A new report launched by Scottish Health Action for Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) in England finds that masculinity and the alcohol norm is affecting men negatively and increasing alcohol harm among British males.

There are harmful alcohol norms attached to masculinity across the world, such as the pressure to consume alcohol when men meet up for “game night” or to use alcohol to “cope” with emotions. With the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption and norms have changed drastically switching more to home consumption.

The report finds that both the mental and physical impact of alcohol-related harm are an issue, with men less likely to seek help for mental health problems. The report also draws attention to the potential impact of COVID-19 on health behaviors and argues cuts to services in the wake of the pandemic may have a negative impact on alcohol-related harm.

In Scotland,

  • the alcohol-specific death rate for men was 2.2 times higher than for women in 2018, and
  • rates of alcohol-related hospitalizations were 2.5 times higher for men than for women.

In England,

  • approximately twice as many men die of alcohol-specific causes than women, and
  • men are overrepresented in hospital admissions for alcohol-related issues.

Alcohol exacerbates mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, and men are less likely compared to women to seek help for mental health problems.

This report sheds important light on the particular impact that alcohol consumption can have on men’s mental and physical health, as well as how drinking alcohol affects and relates to male identity in the UK,” said Lindsay Paterson, interim director of Scottish Health Action for Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), as per The Scotsman.

These are important areas to understand if we are to reduce alcohol-related harm.”

Lindsay Paterson, interim director of Scottish Health Action for Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)

SHAAP and IAS call for the following in the report:

  • Strengthen restrictions on alcohol availability.
  • Enforce bans on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion.
  • Investing in alcohol treatment and recovery services, and for all services to be joined-up.

Source Website: The Scotsman