Wednesday 19th June 2019  |  10:00 - 17:00, followed by alcohol-free Drinks Reception


The way we drink changes constantly. Today in the UK young people are drinking less, sales of alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks are increasing, and around 20% of the population have made the decision not to drink. But another 20% are continuing to drink at hazardous, harmful and dependent levels.

In England, a staggering 590,000 people are estimated to be alcohol dependent and around 200,000 children are living with an alcohol dependent carer. But around four in five people who are alcohol dependent and in need of treatment are not accessing it.

The consequences are stark. In England alone, around 304,000 hospital admissions every year are caused directly by alcohol. If we include all admissions where alcohol is a probable factor, the figure is closer to 1.2 million. This costs the NHS around £3.5 billion annually. In Wales there are around 10,000 admissions and in Scotland there are around 36,000 admissions each year. In the UK life-threatening health conditions such as liver disease are on the rise. In fact, we currently have one of the highest levels of liver disease in the world and – unlike in the rest of Europe – the level is rising.

There are many factors which affect alcohol harm including pricing, availability, marketing, treatment accessibility and quality, and drinking cultures. But as well as forming part of the problem these factors offer potential solutions.

This conference will look at the evidence on alcohol use and harms across the UK and the policies that have the potential to drive change. We will discuss the latest innovations in the treatment sector, and consider how we can shift cultural norms. We will also hear directly from people affected by alcohol harm, as effective change relies on a better understanding of individual experiences.

The conference will combine presentations, panel debates, and interactive workshops to encourage dynamic and productive discussion on how to make lasting change and deliver real benefits to individuals, families and communities.

For more information and to read the conference programme, click visit the Alcohol Change UK website.