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Sunday 17 October 2010

ChaMPs commission research into drinking habits and motivations of young people across Cheshire and Merseyside


ChaMPs, Cheshire and Merseyside’s Public Health Network have commissioned a research project to explore young people’s attitudes towards alcohol and discover what would motivate them to change their drinking habits. The research will take five months, with the results being available from March 2011 onwards.

The launch of the research project coincides with national Alcohol Awareness Week (11th -18th October). This year the theme of the week, chosen by Alcohol Concern, is young people and their relationship with alcohol.

Four Primary Care Trusts (Sefton, Knowsley, Central & Eastern Cheshire and Western Cheshire) are participating in the research project, which is being delivered through a partnership with the Child Health Development Programme and the North West Regional Youth Work Unit.

Julie Webster, Lead Director of Public Health for alcohol for the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Network said, “We have seen many reports on the growing concern about young people and alcohol misuse. This is an extremely serious issue and it is vital we look into the causes of it. In general, the interventions and solutions to address this problem are designed by adults and as such they often don’t appeal to young people and struggle to make an impact. This project is all about listening to what young people have to say. We want to hear from them about what would motivate them to reduce their drinking habits to safer levels and get their ideas about services or interventions they think might help.”

The project also ties in with Cheshire & Merseyside local authorities recent endorsement of the proposed recommendations to set a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. ChaMPs and the lead local authorities have already started the consultation and engagement process.

Cllr Andrew Knowles, Chair of the Cheshire & Warrington Health & Wellbeing Commission and Cheshire East Council, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Evidence shows that we are taking the right approach to reducing alcohol harm through minimum pricing. Too many lives are blighted by alcohol harm and we are particularly concerned about the effect on young people who can buy alcohol at pocket money prices”.

The results of the research into young people’s attitudes will also be used to help inform future strategies for minimum pricing.

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