'It's like a safety haven': Considerations for the implementation of Managed Alcohol Programs in Scotland



Parkes T, Carver H, Matheson C, Browne T & Pauly B (2021) 'It's like a safety haven': Considerations for the implementation of Managed Alcohol Programs in Scotland. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy.

Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are not equitably spread across the population, with some groups such as people who are experiencing homelessness being more vulnerable to AUDs due to social inequalities, stigma, and complex social and structural processes. Managed alcohol programs (MAPs) are a harm reduction approach first developed in Canada for those experiencing AUDs and homelessness with positive results. This study aimed to describe the factors that should be considered when implementing MAPs in Scotland. Qualitative data were collected in Scotland via semi‐structured interviews with 29 individuals in a range of roles, including strategic informants (n = 12), service staff (n = 8) and potential beneficiaries (n = 9). Vignettes were used to support data collection. Data were analysed using Framework in NVivo. Participants highlighted six key considerations to inform implementation of MAPs in Scotland: the importance of individualized care; provision of alcohol; holistic care and a focus on wellbeing; types of settings and service models; staffing; and autonomy and rules. Future research should focus on piloting MAPs in a range of service contexts, using different models of care and settings, to develop enhanced understanding of their effectiveness in addressing harms and promoting wellbeing for those experiencing AUDs and homelessness.

alcohol; homelessness; alcohol use disorders; harm reduction; managed alcohol programs; qualitative research; Scotland

Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy

StatusIn Press
FundersCSO Chief Scientist Office
Publication date online02/07/2021
Date accepted by journal16/06/2021

People (4)


Dr Hannah Carver
Dr Hannah Carver

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Professor Catriona Matheson
Professor Catriona Matheson

Professor in Substance Use, Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Tessa Parkes
Professor Tessa Parkes

Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Bernadette Pauly
Professor Bernadette Pauly

Honorary Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Research centres/groups