Scotland: Families With Alcohol Problems Need Comprehensive Support
Research by Public Health Scotland on whether the minimum unit price (MUP) policy implemented in the country had an impact on the lives of children and young people within families with alcohol problems found that these families need comprehensive support.
Scotland has seen positive effects from their MUP policy which came into force May 1, 2018. Overall, alcohol sales have declined since MUP came into force. However, other measures complementing MUP are needed to help tackle and resolve alcohol problems among families affected by heavy alcohol use.
The study was conducted with 42 people working in health and social care, and for charities and third-sector organisations, who deal with alcohol problems and the impact on families. Data was collected from six focus groups and one interview between February and May 2019.
Participants felt that poverty, together with the recent changes to the welfare system, was more likely to affect many of these families than any potential financial impact of minimum unit pricing,” stated the report, as per Evening Express.
The study provides important understanding of the lived experience of families in Scotland where children and young people experience harm as a result of their parent’s or carer’s alcohol use, according to Jane Ford from Public Health Scotland. The report also shows the environments these children and youth live in and illustrates the factors which contribute to the problem.
However, the findings indicate that a number of measures to support these families are needed.
These findings demonstrate the significance of appropriate support for families with differing alcohol-related needs and the importance of minimum unit pricing being complemented by other measures that help parents and carers to address the underlying reasons for their [heavy alcohol use],” said Jane Ford from Public Health Scotland, as per Evening Express.
Whole-family approaches, that mitigate the risk of harms to children and young people while supporting their parent or carer’s recovery, are crucial,” added Ms. Ford.
Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick acknowledged that children and youth living with parents and carers who are heavy alcohol users need support and protection and that tackling poverty and inequalities is central to reducing heavy alcohol and other drug use.
The public health minister added that during the current COVID-19 crisis parents and carers affected by alcohol and other drug use can continue to access support through organisations such as Scottish Families Affected By Alcohol and Drugs, We Are With You and the Scottish Recovery Consortium (SRC).