Alcohol Awareness Week 2021: ‘Alcohol and Relationships’

Alcohol Awareness Week is upon us – a week of “awareness-raising, campaigning for change,...
Created On: 15 November 2021   (Last updated: 15 November 2021)

Alcohol Awareness Week is upon us – a week of “awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more”, coordinated by Alcohol Change UK. The SSA will be participating with various blogs centred around this year’s theme: ‘alcohol and relationships’.

Relationships can have an important bearing on our health and wellbeing. This is especially true of long-lasting relationships with partners, family members, friends, and co-workers. Factors such as social support and companionship, for example, can have a positive influence on the way we feel, and the extent to which we engage with health-enhancing behaviours (e.g. exercise) and avoid health-compromising behaviours (e.g. smoking). Conflict and social isolation, on the other hand, can have the reverse effect, casting a negative influence over our emotions, coping strategies, and lifestyle behaviours.

Alcohol Awareness Week is an annual campaign led by Alcohol Change UK, which aims to get people thinking and talking about alcohol, and to motivate change at the individual, community and national level. This year, Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from 15–21 November, will centre on the theme of ‘alcohol and relationships’. In a press release, Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive of Alcohol Change UK, said:

“Our relationships with other humans are wonderful but complex, and at times they can be really tough. With many of us drinking much more during the pandemic, for many different reasons, our relationships at home, with friends and at work can become even tougher. And if our partner, friend or loved one is drinking heavily, it can cause huge tensions and disagreements, and even lead to us drinking more too, in an attempt to cope or escape.”

Over the course of Alcohol Awareness Week, people with lived experience, policymakers, practitioners and researchers will be writing and speaking about the positive and negative effects of relationships on alcohol, and vice versa. This may include topics recently covered on the SSA website such as alcohol and domestic abuse, co-dependency, and drinking during pregnancy, as well as issues such as behavioural couples’ therapy, the focus on the family in government policy and clinical guidelines, and the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist.

Alcohol Awareness Week is hosted by Alcohol Change UK. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AlcoholAwarenessWeek.

by Natalie Davies

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