Date of release: Friday, July 8, 2016

Heavy drinking stores up problems for the future – that is among the issues to be discussed at a conference at the University of Greenwich today (Friday 8 July).

Led by Dr John Foster, Reader in Alcohol Policy and Mental Health Studies at the university, the conference will feature some of the country's leading experts on the effects of alcohol.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the shift in the UK towards drinking at home and to discuss the implications of such a shift. Delegates will also consider the impact of home drinking on women and children, and look at how home drinking can be addressed within the forthcoming Greenwich Alcohol Strategy.

John says: "The problem with home drinking is it's invisible. We like to be left to do that in the UK but evidence, such as the obesity levels in the country, suggest we're not very good at self-regulation.

"We don't see the impact of heavy drinking – and amounts vary per person – until about 15 years later. So people are storing up problems for further down the line.

"There is also a small but growing group of people now in their 60s whose alcohol intake has risen as they've got older. The most likely explanation for this is that people are drinking in their own homes, as the price of going out has risen. This puts strain in the country's health services."

Invisible Drinking at home: The new challenge for local and national policy makers takes place at the university's Greenwich Campus in Room Queen Anne 063, from 9.30am until 4.30pm.

The day will include workshops, which will provide an opportunity for participants to shape the Greenwich Alcohol Strategy, particularly in the relation to the challenges of home drinking.

Speakers include Jon Foster, Director Institute of Alcohol Studies; Valerie Chandler, PhD student from the University of Greenwich; Vivienne Evans, Chief Executive AdFam Alcohol and Families Alliance; Jane Connor, Health Improvement Principal at the Royal Borough of Greenwich; and Darren Cox, Chief Inspector of Neighbourhood Policing at the Metropolitan Police.

The Twitter hashtag for the day will be #grehomedrink

For more on the university's Faculty of Education & Health: http://www.gre.ac.uk/eduhea

Story by Public Relations