Coming soon: The Handbook of Alcohol Use: Understandings from Synapse to Society

Alcohol use and misuse is complex and multifaceted. Our understanding must be also….

Alcohol use and misuse is complex and multifaceted.  Our understanding must be also.


As I wrote last month, one of the big projects of 2019/20 was the compilation of an alcohol handbook. I am super excited that this is now available for preorder! The handbook came about from observations that while it is recognised that ‘alcohol’ is a complex, multi level phenomena our understandings are typically limited to one set of systems. So, the bio folk focus on bio, the public health on public health, etc. As a result, perhaps the different parts of the field are not learning do much as they could from one another. Translating theory to practice is also a challenge!

What we wanted to achieve with this volume was to compile a book showcasing the work of the amazing group of researchers, practitioners and those with lived experience in the area. However, we wanted to do this in a way which highlighted each of the various levels of understanding, explored how they compliment and contrast, and how they can be used in practice.

To be honest, most of the hard work was done by the author chapters (we have 26 chapters and probably close over 60 authors in total!). They did an amazing job and I am super proud of the end result :-). A massive thank you to Prof. Ian Albery (who co-Edited the book with me), the authors (especially!) and our publishing team at Academic Press. They all made the journey of pulling it together so enjoyable 🙂

Edited by Daniel Frings and Ian P. Albery, the handbook is now available for pre-order. If you are interested in finding out more, you can read the full blurb, and see how to order, here.

Low alcohol wine? You may just neck the whole bottle!

Why low alcohol messages may not be the answer…

Over the last few years a lot of the alcohol research I have been involved in has been looking at helping people make better decisions about their alcohol consumption. Drinking too much has massive implication for society – it contributes to a generally high prevalence of people being overweight (alcohol is highly calorific) and people consuming alcohol takes a toll on society – both in terms of long term health care costs (i.e. people being at increased risk of heart and liver disease) but also in terms of alcohol related violence. Public health campaigns encouraging us to drink responsibly have met with limited success, and it’s not a problem that will go away. One possible way we could be approach this is by making low alcohol wines and beers more widely available – giving people a choice of a less calorific, less intoxicating drink. But would this work? Me and some colleagues from LSBU’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research teamed up with Cambridge University’s Behaviour and Health Research Unit to start finding out out…

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Social connections and social prescribing

The power of social connections and the rise of social prescribing

One way of dealing with stress is to draw on the positive social identities in our lives. A growing body of research suggests that the social connections we have can buffer us from the effects of traumatic events, improve mental health and also let us bounce back from physical ailments more quickly. In the guise of ‘social prescribing’, this idea is also increasingly being used to find ways to replace or compliment medicine.

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The transactional model of stress and coping

The transactional model of stress and coping

One way of improving our relationship with stress is to understand some of the processes which underpin it, and how they influence the ways we try and cope. One way of understanding this is through the transactional model of stress and coping1. The transactional model of stress and coping argues that our experience of stress is ultimately a system of appraisal, response and adaptation.

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Suffering from sleep deprivation due to kids, work or something else? You are basically permanently drunk, but try not to take out your ‘hangover’ out on others.

Lack of sleep can affect us in many ways, but did you know in some ways it is the equivalent of being drunk?


I love my children, but boy, do they keep me up at night. I reckon over the last three years, 98% of my nights have involved being woken up multiple times, often for stretches of 30 minutes plus. The other 2% of the time I am away at conferences. Things were just settling down with our last one (by settle down, I mean just up once a night) when we had the next one. I think my partner has it even worse at the moment with our four month old!

Continue reading “Suffering from sleep deprivation due to kids, work or something else? You are basically permanently drunk, but try not to take out your ‘hangover’ out on others.”