23 March, 2021 from the Alcohol Health Alliance
Since alcohol marketing has been proven to have significant influence on drinking habits in the UK, the WHO decided that the most affordable policies to reduce alcohol-related harms are bans and restrictions.
How does that impact those in recovery in the UK? Siân Smith, campaigns and admin assistant of AHA spoke to a woman who’s in recovery for 11 years: Michaela Jones. She shared her thoughts and experience about alcohol marketing.
She says that: “Alcohol asserts its presence at every celebration, work event, Saturday night or stressful weekday evening”, on top of being a “a part of everyday life for adults, an idea that is fostered in the minds of children who count down the moments until they can have their first legal drink at the age of 18”.
She continues: “This, coupled with its abundance and affordability, has made drinking so ubiquitous that choosing not to drink is met with confusion and the very idea of sobriety has become a difficult thing to understand.” Also, “The narrative created by alcohol marketing encourages and justifies drinking, whilst alienating people who choose not to drink, including those in recovery or with an active addiction. I’m particularly concerned about the effect of all this on those in early recovery or active addiction who are trying to get sober, who are constantly bombarded by messages about alcohol and drinking.”
Michaela also points to counter-marketing as an effective tool to compete with alcohol marketing and help dismantle British drinking culture.
Considering that Alcohol plays a causal factor in more than 200 different diseases and injuries and in seven types of cancer whilst research finds that 25-50% of perpetrators of domestic abuse have been drinking at the time of the assault, and in some studies, this is as high as 73%., Michaela believes that “Better public health messaging and government-backed awareness campaigns are essential to help bring this other side of alcohol to light.”.
This conversation is an extra source that demonstrates that measures to tackle alcohol harm are needed more urgently than ever before, along with stronger public health messaging and stricter alcohol marketing controls.
To read the full blog article, click on the following link: https://ahauk.org/how-does-alcohol-marketing-impact-recovery/.