Due to the Covid19 pandemic, there have been many pressures placed on individuals, children, and families. This has led to a rise in the number of people drinking alcohol at home. Amongst adults, some heavier drinkers have been drinking more. Also, there is a growing concern for those that normally limit their alcohol intake midweek, due to relaxation in some working practices, e.g. working from home.
The health of people in Middlesbrough is generally worse than England averages, and is in the most deprived districts/unitary authorities, with nearly a third of children living in low-income families. Life expectancy is 12.6 years lower for men and 12.0 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Middlesbrough when compared to those in the least deprived areas. Other reasons for the rise in alcohol consumption at home include financial pressures, unemployment, social isolation, daily routines being disrupted, e.g. exams, education, maintaining relationships, poor mental health, and wellbeing. Jason from CVFM Breakfast had the opportunity to speak to Professor Newbury-Birch from the University of Teesside and Fiona Helyer from Middlesbrough Council's Public Health Team. To listen back to the interview click on the following link: https://www.mixcloud.com/cvfmradio/cvfm-breakfast-friday-11-june-2021-drinking-at-home-at-what-cost/
Drinking at Home project
The project will encompass a number of different themes/strands which will be far-reaching, cover a wide audience, and one that is able to be embedded into our communities with the vision to create positive behavior change that will benefit the individual, children, and families.
The findings of the study are considered to be part of the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and will influence future activities and resources to reduce alcohol-related harm. It will also compliment Middlesbrough’s Alcohol Centre of Excellence (MACE) and the wider service offer.
The proposed research below is imperative to practitioners, policymakers, and academics in moving forward the work in Middlesbrough post-COVID-19.
We need your help
Middlesbrough Council and Teesside University are looking for your help to complete a very short survey on drinking at home. The survey can be accessed at the following link and will help shape the future of drinking across Middlesbrough https://teesside.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/covid-alcohol-survey
Middlesbrough has an existing Joint Alcohol-related Health and Crime Strategic/Operational Group that drives Middlesbrough Council’s Alcohol strategy, and oversees policy in relation to alcohol-related Crime, Health, and Diversification of the offer within the night/day time economy. This group is representative of the night/day time economy, and its membership include stakeholders that can provide support and guidance in driving forward cohesive and innovative policies.
In July 2020, and as a result of discussions held, an operational working group formed to focus on issues around drinking at home and to develop a strategy to tackle the short and longer-term impacts.
Cleveland Police; Public Health and Public Protection; Change, Grow Live, Recovery Connections; Youth Focus; Teesside University and TU Student Union; Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, SSSHL, TU, who is an international expert in alcohol research; Middlesbrough College; Tees LPC (Local Pharmaceutical Committee); Voluntary organisations; South Tees CCG
Dorothy Newbury-Birch joined the University in January 2015 as Professor of Alcohol and Public Health Research. She is based at the School for Social Sciences, Humanities and Law and leads the Co-producing alcohol, criminal justice, and public health research theme of the Centre of Social Innovation. She is a world-leading expert on alcohol research and is the current co-president of the International Network for Alcohol and other drugs - INEBRIA. Her work focuses on work around alcohol-related harm in society and is an expert in co-production research, especially with local authorities. She has been involved in around 100 peer-reviewed publications and reports as well as many other abstracts and letters and been awarded over £14 million in research grants.
- To improve local knowledge and understanding around alcohol consumption specifically around ‘drinking at home’ with the long-term impact of improving public health outcomes.
- Developing support/information to formulate pathways for future service delivery.
- To contribute to the strategic approach around alcohol consumption in the home, to inform the Alcohol Harm Reduction strategy and Action Plan.
- To inform future alcohol projects/campaigns and initiatives.
For further support and information, there is lots of help and guidance out there and can be found at the Middlesbrough.gov.uk website below and Reduce My Risk.