Issue date: 08 March 2004

Binge Drinking – Problems and Responses
The Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, UK
Friday 26 November 2004

Evidence suggests that an increase in binge drinking particularly amongst young women bodes ill for the long-term health prospects of those who are drinking heavily*. The knock on impact on health and social care services is likely to be significant in future years.

The Alcohol and Health Research Trust, which is based in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England and the Addictions Forum, will look at the problems and issues surrounding binge drinking at an international conference in Bristol on 26 November 2004.

The conference will review national and international evidence on the scale and nature of ‘binge drinking’ and its effects. The medical and economic consequences of ‘binge’ and ‘high intake’ alcohol consumption will also be considered together with details of British, Canadian and other responses to cope with the problems caused by large numbers of people drinking too much. The way forward will be charted in terms of practical, effective ‘harm minimisation’.

Keynote speakers include Sergeant Jan Brown, Manchester City Police; Dr Marilyn Christie, University of Leicester; Professor Henk Garretsen, University of Tilberg, Netherlands; Professor Ian Gilmore, Royal Liverpool University Hospital; Professor Christine Godfrey, University of York; Inspector Greenacre, Manchester City Police; Professor Martin Plant, UWE; Professor Moira Plant, UWE; Professor Eric Single, University of Toronto, Canada and Dr Samantha Wells Centre for Mental Addiction and Mental Health, London, Ontario, Canada.

Conference organiser, Professor Martin Plant said, “This conference will be of interest to anybody with a personal or professional interest in alcohol consumption and its possible effects. Such people include those who drink, either with or without problems and those who wish to cut down their drinking. The event will also be very useful for doctors, nurses, alcohol counsellors, the police and people working in the health and social services. It should also be of interest to those concerned with health promotion and the implementation of policies to reduce the ill effects of heavy or inappropriate drinking.”

Binge Drinking is commonly taken to mean drinking or getting drunk, or risky drinking. The British, and those in many other countries, have traditionally done a lot of their drinking in high intake sessions, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. This pattern of ‘carousing’ has been associated, not only with relaxation and pleasure, but with various problems for centuries.

Professor Plant continues, “In recent years alcohol consumption has risen amongst some groups of people and associated health, social, family and public order problems have increased and give great concern. There is evidence that the traditional male dominance in relation to some of these problems has been diminished by the emergence of heavy drinking ‘ladette’ culture among young women.”

For a registration form please contact Jan Green at The Addictions Forum on 0117 328 8800, Fax: 0117 328 8900, e-mail: Jan.Green@uwe.ac.uk.


* ‘Drinking, smoking and illicit drug use amongst British Adults: Gender differences explored’ published in ‘Substance Use’ 2002 Volume 7 pages 24-33. Moira Plant, Martin Plant and William Mason

Editor’s notes

The Alcohol and Health Research Trust

The Alcohol and Health Research Trust is based at the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England. The Trust was established to carry out research into beverage alcohol, together with other social and health issues. The latter include tobacco, illicit and prescribed drugs, HIV/AIDS, risk taking and sexual behaviour; to publish and disseminate information for the benefit of researchers, clinicians, professionals, students and others concerned with alcohol or other social or health issues, to assist researchers, students and others in the conduct of their work related to alcohol or other social or health issues. Members of the research team have produced over 250 scientific publications, including over 20 books. The A&HRT is a registered charity (SC027580)

The Addictions Forum

The Addictions Forum, a membership organisation, exists to foster a balanced discussion about alcohol, tobacco, illicit and prescribed drugs, together with issues such as risk taking and HIV/AIDS. The Forum arranges an annual residential training at Durham Castle. It has also staged conferences and other meetings throughout the UK as well as in Iceland, India, Ireland and the Netherlands. The Addictions Forum is a registered charity (1015523).

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