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The Alcohol 'Problem' Podcast
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The Alcohol 'Problem' Podcast

Author: James Morris

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The Alcohol Problem Podcast aims to explore the nature of problem drinking with Dr James Morris and a range of guests
8 Episodes
In this episode we explore alcohol use and problems amongst older adults. Alcohol problems have been rising in recent decades amongst older drinkers, despite falls in consumption in other age groups. We talk to Dr Sarah Wadd, a researcher at the University of Bedfordshire, about some of the reasons behind alcohol problems amongst older adults and what can be done.John Slater also talks about his lived experience of developing an alcohol problem and his path to recovery, with help from the Drink Wise Age Well programme which ran from 2015-2020.WARNING: This episode contains mention of childhood trauma/abuse. If you may be upset by this you may not wish to listen. If you need help or want support relating to alcohol use in the UK, please visit the NHS support page or Alcohol Change UK pages, or call Drinkline on  0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm). 
In this episode I talk to two guests about the risks of alcohol use and attempts to communicate these via the UK's recommended guidelines of 14 units a week. Firstly I talk to Tom Chivers,  science editor at UnHerd and author. We talk about how the risks of alcohol use can or should be evaluated and communicated. Tom recently co-authored a book How to read numbers which includes a Statistical Style Guide  for journalists. Next I speak to Colin Angus,  a Senior Research Fellow in the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group within ScHARR. We talk about the science and development of the UK’s 14 units a week recommended guidelines. 
In this episode I talk to Chelsey (CJ) Flood, a novelist, lecturer, and the creator of Beautiful Hangover, a blog/community about alcohol and recovery. Chelsey talks about how alcohol came into her life, how it became problematic, the role of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in her recovery and coping strategies she has found post-alcohol. We discuss the pros and cons of peer support, abstinence vs moderation goals, how alcohol problems can develop, how we became aware of our problem drinking and other recovery reflections.Chelsey has two books authored as C.J Flood, Infinite Sky and Nightwanderers published by Simon and Schuster, and you can find her writing about sobriety/drinking at
In this episode we talk to Dr Melissa Oldham about why alcohol consumption appears to have fallen amongst children and young people over recent decades. Evidence shows that overall falls in UK consumption have been driven entirely by young people abstaining more frequently from alcohol, and when they do drink drinking less, and less often. However, the reasons for the these falls remain uncertain. For instance what role have changes in parenting, availability, social media and other cultural shifts affecting children and young people had, and what can we learn from this? Dr Melissa Oldham is a Research Fellow at University College London's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group. If you are interested in taking part in research about drinking less, please visit
In this episode guests talk about the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol use.Guests include:Dr Sadie Boniface and Habib Kadiri from the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) who provide an overview of some of the key indications from the research and importance of looking beyond media headlines.Dr Emily Nicholls and Dr Dominic Conroy talk about their research based on interviews with a number of drinkers reflecting on their alcohol use in response to the pandemic. Dr Gillian Shorter talks about British Psychological Society guidelines to support healthcare proffessionals in addressing alcohol issues.Daren Lee, a counsellor at a national addiction service and trainee psychologist currently researching the experience of people previously engaged in face to face recovery groups and have tried their online equivalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosy and Martin, who offer their insights into their relationship with alcohol over the last year. See here for the latest IAS report on alcohol consumption during the pandemic. See here for COVID alcohol support resources from Alcohol Change UK.
In this episode we talk to Dr Wendy Dossett, an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Chester,  about spirituality in recovery. This is discussed in terms of its interpretations through Alcoholics Anonymous as well spirituality in Buddhist-orientated recovery movements. Issues include how people make sense of their 'higher power' and how this may function in recovery, as well as other issues such as stigma, the 'disease model' and the pros and cons of self-labelling as 'an alcoholic' in different contexts. Wendy draws on her experience over the last eight years of researching the ways members of Twelve Step Fellowships talk about spirituality. Her project is called the Higher Power Project which you can find more about here. 
In this episode we talk to Dr Sally Adams, a hangover researcher at the University of Bath's Addiction and Mental Health Group about the science around hangovers! Questions include what hangovers really are, how individuals vary in their hangover symptoms, what really 'works' to treat them and other common hangover myths. For information or support relating to help with your or someone else's drinking please see here. 
In this episode I talk to journalist and TV broadcaster Adrian Chiles, the man behind the widely applauded 2018 BBC documentary, ‘Drinkers Like Me’. The programme has been credited with prompting a national conversation about alcohol use, and Adrian has continued to explore the subject and is writing a book about how to drink less. I spoke to Adrian about his journey and key questions relating to drinking and moderation. Please note: this episode explores moderation as a route to addressing potentially problematic/harmful drinking. This is not to negate abstinence related goals rather than to present and explore moderation in the context of the host guest's experiences. Anyone with physical alcohol dependence should seek medical advice before making changes to their drinking. For information or support relating to help with your or someone else's drinking please see here. 
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