Alcohol & your health: make informed choices - AMA brochure for young people
Australian Medical Association (AMA), 28 December 2010
The AMA today released a brochure containing practical advice to help Australians to be more knowledgeable and responsible about alcohol consumption.
AMA Vice President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the AMA wants people, especially young people, to start the New Year with a greater understanding of the harmful effects of excessive and irresponsible drinking.
“We know that some people enjoy the social aspects of drinking, but they do not need to put themselves, their friends, their loved ones, and others at risk of alcohol-related harms,” Dr Hambleton said.
“Doctors see the consequences of alcohol-related violence and traffic accidents every day, particularly among young people who are more likely to exercise poor judgement and impaired decision making when drinking.
“More than half of all serious alcohol-related road injuries occur among 15-24 year olds, and alcohol is associated with about one-third of self-inflicted injuries and suicides.
“Thirteen per cent of deaths among 14-17 year olds are due to alcohol-related harms, including road injury, suicide and violent assault, with a further 60 teenagers hospitalised each week.”
To help young people understand the risks associated with alcohol, the AMA has produced a brochure, Alcohol and Your Health: Make Informed Choices, which contains information about the short and long term health impacts of excessive drinking.
“At this time of year especially, when people tend to drink more alcohol, the AMA is encouraging parents and other adults to discuss with young people the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption,” Dr Hambleton said.
“The brochure is an educational resource that explains in plain language that young people do not need to drink excessively to have a good time and enjoy the company of their friends. We provide information about how alcohol affects the body, and explain the dangers of consuming energy drinks with alcohol. There are tips on how to avoid drink spiking, and advice on sensible drinking and safe partying.
“If people drink excessively, they can put their friends and families at risk of alcohol-related violence and motor accidents. The AMA urges all Australians to take a responsible approach to alcohol into the New Year festivities and beyond,” Dr Hambleton said.
Health Experts Move To Dispel Confusion Over Drinking While Pregnant
9 December 2010: Leading Australian health experts say not drinking alcohol during pregnancy remains the safest option for women, following the release of research suggesting light drinking may not cause harm to a developing baby.
The National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders (NOFASARD), the Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Foundation (AER Foundation), the FASD Scientific Network from the University of Queensland (FASDSN) and the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (RFFADA) have joined together to reaffirm the evidence-based advice about drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Booze Warnings Not Reaching Young Drivers
ABC News, 7th December 2010
A new survey has concluded that road safety messages about drink-driving are not working on young people.
According to an AAMI survey of almost 3,000 Australians aged 18 to 24, very little has changed since its first Young Drivers Index was released in 2001.
Alcohol responsible for nearly half of treatment for alcohol and other drug use
Friday 3 December 2010
Alcohol remains the most common drug Australians seek treatment for, making up almost half of all drug and alcohol related treatment episodes in 2008–09, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
Overdose antidote scheme 'could save lives'
Wed Dec 1, 2010
The ACT Government has expressed interest in a scheme to help friends and relatives of drug users to resuscitate them from overdoses.
Out of harms way - IFRC Report
29 November 2010
To mark World AIDS Day 2010, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have released a report, 'Out of Harm's Way', highlighting the failures of governments and donors to effectively tackle HIV and injecting drug use, and the urgency with which a human-rights based, effective response is needed. A central message of the report is the importance of prioritising harm reduction over the criminalisation of drug use.
Enjoy the holiday season by drinking responsibly with your family and friends
26 November 2010: The Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Foundation (AER Foundation)
encourages Australians to stay safe and look out for their mates by drinking responsibly during the
holiday season. Research shows the risks associated with irresponsible drinking are real, with around
two million Australians claiming they knew someone who injured themselves or was harmed as a
result of excessive alcohol consumption last Christmas holidays¹.
Alcohol Consumption in Australia - ABC
The Health Report Transcript & Audio
ABC The Health Report, 22 November 2010
The Health Report's Daniel Keogh talks with Associate Professor Tanya Chikritzhs from the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University in Perth about her research into alcohol consumption in Australia.
Surge in demand for alcohol rehab
Ashley Hall, 22 November 2010
Alcohol has a grip on Australians and the situation is getting worse, experts say.
The warning follows a surge in the number of alcohol-related admissions to one of Sydney's leading drug rehabilitation centres.
Alcohol was the principal drug of concern for about 40 per cent of people entering Odyssey House in the past financial year, compared to about a quarter of admissions the year before.
Young Aussies face pressure to drink
DrinkWise Australia, 18 November 2010
Young Australians face the risk of social exclusion if they don’t drink the way their peers are drinking.
