the introduction of minimum unit pricing and other recent policy interventions in Scotland and Wales? And what needs to happen next in each of the UK's nations?
  • How can we ensure that alcohol marketing regulation, public health policy-making, and treatment provision are better informed by robust research, best practice and the experiences of those affected by alcohol harm?
  • What do we know about the UK’s drinking cultures and how it's changing?
  • What new innovations can we use to help shift cultural norms around drinking?

The Alcohol Change UK Conference 2019 provides a unique opportunity to share ideas, develop networks and explore the latest innovations in alcohol research, policy and practice.

Through attending this conference, you will:

  • Learn about the benefits and pitfalls of the UK’s fragmented policy-making and its effects on those experiencing alcohol harm.
  • Consider the ways alcohol is promoted in the digital age and the changes needed to ensure it is marketed responsibly and only to adult drinkers.
  • Discuss the challenges for public health and the ways to unlock its potential to reduce and prevent alcohol-related harm.
  • Explore new and innovative ways to expand and improve treatment provision.
  • Learn about a range of programmes that have successfully introduced scientific behaviour change techniques that are shifting culture.
  • Explore the latest evidence on the UK’s drinking culture and ways to change social norms.
  • Hear real-life examples from service users and ‘experts by experience’ about the day-to-day problems and challenges they face.

The conference is open to anyone with an interest in alcohol harm reduction, including:

  • Service and treatment delivery practitioners and commissioners
  • Researchers
  • Students
  • Health and social care professionals
  • Health and social care policy-makers
  • Charities and volunteers working in substance use
  • Service users and 'experts by experience'
  • Members of the public who are interested in alcohol harm reduction

If you have booked your place and find that you are no longer able to attend, your ticket may be transferred to a colleague. If you wish to cancel your ticket, please process your request through our Eventbrite page.

If you cancel before 18 May 2019, we will issue a refund.

If you cancel after this date, no refund will be granted but a substitute may be sent.

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