This weekend (27th April) I was lucky enough to spend at the ‘New Directions in Alcohol Group’ conference in Birmingham.

I am exhausted from so much mental stimulation and fun so will not write much. Key themes were alcohol policy and the importance of families both as clients in their own rights needing help and also as a valuable resource to help the drinker to recover.

You will be able to see a video of the proceedings on http://www.fead.org.uk/ very soon. My own contribution, the opening welcome to Birmingham, was not filmed but was merely an anecdotal reminder of the delights of Brum and Brummies.

NDSAG conferences are small, intimate affairs. Almost all the speakers are members of the group and stay for the duration of the conference so themes are picked up throughout and cross references made between presentations. The quality of presentations is unusually high and delegates are a mix of practitioners, researchers, policy makers and commissioners.

Social events include a drinks reception, a light hearted debate with a serious underlying theme (this year on whether we should take money from the alcohol industry) and a quiz. As a member of the winning quiz team this was of course my favourite bit!

Check out http://www.newdirections.org.uk/ for details of next year’s in Dundee!