Alcohol Awareness Week is upon us – a week of “awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more”, co-ordinated by Alcohol Change UK. The SSA will be participating with various blogs centred on this year’s theme: ‘alcohol and relationships’.

Relationships can have an important bearing on our health and wellbeing. This is especially true of long-lasting relationships with partners, family members, friends, and co-workers. Factors such as social support and companionship, for example, can have a positive influence on the way we feel, and the extent to which we engage with health-enhancing behaviours (e.g. exercise) and avoid health-compromising behaviours (e.g. heavy drinking). Conflict and social isolation, on the other hand, can have the reverse effect, casting a negative influence over our emotions, coping strategies, and lifestyle behaviours.

Alcohol Awareness Week is an annual campaign led by Alcohol Change UK, which aims to get people thinking and talking about alcohol, and to motivate change at the individual, community and national level. This year, Alcohol Awareness Week will focus on the theme of ‘alcohol and relationships’.

In a press release for Alcohol Awareness Week, Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive of Alcohol Change UK, said:

“Our relationships with other humans are wonderful but complex, and at times they can be really tough. With many of us drinking much more during the pandemic, for many different reasons, our relationships at home, with friends and at work can become even tougher. And if our partner, friend or loved one is drinking heavily, it can cause huge tensions and disagreements, and even lead to us drinking more too, in an attempt to cope or escape.”

Over the course of Alcohol Awareness Week, people with lived experience, policymakers, practitioners and researchers will be writing and speaking about the positive and negative effects of relationships on alcohol, and vice versa. This may include topics recently covered on the SSA website such as alcohol and domestic abuse, co-dependency, and drinking during pregnancy, as well as questions about the effectiveness of interventions such as behavioural couples’ therapy, and reflections about how government policies and clinical guidelines factor the family into people’s recovery journeys.

Alcohol Awareness Week is hosted by Alcohol Change UK, and in 2021 will run from 15–21 November. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AlcoholAwarenessWeek.

Also follow along with Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm in Europe over the same week using #awarh21 and #SAFEREuropeanRegion.

by Natalie Davies

The opinions expressed in this post reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA.

The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.


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