independent advocate reducing alcohol harm

We know who will carry the burden; we know who will pick up the tab 

This week is #EuropeanAlcoholAwarenessWeek , and so we are encouraging people to stop and think about the bigger picture when it comes to alcohol  AAI has in recent months been running a campaign to highlight the consequences of increasing alcohol availability across Irish society. The Sale of Alcohol bill proposes to extend licensing hours of all bars/restaurants from 11.30pm to 12.30am and to facilitate late-night opening of bars to 2.30am and nightclubs to 6am.  Many public health advocates including the... Full Story


Addressing barriers to alcohol treatment: New alcohol detox community service

Guest blog: Niamh Foley, community alcohol detox broker, Community Response Ireland has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption per-capita in The EU. The Health Research Board reported over 7,400 cases treated for problematic alcohol use in Ireland in 2022, a 35% increase from 2021 (Condron, Lyons, Carew, 2022).   The Irish Journal of Medical Science published a study in 2021 suggesting that only 2-3% of individuals with alcohol dependence are actually accessing treatment. This indicates that the numbers of people recorded... Full Story


Voices of recovery initiative will harness lived experience to drive policy change 

Guest Blog: Paddy Creedon, AAI board member and recovery advocate "We are literally surrounded by people who are in recovery from a substance-use disorder, but we don't know it."   (Dr. John Kelly, Harvard Medical School)  On the November 10 1977, I put ‘the drink’ down for the last time and came into recovery.  I am a member of the ‘recovery tribe’, referred to by Dr. John Kelly above. Free from the shackles of my addiction to alcohol, recovery stories like mine... Full Story


Mental Health and Alcohol

Guest Blog from Carmen Bryce, Communications Manager, Mental Health Ireland marking European Mental Health Week 2023 You might’ve seen the Irish alcohol brand advertisement of young friends heading off on a camping trip against the backdrop of the rugged Atlantic coast to enjoy a fun-filled weekend of surf, exploration, and craic. After the weekend is over they return to their stressful everyday lives and the dull hum-drum of routine before reuniting in their local pub to reconnect, relive their memories,... Full Story


Deconstructing false narratives and tactics of industry

In a letter published in the national media this week, the drinks industry said that when talking about putting health warning labels on alcohol products, it’s not helpful to point out the ‘extreme’ harms that alcohol causes.  If this sounds like an oxymoron, that’s because it is. But it’s not surprising that the industry would say this. The idea that we shouldn’t cast aspersions on a product that only some people develop a problem with is a well-worn industry tactic. Harmful... Full Story


Alcohol and Domestic Violence

Strong connections between alcohol and domestic abuse found once again in studies from Ireland & Australia    Two research reports released last week looked at the issue of alcohol and domestic abuse. The first, from Australia, aimed to measure whether restricting the sale of alcohol affected rates of family and domestic violence. The results were clear: yes, they did.  The study used two sites in different parts of New South Wales and found that measures put in place – restricted... Full Story


Barriers to Alcohol Treatment Services

Make the Change: Addressing Barriers to Alcohol Treatment Services in Ireland Guest blog: Niamh Foley, Community Response   In 2019, The Health Research Board noted that Irish people aged 15 and over drank on average 10.8 litres of alcohol per year, equating to 113 bottles of wine or 436 pints of beer, classifying over half of Irish drinkers as ‘hazardous drinkers’ . Alcohol in Ireland plays a complex cultural and social role and contributes to a range of social and... Full Story


Zero-alcohol product marketing will not take Ireland off the global leader board for alcohol harm

GUEST BLOG: Dr Catherine Conlon A new Citizen’s Assembly on illicit drugs use will be established by Cabinet and is expected to begin its work in April and conclude by the end of the year. While an evidence- based drug policy is laudable and overdue, what of Ireland’s largest drug problem – alcohol? Successive Governments have repeatedly examined international best practice alcohol policy, succeeded in passing the Public Health (Alcohol) Act (PHAA) in 2018 and yet five years later, we... Full Story


Zero alcohol marketing has zero benefits for everyone except the global alcohol industry  

You’d be forgiven for thinking that we were well on our way to becoming a nation of teetotalers, such is the vociferous marketing of zero alcohol drinks - products that only make up 1.5% of the Irish drinks market.   Exponential growth in zero-alcohol products is something that is currently being bandied about by the alcohol industry. Certainly, there is growth but from a very low base. What is definitely really increasing is their interest in marketing them. It's not hard to... Full Story


Getting the facts – on the label and in the media 

In recent weeks, there has been a slew of media coverage citing concerns of Italian wine makers about Ireland’s plans to place health information including cancer, liver disease and pregnancy warnings on all alcohol products – a law passed in 2018, in the making for over a decade and with the strong support of 72% of the public.  Of course, none of us wants to think that glass of white or red – Italian or otherwise-  of an evening could... Full Story