European Alcohol Conference

 Comparing and contrasting practice across Europe

Date: Friday 24th April 2015         Cost: £140 + VAT

The Livery Hall, Guildhall, City of London


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Presented by:

London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum, Safe Sociable London Partnership, The BlenheimFederation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals, AdfamEsprit de Bois

Despite the shared science and knowledge on alcohol, there are still considerable differences in how policy and public health are interpreted and delivered.

Across Europe, the public health message on units of alcohol and drink driving differs – why is this, and what is being done to address it? When it comes to young people and alcohol, we now have unprecedented knowledge about the effects of alcohol on the second decade of life, but our policies and approaches do not reflect this.

Are there cultural and environmental factors that determine these differences, or do overriding political factors determine policy and practice? Is the right science and wrong science just being selected because of political priorities?

Sometimes policy-making on one substance can have a profound effect on another (the law of unintended consequences). The effect that the smoking ban in public places in the EU has had on patterns of drinking behaviour has been dramatic.

Alcohol is intrinsically linked across our lifestyles. The commercial chain that produces and sells it is complex and diverse (yet accounts for only 30 to 50 per cent of what is produced), the taxation and revenue raises huge sums for government and the related harm is significant.

This one-day conference will encourage discussion of the vital questions – why are there such differences in Europe? Should it be considered in isolation? Where is the best policy and practice?



09.00 Registration

10.00 Welcome – by the Chair of the London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum

Introduction – Exploring the differences across Europe and why we need to stop considering alcohol in isolation

Can how we drink, our drinking behaviour and our alcohol-related health still be considered in isolation? It is a legal drug and how we drink is in relation to a complicated set of social and environmental factors, compounded further by the science of genetics and epigenetics, economic influences and of course as human beings we overlap our drinking behaviour with other substances and behaviours (such as diet, smoking, medication and lifestyle).

Presentation – Professor Colin Drummond

Chair – David Mackintosh, London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum

10.30 – 11.30 Related harms: comparisons around Europe

Chair – David Mackintosh, London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum

Addressing related harms across London – Dr Helen Walters, Faculty of Public Health and the GLA Greater London Authority

Populations based problems need population wide solutions – Dr Adam Winstock, Consultant Psychiatrist & Addiction Medicine Specialist SLAM NHS Trust. Senior Lecturer Kings College London

Our data from GDS2014 includes responses from 50,000 people from across Europe. We have extensive data on alcohol, including AUDIT scores, perception of alcohol related risk and the per cent of last year users who sought emergency medical treatment as a result of their drinking in the last 12 months (and what they present with and what the impact was on their drinking). We compared hangovers at work across Europe. Finally we explored the utility of comparative feedback in helping people change their drinking. We did this by exploring issues related to normative misperception – how heavy drinkers think they are like everyone else. 

11.30 – 12.00 Tea and Coffee

12.00 – 13.15 Alcohol is always in the mix

Alcohol use appears to be a factor in non-communicable disease, lifestyle risk, diet, crime and disorder, young people and mental health – why is this not reflected in wider policy and services? How can we factor this in?

Chair and introduction –Betsy Thom, Professor of Health Policy, Head Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Middlesex University

The historical context of policies and interventions on alcohol – Dr James Nicholls, Director of Research and Policy Development, Alcohol Research UK.

A view from the European Commission and the work of the WHO in Europe on alcohol – Professor Peter Anderson, Professor of Substance Use, Policy and Practice, Newcastle University

13.15 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 A comparison of cities around Europe

Chair – Dr Helen Walters, Faculty of Public Health and the GLA Greater London Authority

The CLEAR model in the City of London – Dr Ghazaleh Pashmi, Head of Licensing & Engagement, Safe Sociable London Partnership

Developing and implementing a policy on alcohol overprovision 2011–2015 – Dr Vered Hopkins and Blair Finlay, Dundee Alcohol and Drugs Partnership

Additional cities to be added.

There will also be poster displays with authors in attendance

Book your tickets by filling out the online booking form.

For more information, or to discuss the event, please contact Andy Stonard at