Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #134
Issue no. 134
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • New Phase of Alcohol.Think Again ‘I See’ Campaign
  • Why Are Young People Drinking Less?
  • Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Conference
  • Cheap Alcohol Deals, But At What Cost: New on DrinkTank
  • New Report – Cheap Alcohol: The Price We Pay
  • New Research on Time Spent Caring for Drinkers
  • Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!
  • Alcohol in the News
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

A new report shows that young Australians aged 18 to 24 years are more likely than any other age group to drink at risky levels for all but one measure of risky drinking.
The report, Trends in alcohol availability, use and treatment 2003-04 to 2014-15, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found:Image of AIHW report cover

  • Almost half (47%) of Australians who reported drinking at risk of injury from a single drinking occasion were aged 18 to 24 years.
  • Those who reported lifetime risky drinking were most likely to be aged 40-49 years (23%).
  • The rate of pure alcohol available per person in Australia has steadily declined since 2008-09, although mixed trends were apparent by jurisdiction.
  • The rate of alcohol use has decreased over time; the biggest decreases were reported in drinking at risky levels on a single occasion (11% fall) and over a lifetime (13% fall).
  • Remote and very remote areas had higher rates for people drinking at risky levels and receiving treatment for alcohol in 2013.

The report noted that research shows increasing the price of alcohol, restricting trading hours and reducing outlet density can have positive outcomes in reducing alcohol use and harms related to drinking.
Mr Beard, an AIHW spokesperson, said that while there are positive drinking patterns emerging overall, patterns of risky drinking and alcohol dependence continue to be significant issues in Australia, with less favourable patterns seen among some groups.
Want more?
Read the full report, the media release and media coverage.
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth

did you know?

Although higher rates of risky drinking were reported for Indigenous Australians than non-Indigenous Australians, the gap between these groups decreased between 2010 and 2013.

Source: AIHW 2016.

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New Phase of Alcohol.Think Again ‘I See’ Campaign

The Alcohol. Think Again ‘I See’ campaign is back on WA TV screens from this week.  Image of 'I See' campaign ad
‘I See’ is part of the Parents, Young People and Alcohol campaign which promotes the expert guidelines that for under 18s, no alcohol is the safest choice. The campaign features paramedics, a paediatrician and a school psychologist – the people who witness young people experiencing harm caused by alcohol.

The latest burst of the campaign features a new ad focusing on the paramedic’s experience of alcohol-related harms, including spinal and head injuries, broken legs and people left unconscious.  
This campaign burst will use TV, digital, out-of-home and print media to target WA parents of young people aged 12-17 years with messages about the importance of delaying young people’s alcohol use.
Previous research shows the campaign messages are getting through. The majority of WA parents (96%) understand that for under 18s, no alcohol is the safest choice.
Want more?
Check out the campaign materials, including the TV ads, on the Alcohol. Think Again website.

Why Are Young People Drinking Less?

In a recent special issue of Public Health Research and Practice, Moore and colleagues discussed the drinking habits of young people in NSW and the influencing factors.Image of paper by Moore and colleagues
They found that a promising picture is emerging, with clear trends of young Australians delaying their first use of alcohol. This trend could be explained in part due to changing leisure patterns of young people (increased time spent online), increasing cultural diversity and action by governments. The authors noted that there is good evidence that strategies such as taxation and reduction in supply are likely to have a significant impact on alcohol use, including on young people.
The authors noted the important role of governments in regulating the sale and supply of alcohol, taxation, measures to reduce underage access to alcohol, school alcohol and drug education curriculum and providing programs that equip families to support young people.
Want more?
Read the full paper in Public Health Research and Practice.

Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Conference

The 2016 National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference ‘Showing initiative: Alcohol and other drug responses required to Image of NIDA conferenceClose the Gap by 2030’ is being held this week in South Australia.
The conference hopes to highlight the contributing role that harmful alcohol and other drug use has on the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the interventions required to close the gap.
Keynote presenters include Romlie Mokak, Associate Professor Ted Wilkes, Professor Kate Conigrave and Associate Professor James Ward. Among initiatives discussed at the conference was the Strong Spirit Strong Mind Metro Project from WA’s Mental Health Commission.
Check out #NIDAC2016 to catch up on all the action. Check out the conference website for more.

Cheap Alcohol Deals, But At What Cost: New on DrinkTank

Image of DrinkTank blog post

A new blog post on DrinkTank explores how supermarkets promote alcohol in their weekly catalogues. “Beer with your breakfast cereal? Tequila with your toilet paper?”, writes Dr Robyn Johnston.
“Our review found alcohol was promoted every week and that price-based promotions were predominant. The median price per standard drink was $1.49 and started at just 19 cents,” she wrote. “Wine cask promotions were the cheapest standard drink across all product types, and often required customers to buy multiple casks (the equivalent of 15 litres of wine).”
“This research gives just one more example of the need for independent controls on alcohol marketing in Australia. This includes supermarket catalogue advertising, where alcohol is marketed among everyday grocery products.”
Want more?
Read the  blog on DrinkTank.

