Ending Alcohol Harm - an exciting initiative

10 Sep 2014
by Neil Skinner

Framework’s Last Orders services exit to tackle the causes and consequences of alcohol abuse. As the organisation’s clinical Lead for Alcohol and Drug services it is my job to oversee efforts to challenge and reduce harmful drinking before it seriously impacts people’s lives and damages our community.

That is why I am so excited by a new city-wide initiative to target problems drinkers.

The Ending Alcohol Harm campaign, co-ordinated by the Nottingham Crime & Drug Partnership (CDP) and launched this week, will bring forward a number of targeted educational and treatment initiatives that to help different groups of people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol.

What I like so much about this diverse approach is that it recognises that problem drinkers are all different; that they are not all alcoholics and that their behaviours are very different.  Young people drinking in the night time economy, for example, differ greatly from street drinkers…who differ greatly from middle class professionals who may also find that their drinking is getting out of control.

Although they may all have problems with alcohol consumption, the causes of and treatment for those problems must be tackled differently. By focussing its efforts on education – on the social, health and financial consequences of alcohol abuse – this initiative is aimed firmly at influencing those who may not realise that their drinking is problematic. It is about improving public health and improving our night time economy – allowing people to enjoy alcohol in a way that benefits rather than harms our community.

One of our main focusses at Last Orders will continue to be on early intervention – on presenting people with facts and advice they can act on before  they experience long-term problems. A good example of this approach is our work to challenge the trend of pre-loading, which sees people consuming last quantities of shop-bought alcohol before going out to more expensive nightspots.

This often leads to excessive consumption and, to unwanted visits to hospitals and police stations, and to unfortunate long-term consequences. Think for example, of the impact a relatively minor alcohol related criminal conviction may have on a young student later in their lives.

Over the next year we’ll also be focussing on advice for parents as well as helping our partners implement targeted alcohol messages to our communities.

All of this is driven by Nottingham’s status as a Local Alcohol Action Area (LAAA), which sees various agencies including the police, city council, health services, charities and support providers working together to achieve a common goal for the benefit of the City.

Last Orders will be there throughout this initiative to provide non-judgemental advice and support to anyone who realises that now is the time to get help. You can learn more at our website and can find us at The Health Centre, 79a Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham. Alternatively you can clal us on 0115 9709590 or email lastorders@frameworkha.org

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