Alcohol Treatment

TITLE: Fiona Bruce MP Chairs a seminar on ‘tackling the crisis in alcohol treatment’.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Alcohol Harm, of which Fiona Bruce is Chair, hosted a seminar in the House of Commons to discuss the acute challenges now facing alcohol treatment services. Treatment providers, researchers and charities were represented by panel of leading experts who discussed the nuances of the challenges faced by treatment services to support individuals, their families and wider community.

Fiona Bruce MP:

I welcome the recent announcement that £6 million is to be committed to supporting the 200,000 children in the UK who live in a family with a dependent drinker. However, without effective wider treatment services, including engaging the whole family where there is a dependent drinker, it will not be possible to achieve the goals of this policy. This meeting set out to discuss workable policy solutions and look at best practice examples across the country to provide the best service provision which will give more help and support to dependent drinkers who want to give up drinking or drink responsibly.

Alcohol problems feed into homelessness, mental health, cancer, pressure on A&E wards, antisocial behaviour and domestic violence. Therefore, it is really important to ensure that every local area has support services which effectively address alcohol problems and this is much more important than realised, especially among older people – the charity Drinkaware claim that 10 million people are drinking above the Chief Medical Officers’ safe drinking guidelines.”

The panel included:
        Dr Emily Finch, Consultant addiction psychiatrist and member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
        Mike Ward, Senior Consultant at Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK
        Paul Hayes, Chair of Collective Voice – a group of treatment providers, working effectively to represent the voices of the drug and alcohol treatment sector and of services users.
        Professor Colin Drummond, Professor of addiction psychiatry at Kings College London and Chair of the Public Health England Alcohol Leadership Board.
        Vivienne Evans OBE, CEO of Adfam and Oliver Standing, Director of Policy and Communications at Adfam. Adfam is the national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs and alcohol.

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