New Report – Cheap Alcohol: The Price We Pay

A new report from the Alcohol Health Alliance in the UK has found that “alcohol continues to be sold at pocket money prices in supermarkets and off-licences across the UK.”Image of AHA UK report
The researchers analysed 480 products and found that high-strength white cider, which is mostly drunk by dependent and underage drinkers, is being sold for as little as 16p per unit of alcohol. The report also found:
  • A wide range of cheap alcohol being sold by major supermarkets in the UK;
  • An abundance of summer-focused promotions, which included deals on multi-packs and free giveaways with alcohol purchases; and
  • The average child’s weekly pocket money could buy more than double the adult weekly recommended limits of alcohol.
Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore said, “We need to make excessively cheap alcohol less affordable through the tax system, including an increase in cider duty…It’s time the government took action and made all high strength alcohol less attractive to vulnerable drinkers.” 
Want more?
Read the full report, Cheap alcohol: the price we pay and the media release.

New Research on Time Spent Caring for Drinkers

Australian research shows that caring for family members, friends and co-workers who drink heavily can be a substantial burden.Image of paper by Jiang and colleagues
Key findings of the research by Jiang and colleagues include:
  • Respondents who reported they were harmed by a drinker they knew had spent an average of 32 hours caring for this drinker and their dependents in the past 12 months.
  • The annual cost of caring in 2008 equated to $250 million.
  • The heavier and more often a person drank, the more time was spent caring for them and their dependents by family and friends.
The authors concluded that policy approaches that reduce population drinking and individual risky drinking levels are potential means to reduce the burden of caring due to others’ drinking.
Want more?
Read the paper, Measuring time spent caring for drinkers and their dependents, in Alcohol and Alcoholism. 

Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!

Image of AARB shelter
If you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, you can do something about it!
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) accepts complaints about alcohol ads from the Australian community. It’s very simple – either email us, fill in the online form or phone us. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and briefly why it concerns you.
To keep up-to-date on AARB determinations, reports and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

Alcohol in the News

Domestic assaults will increase if alcohol laws relaxed, medical experts warn
Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2016
Medical experts have cautioned the Baird government against any relaxation of its controversial 10pm takeaway alcohol trading restriction, warning that any reversal will increase the rate of domestic assault.
Alcohol, beer consumption will keep falling until 2024
Financial Review, 10 October 2016
Consumption of alcohol per capita in Australia, which has already tumbled to 50-year lows, is forecast to keep falling steady until at least 2024, as the under 30s age group focuses more on fitness, and baby boomers cut back.
Paul McCue: It’s time we asked ourselves questions about the supply of alcohol, 9 October 2016
Opinion: Domestic and family violence is a sad truth in the Territory.
Binge drinking still a problem among young Australians, experts calls for more education on risks
ABC News, 7 October 2016
Young people between 18 and 24 are continuing to drink at risky levels and are unlikely to seek help, according to the latest national report on the consumption of alcohol from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
Making life better for Fitzroy Crossing’s damaged kids
The Australian, 6 October 2016
June Oscar doesn’t do things by half measures. When she sought to curb the rivers of grog swathing through her remote West Australian community of Fitzroy Crossing a decade ago, she knew she’d face opposition.
Alcohol continues to be sold at ‘pocket money prices’, report finds
The Guardian (UK), 6 October 2016
Study from Alcohol Health Alliance finds cider on sale at 16p a unit, way below the 50p minimum recommended price.
Opinion: Real alcohol reform should start at the top
Courier Mail, 5 October 2016
With one in five Australians being a victim of alcohol-related violence, with one in four saying they cannot stop drinking once they start, and with grog costing Australia up to $30 billion each year, our states and territories mist work with the Commonwealth to deliver real reform – and hang the public – opinion consequences.
ACT politicians urged to address drug, alcohol problems and divert youth away from justice system
Canberra Times, 2 October 2016
More needs to be done to keep the ACT’s young people out of the criminal justice system and help those using drugs to get off them.

The Facts

Recent research surveyed 1,001 young Australians aged 15-29 years about their use of alcohol pages on social media:
  1. 24.9% liked at least 1 of the alcohol marketing social media pages, most commonly brands of spirits, cider and alcohol retailers.
  2. Underage young people were as likely as older young people to report liking these pages.
  3. Alcohol marketing social media use was associated with being a male, living outside a major city, ever using illegal drugs and early age of first alcohol use.
  4. Liking or following alcohol marketing pages is associated with riskier alcohol consumption.
Source: Carrotte E, et al 2016. Who ‘likes’ alcohol? Young Australians’ engagement with alcohol marketing via social media and related alcohol consumption patterns. Aust NZ J Public Health.
Alcohol Action Station aims to provide the WA community with the tools to take action to reduce harms from alcohol among young people. It is provided by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth in association with the Injury Control Council of WA. You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to receive Alcohol Action Station fortnightly e‐newsletters and urgent bulletins.

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