Tackling Scotland's Alcohol Problem

Managed Alcohol Programmes (MAPs)

Managed Alcohol Programmes (MAPs)

Read the event report for Dr Hannah Carver & Professor Tessa Parkes' webinar on Managed Alcohol Programmes (MAPs).

MAPs are programmes for people who are homeless with an alcohol use disorder. MAPs have ‘harm reduction’ as a guiding principle, where alcohol is provided in measured, regular doses throughout the day, typically alongside a range of supports including regular meals, access to healthcare, and social/cultural programmes.

Carver & Parkes (University of Stirling) presented findings from their two Chief Scientist Office-funded studies on: 1) The feasibility and acceptability of implementing MAPs in Scotland; 2) The potential of MAPs to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection/transmission and wider harms.

Both studies used mixed methods: case note review and interviews with MAP professionals plus people eligible for MAPs. Case note review revealed similarities between people eligible for MAPs in Scotland to those accessing MAPs in Canada (the birthplace of MAPs): typically males with high levels of alcohol consumption and multiple, complex needs. Interview findings were wide-ranging; read the report for more information. The researchers also undertook a mapping exercise, identifying five residential services operating, to some extent, as MAPs in the UK. No other studies have evaluated UK-based MAPs.

Policy and practice implications shared included that MAPs…

  • are required in Scotland to manage alcohol-related harm among a vulnerable population
  • need to consider high rates of polysubstance use and mental health problems of this population
  • should be tailored to local and individual needs
  • should have well-trained and compassionate staff, including people with lived/living experience
  • should offer more than just alcohol – including health and social care support and social activities
  • present an opportunity for alcohol harm reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • need to be tested via feasibility and pilot studies focusing on client outcomes
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Created Date: 28th Jun 2021
Last Updated: 28th Jun 2021

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