Chat: Alcohol and the Outbreak

Sarah Schoenberger [Policy and Advocacy Manager, Institute of Alcohol Studies] Alison Douglas [Chief Executive Alcohol Focus Scotland], both posted: Scotish Action on Alcohol Health Problems (SHAAP) guidance [the latest being related to covid-19]

It was asked, what support was available for families?

Anne-Marie: Scottish Families Affected by Drugs have a telehealth and several other organisations. Contact or 07723 337958

Jardine: SMART run Family and Friends meetings in the UK, They utilise CRAFT concepts within the same meeting structure as mainstream SMART meetings

Tracey Crosby [Operational Team Lead HETTYS]: Hettys is a charity which covers the seven districts in Nottinghamshire who support family members who have been affected by someone else`substance misuse 

Alison Douglas [Alcohol Focus Scotland]:

Tracey H: Echo Tracey from Hettys. CGL Jigsaw support  children and families impacted in Nottingham City

Andrew Brown [senior programme manager, Public Health England]: Just to say that we’ve been talking to the areas that we’re supporting around families where a parent has an alcohol problem.  They, like others on the call, have been trying to move online. Early days, but the feedback so far is that supporting children and young people (including delivering therapy) seems to be very natural to that audience.  There’s more to be learnt about this, as the evidence base for this is still very much in it’s infancy.

Tracey Crosby [HETTYS]: Andrew Brown, we also have kinship care within Hettys, who support families when children cannot be looked after by their parents.

Andrew Brown: Yes, kinship care is really important for these families, and making sure that they’re okay during this period is crucial.

Tracy Crosby : Extremely, Andrew. We have moved to a variety of platforms to accommodate everyone – and increased our hours of service to ensure this period is completely as safe as can be during this period of uncertainty.

Jardine: SMART has been running online meetings in the UK for many years. The efficacy is good, almost comparable to face-to-face. PsychoSocial/Educational support works in my experience. It would be good if PHE could help investigate and build and evidence base.

Michaela Jones: Recoverist Network

Colin: Support given by volunteers and peers outside mutual aid and professional services although complimentary, is very often the support that builds and motivates that desire for change and also sustained change in individuals using substances

Recovery Ayr ADP: RecoveryAyr and South Ayrshire ADP have two online support groups via Zoom running seven days a week, 10am and 4pm. Details are on Facebook or email to be added to the invite list and you will receive an emailed link 10 minutes before each meeting.

Tracey H.: Resource pack just talked about

Jardine: 2012 study of tech. in psychosocial support

Debbie Sigerson [NHS Scotland]: Public Health Scotland are establishing a social mitigation response to covid-19 which includes considering the impact on Domestic Violence and other vulnerable groups which includes those using drugs and alcohol.  I can link stakeholders to this. (We are making contact with AFS and SDF). I would like to speak with PHE about their messaging to the general public on health behaviours at this time.


Tracey Crosby: Thank you very much it has been extremely informative. 

Emma Davies: This has been a really stimulating discussion. Thank you so much to all the contributors. Lots of food for thought. 

Alison Douglas [Alcohol Focus Scotland]: Thanks everyone – especially you, Phil! 

Phil: You’re welcome. ■