Alcohol Insights

A new approach to measuring drinking cultures in Britain

Research and Development Grant

Drinking at increasing and high risk levels occurs in a diverse range of drinking occasions including drinking in the home and at other people’s houses, and extends well beyond caricatures of youth binge drinking in urban centres. Our study does not support a representation of the British drinking culture as one which is characterised by excessive consumption and drinking to intoxication, although this is one aspect of the culture. High risk occasions are found across all age, sex and socioeconomic groups but the majority occur within those aged over 35 and of high socioeconomic status.

Pre-detoxification Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Group intervention for dependent alcohol users

Small Grant

The Abstinence Preparation Group (APG) is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and aims to help drinkers to regain control over their drinking, initiate lifestyle changes and enhance self-efficacy before they start medically assisted detoxification. Similarly to other CBT interventions, the APG focuses on the reduction of positive expectancies towards drinking, the development of negative expectancies towards drinking, the development of self-efficacy and coping skills in relation to specific high risk situations, and finally the development of overall lifestyle changes compatible with an abstinent way of living.

Effects of Varenicline on alcohol enjoyment and consumption

Small Grant

A relationship exists between smoking and alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are also more likely to be highly dependent smokers. Among smokers, trying to quit alcohol consumption is often cited as a reason for relapse. One of the most commonly used stop smoking medicines, varenicline, may also have potential as a treatment for alcohol dependence. Varenicline, which reduces tobacco withdrawal symptoms and the reinforcing aspects of smoking, could also act to modify alcohol reactivity and thus drinking behaviour. It has also been suggested that varenicline might decrease motivation and incentive salience of alcohol by decreasing neural activity in the reward pathways of the brain.

A think aloud study to explore the feasibility and acceptability of a digital intervention for the prevention of alcohol related harm in adolescents

Small Grant

This small grant was awarded to build and test the acceptability of a digital intervention, The Alcohol Smart Quiz to reduce alcohol misuse in adolescents aged 11-14.

Adolescent alcohol use and school disengagement

Small Grant

This study sought to test different causal hypotheses explaining the longitudinal relationship between alcohol use trajectories and being NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). To test the role of disengagement in influencing individual drinking trajectories and of being NEET at age 20/21 and to investigate how other factors (e.g. parental monitoring, drug use) influence and are associated with alcohol use.

Alcohol pricing and purchasing among heavy drinkers in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Research and Development Grant

The purpose of this study was to describe the purchasing patterns and consumption behaviour of heavy-drinking individuals who had been harmed by their alcohol intake. As some of the heaviest drinkers, these are the group likely to be most acutely impacted by the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP). The consumption practices of very heavy drinkers is normally poorly described by traditional population surveys. Therefore, in the Scottish policy context especially, targetted research was required to better inform discussions of the potential impact of MUP on the heaviest consumers of alcohol.

Development Of Context-Aware Measures Of Alcohol-Related Impulsivity

Small Grant

Inhibitory control is affected by context. As inhibitory control levels may vary, one’s ability to control consumption behaviour in alcohol-related environments may also vary. Findings may vary based on the methodology used to test inhibitory control.

All in the mind? The effect of beliefs about alcohol on alcohol binges

Small Grant

ecently, research into self-control has suggested that beliefs about our own ability to control behaviour are central to behavioural regulation. This suggests that if people expect to have reduced ability to control their drinking after an initial alcoholic drink they will behave accordingly. The following report describes an experiment that investigated how information that changes beliefs about the acute effects of alcohol influenced drinking behaviour in the laboratory.

Online health check for reducing alcohol intake among employees: a feasibility study in six workplaces across England

Research and Development Grant

To undertake a feasibility study of online screening, personalised feedback and access to an extensive online alcohol intervention in six workplace settings in the North and South of England. Explore the acceptability to employees of completing an online health screen, receiving feedback on health behaviours and access to an online alcohol intervention, and completing follow-up measures, with particular reference to perceived risks to confidentiality.

Assessing the role that entertainers play in alcohol marketing and the maintenance of good order within on-trade licensed premises

Small Grant

The main aim of this project was to recruit and interview a range of on-trade pub/nightclub entertainers in order to explore their roles in drinks marketing and crowd control. Recently, overt forms of alcohol marketing such as sponsorship or discount pricing have come under increasing scrutiny and, to some degree, regulation (e.g. advertising restrictions and ‘happy hour’ bans). Therefore, entertainment provision is likely to become increasingly important as a means for on-trade licensed premises to both attract and retain target customers.