Assessing the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing on Homeless and Street Drinkers: A qualitative study

Funded by Chief Scientist Office.

Collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University, Heriot-Watt University, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Queen Margaret University and University of Victoria.

Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) increases the price of alcohol with the aim of reducing the amount people drink. It was introduced in Scotland in May 2018 and is a world first, but the policy remains controversial. Evidence suggests it may be effective, but the impact on very vulnerable drinkers, specifically people who are homeless or who drink on the streets, is unknown. We want to interview homeless and street drinkers to explore how MUP has affected their drinking, health and other aspects of their life (e.g., crime, begging, relationships with family/friends). The impact of MUP on vulnerable drinkers could be positive (e.g., less drinking), negative (e.g., switching to drugs) or both. We will also interview professionals to explore their views on how MUP has affected vulnerable drinkers and the services they provide. Our research will inform the Scottish Government’s decision on whether to continue with MUP. It will also inform the public and other governments about the consequenses of the policy

Total award value £8,114.00

People (1)


Professor Anne Whittaker

Professor Anne Whittaker

Professor of Nursing, NMAHP

Outputs (1)


Research Report

Elliott L, Emslie C, Dimova E, Whiteford M, O’Brien R, Strachan H, Johnsen S, Rush R, Smith I, Stockwell T & Whittaker A (2022) Minimum Unit Pricing: Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Homeless Drinkers, Street Drinkers and Service Providers. Chief Scientist Office. Research Project Briefing. Edinburgh.

Research themes