By Dr Richard Piper - Chief Executive, Alcohol Concern/Alcohol Research UK

Welcome to the new Alcohol Concern/ Alcohol Research UK blog.

In the UK, alcohol is everywhere. We use it to celebrate, to commiserate, as something to do when we’re bored… And it can be enjoyable. But – and there’s a big but – alcohol is not a commodity like any other.

Alcohol is linked to more than 60 medical conditions including liver disease, heart disease, some cancers and depression. Liver disease is one of the few causes of premature death that is becoming more common in the UK, with deaths increasing by around 40% in a decade.

It’s not only those who drink who suffer. Alcohol costs the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion a year and our police, courts and prisons many millions more. Alcohol misuse is a factor for one in five children in need of social care in England. The emotional costs are incalculable.

But change is happening. Wales and Scotland are both moving towards implementing minimum unit pricing, an important measure to increase the cost of the cheapest, strongest alcohol that causes the most harm. The Government is funding a helpline for children with parents or carers who drink too much. And people and organisations like us are pushing for smarter, more targeted policies and high-quality alcohol treatment for all.

On this blog we will share the serious stuff, summarising the latest alcohol research and news for everyone to understand. We’ll have guest blogs from leaders in the alcohol harm reduction field and other public figures.

We’ll be sharing lots of other content too: tips to make a difference in your daily life if you are cutting down on or cutting out alcohol; drink reviews and guides to dry venues; book reviews; and personal stories from people who have had experience with alcohol and the harm it can cause.

We’ll also be blogging about our work as the new charity formed by the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK. This year we’ll be defining our strategy, deciding how best to save and improve lives by reducing alcohol harm in the years to come. We’ll also be coming together under a single new brand identity towards the end of 2018 – stay tuned!

Tell us what you think!

What would you like to see on this blog? Let us know in the comments below, or email [email protected].

Read the blog.