According to a study funded by DrinkWise Australia and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing released today, young people who choose to stay sober will typically have to come up with socially acceptable reasons why they are not drinking and will potentially face heavy social exclusion at worst, through to constant interrogation at best.
Chair of the Board of DrinkWise, Trish Worth, said one reason for this exclusion is that the sober member of the group reduces the confidence and enjoyment of those who are drinking, making them self conscious.
Access the: Media Release
Australian Drug Foundation (ADF)
8th November 2010
The Australian Drug Foundation has today released the findings of a Deakin University study that shows kids who are supplied with alcohol by people other than parents are more likely to drink and consume larger amounts.
“We know that when young people binge drink, they are more at risk of harms such as sexual assault, injury or even death. It can also set children up for a lifetime of heavy drinking,” said John Rogerson CEO Australian Drug Foundation.
Of Substnace Magazine
November 2010 Vol. 8 No.3
The November issue of Of Substance is out now, and is full of the latest information about alcohol and other drug research and events.
Feature articles include:
- Open all hours: Drug and alcohol help in the online era
- Youth, drugs and the media: How media reporting on illicit drugs influences young people
- Protecting children: Parental drug use and mandatory reporting on illicit drugs influences young people
- In the needle's eye: Interview with Ingrid van Beek
- Cannabis: The gap between law and enforcement around Australia
- Winners and highlights from the National Drug and Alcohol Awards 2010
National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre
(NDARC) Newsletter Nov 2010
The main feature is on this issue of Centrelines is The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol's Harms to Others. The issue also contains a list of the Centre's recent publications, a selection of abstracts and notes on some of its current projects.
News media turns young people off illicit drugs
Media reports on illicit drugs "reduce acceptability and increase perception of risk" among young people, study finds
Mainstream media reporting is far more likely to deter young people from using illicit drugs than encourage their use, a new Australian study has found.
But the study also found that types of reports most likely to have the strongest impact on young people − those on social and health consequences of drug taking − were underrepresented in the media.
The study by the Drug Policy Modelling Program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW, and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, measured the impact of media reports on illicit drugs on the attitudes of over 2,000 young people aged 16 - 24.
Bulletin 12: Self-managed change from problematic cannabis use
Cannabis is the world’s most widely used illicit drug. In Australia, one in three have tried it, and almost one in ten have usd it in the past year.1,2 While the majority of cannabis use is intermittent and self-limiting, a significant minority will use it more often, for a longer period of time, and develop cannabis dependence. This qualitative study examined the processes involved in self-managed change from problematic cannabis use through an online survey of Australians who had ceased or significantly reduced their use of cannabis for at least six months, without utilising formal treatments. Common themes arose from their responses, pertaining to pathways into and from cannabis use; effects of use; influences on the individual’s decision to stop or reduce use; the experience of withdrawal; techniques used to initiate and maintain behaviour change; changes associated with changes in cannabis use; and reflections of knowledge gained in the process. This study suggests a number of issues that might be considered to aid those desiring cessation or reduction of cannabis use. The incorporation of these findings and strategies into clinical practice and into web- and print-based information may assist and encourage those preparing to manage their own cessation or reduction of cannabis use.
Illicit drug data report 2008-09
Australian Crime Commission, October 2010
llicit drug seizures have increased over the last decade and are almost 70 per cent higher than in 1999–2000 according to this statistical overview of recent illicit drug arrests and seizures.
The report also profiles the current situation, national impact and the emerging trends and threats of illicit drugs in Australia.
The Illicit Drug Data Report is produced by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and is recognised as one of the most valuable tools for law enforcement agencies, policy and decision makers, research bodies and other stakeholders in combating illicit drugs.
From the Mountaintops What the World Can Learn from Drug Policy Change in Switzerland
Date: October 2010
Source: Open Society Foundations
Author: Joanne Csete
Published by the Open Society Foundations, this report looks at how evidence-based services such as heroin treatment, injection rooms, and needle exchange can lower HIV infection rates, improve health outcomes, and lower crime rates.
Switzerland, a country known for its solid conservatism, was shaken by seeing its cities become the point of convergence of thousands of drug users and counterculture activists, culminating in large open drug scenes in the late 1980s.
The country was hit hard by HIV, which was strongly linked—both in the public mind and in reality—to growing drug injection. A confluence of events and people led Switzerland to reject more repressive policing and instead to rethink drug police practices and drug policy more broadly.
Health professionals who were persuaded that the harms of drug injection could be controlled more effectively by public health programs than by policing were at the vanguard of shifting the parameters of Swiss drug policy.
This report, by Joanne Csete, associate professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, is available for download in English below.
NSW Govt. Health
A newsletter for primary and community health care providers in NSW: October 2010, Issue 2