Luton launch its first alcohol helpline service

Luton’s 1st Alcohol Helpline service has been launched this week, offering support and advice for people with mild to moderate alcohol problems who would not meet the threshold for more specialised alcohol services.

This new helpline is a direct research study conducted by researchers from the University of Bedfordshire’s Institute of Applied Social Research and Dr. Sarah Wadd, Director of the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team (SMART) at the University of Bedfordshire. The new Alcohol Helpline will provide supplementary support to people already attending alcohol services out of hours or in between appointments. The service will be delivered under the collaboration between Luton Borough Council, and Change Grow Live ResoLUTiONs and supported by the University of Bedfordshire.

According to Councilor Khtija Malik, Portfolio Holder for Public Health Luton: “…the greatest proportion of alcohol-related harm is from the broader population with alcohol problems of mild to moderate severity. The helpline will be able to support people who might be concerned about their drinking but maybe feel reluctant or unready to contact specialist services.

“The campaign is targeted at people from all walks of life who suspect they could be drinking a bit too much but don’t feel it’s enough to contact any of the main services. 

“For us, the success of the campaign will not only be the number of people calling the helpline but will also highlight the risks associated with drinking alcohol, make them think twice and change their behaviour as a result.”   

Sally Cartwright, Director of Public Health for Luton highlighted that “Many people with alcohol problems do not or will not seek treatment from alcohol services due to a range of barriers including stigma and shame, service operating hours and practical issues around appointment attendance such as transport and caring responsibilities”. 

She added: “We hope that this new telephone-delivered service will overcome some of these known barriers by providing a greater degree of anonymity, convenience, and extended-service hours and ultimately to help those people who want to make a change for the better to live a longer, healthier life.” 


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