SHAAP briefing for the Scottish Government debates on COVID-19 (June 2020)

SHAAP briefing for the Scottish Government debates on COVID-19 (June 2020)

This SHAAP briefing has been prepared for MSPs in advance of the Scottish Government debates on COVID-19, June 2 (Next Steps: NHS and the Economy) and June 9 (Next Steps: Communities) 2020.

The briefing covers the impact of COVID-19 on alcohol treatment and recovery services and alcohol consumption more generally, as well as what is needed for both services and long-term public health goals as we look towards a 'new normal' post-lockdown. It makes four key recommendations to ensure that Scotland does not lose sight of its commitment to continue reducing harm from alcohol, despite the challenges of COVID-19:

  • The Scottish Government must meet its commitments as laid out in the 2018 Alcohol Framework and make alcohol a public health priority going forward. Actions such as the Scottish Government consultation on alcohol marketing - planned for this year - should continue to go ahead.
  • Treatment services and support for recovery must be improved in the wake of COVID-19. In order to do this, we need better collaboration, co-ordination and integration between NHS Scotland, local ADPs and those with lived experience in the recovery community.
  • The alcohol industry should be strongly encouraged to contribute to reducing alcohol harms by sharing their knowledge of sales volumes and patterns, both during the lockdown and beyond.
  • Innovative activities and partnerships such as that between SHAAP and Scottish Women's Football contribute to a culture change around alcohol in Scotland, as well as to preventing and reducing alcohol harms. The Scottish Government should find ways to support these kinds of activities going forward, to prevent big business from filling the gap and manipulating young people's awareness and view of alcohol brands.
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Created Date: 9th Jun 2020
Last Updated: 9th Jun 2020