Research into the potential for substance switching following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales

Katharine Holloway, Tom May, Marian Buhociu, Wulf Livingstone, Andy Perkins, Iolo Madoc-Jones

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    This report presents the results of a study investigating the potential consequences of introducing a minimum price for alcohol (MPA) in Wales with a focus on the possibility of ‘substance switching’. The study was conducted by a consortium of researchers from Figure 8 Consultancy, the University of South Wales and Glyndŵr University. The research gathered the views and opinions of both service providers and drinkers using a combination of qualitative interviews and online survey questionnaires. The study examined the potential impact of MPA on individuals, including their knowledge and understanding of the plan and how they would cope with and prepare for possible extra costs, what other substances they currently use and whether they are likely to switch to using other drugs, and what support they may need. The study found that for the majority of drinkers, the only switching or change in use is likely to be alcohol related and largely an adaptation of existing behaviour within the new pricing framework, such as a switch in type of alcohol or a change in purchasing behaviour. It was felt that for many drinkers, alcohol is a clear drug of choice and crossing over to drugs, and especially towards the margins of legal/illegal activity, was just not an option. There was a suggestion that switching between substances would be more likely to occur amongst certain groups, notably street drinkers and those with prior experience of drug use.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherWelsh Government
    Commissioning bodyWelsh Government
    Number of pages146
    ISBN (Print)978-1-83933-367-5
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2019

    Publication series

    NameWelsh Government
    PublisherSocial Research


    • Minimum Pricing for Alcohol
    • Substance switching


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