Alcohol Awareness Week 2023

At the Society of St James we see the true cost of alcohol on a daily basis and are therefore extremely supportive of Alcohol Change UK’s campaign.

Alcohol Change UK’s theme this year is ‘Alcohol & Cost’ and they have put together a whole host of fact sheets that outline the true costs of Alcohol. We know that harm caused by alcohol brings huge personal and societal costs.  Alcohol death rates are increasing and millions more people are suffering from worsened mental and physical health every day as a result of harmful drinking. The cost of living crisis is likely causing some people to drink more to cope with added worries.

Here at The Society of James we deliver many different projects relating to homelessness, substance misuse, offending behaviour and/or mental ill health and without exception reducing alcohol harm is a feature of all of them.  Some people we work with self-medicate to cope with past trauma, learning difficulties and/or mental ill health (see Neal’s story), others just to be able to cope with life.

Our Specialist Alcohol Services

Substance Misuse and Recovery Housing – Portsmouth

Our focus this week has been on encouraging Portsmouth residents to consider their relationship with alcohol by holding a number of themed events at our Recovery Hub in Portsmouth:

  • Monday 3rd July, 14:00-16:00, The cost of alcohol on physical and mental health
  • Tuesday 4th July, 14:00-16:00, The cost to family. Are you concerned about a loved one?
  • Thursday, 5th July, 14:00-16:00, The cost to health, particularly the liver
  • Friday, 6th July, 14:00-16:00, The cost on life and employment


The Recovery Hub, Campion Place
44-46 Elm Grove

T: 0239 229 4573

Please visit our dedicated Portsmouth Recovery Hub site for more information and to refer into the service even if just for some non-judgemental advice.

Alcohol Accommodation Service – Southampton

Our specialist alcohol supported accommodation service is part of the Southampton Housing Related Support service and supports 24 adults who are trying to overcome their problematic alcohol use so that they can have a better, healthier future. All the support is tailored around individual needs and people are encouraged to progress at a pace that is comfortable for them. As with all of our services, meaningful activity is key to helping people have a different focus in their life, and we encourage our clients to access the wide range of opportunities that we offer to help them find something new to motivate them.

People who have become physically dependent on alcohol need to reduce their intake gradually because suddenly stopping when your body is physically dependent is highly dangerous and can be life-threatening. To keep people safe and help them reduce their alcohol use without placing them at risk of harm, we work in close partnership with healthcare colleagues to make sure that any reduction plan is safe.

Our Care Homes – Southampton

Sadly our Care Homes are a reminder of the long-term damage alcohol can cause.  St James Care and Linden House were purchased as the Society of St James recognised a number of our vulnerable adults we supported in our accommodation services often went on to have longer team health difficulties or more complex needs caused by alcohol dependency. As consequence in 2007 they purchased an older person’s home in Radstock Road, Woolston which went on to be named “St James Care”.

After a number of years it was more widely recognised that our specialist care and support was in demand and with a continual waiting list in 2020 after looking for around 2 years we purchased “Linden House”.

Both Homes are 24 hours staffed with a dedicated team who are understanding, and trained around the complex needs that can come from many years of drinking or substance misuse. There is no criteria for local area connections, as placements are generally funded by adult social care as the homes are both registered with the Care Quality Commission.

Local Services

If you are concerned about your relationship with alcohol please visit one of these relevant sites:

Alcohol Change UK

Portsmouth Services

Southampton Services

Hampshire Services

IOW Services