Chronic and excessive consumption of alcohol can damage the function and structure of the brain leading to a spectrum of conditions known as Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD), which is frequently under or mis-diagnosed. Importantly, ARBD is not degenerative if identified and treated.
We have built up a substantial research base over six years, which has underpinned the development of a Substance Misuse Treatment Framework in partnership with Public Health Wales on behalf of Welsh Government and co-authored by Prof Bev John, Prof Gareth Roderique-Davies, Prof Raman Sakhuja and Prof Julia Lewis.
We are currently, in collaboration with The Pobl Group, implementing key recommendations of the Framework through designing and rolling out training packages that raise awareness and improve outcomes in ARBD for patients and other key stakeholders.
Recent endorsement by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, and input into the UK Public Health and Departments of Health current developments of UK-wide guidelines demonstrates that the reach of this impact will extend beyond Wales.
Our research into gambling harms has led to us working closely with policy makers, including Prof Gareth Roderique-Davies and Prof Bev John being invited members of the Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament Cross Party Group on Problem Gambling. This group was established as a direct result of our research into the social impact of gambling in Wales, and in 2020 we were asked to prepare a positioning paper for the group to consider what Wales wants from a new UK-wide gambling act.
We have given evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in the Palace of Westminster in preparing a response to the UK Government’s consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures.
We are also working closely with a major Third Sector UK wide organisation (Citizen’s Advice) in the development of brief screening and intervention tools.