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Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #138
Issue no. 138
12/12/2016
ICCWA MCAAY
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Alcohol and Energy Drinks: A Dangerous Mix
  • Alcohol and Drugs of Most Concern Among Young People
  • How Many Times Will Children See Alcohol Ads This Festive Season?
  • Alcohol Tax Among Top 10 Priorities to Get Australia’s Health on Track
  • Top Tips on Going Alcohol-Free This Festive Season
  • Alcohol in the News
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Ahead of the 2017 WA election, a coalition of 70 WA groups has called on all political parties to commit to action to protect children and young people from the harmful effects of alcohol.
 
The WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition, chaired by Professor Fiona Stanley AC, released its WA Election Platform today. Professor Stanley said, “The level of government action on alcohol to date has not matched the level of community concern. Ahead of the WA election, we call on all political parties to make a commitment to protecting children and young people from the harms of alcohol.”
 
Australian Medical Association (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said, “Each week in WA there are 10 deaths, 298 hospitalisations and 98 domestic violence assaults related to alcohol. From immediate impacts to long-term harms, doctors have to deal with the consequences.”Image of WA Coalition election platform cover page
 
The platform is focused on six priority areas:

  • Reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion;
  • Reduce underage access to alcohol;
  • Continue support for alcohol education programs;
  • Ensure fair liquor licensing processes;
  • Support WA to lead Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention; and
  • Consider measures to ensure that alcohol is not sold at unreasonably low prices.

The WA Election Platform follows the release of new market research results, commissioned by the McCusker Centre. McCusker Centre Executive Officer, Julia Stafford, said, “There is overwhelming support for policies that will make a real difference in preventing harm from alcohol. WA political parties can be confident that effective action on alcohol will be supported by 70 health and community groups as well as the vast majority of the public.”
 
What can I do?
We encourage you to write to major parties ahead of the election to ask them to commit to protecting children and young people from the harmful effects of alcohol.

Contact the WA Liberal Party (Hon Colin Barnett MLA); WA Labor Party (Hon Mark McGowan MLA); The Nationals WA (Hon Brendon Grylls MLA); and The WA Greens (Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC).

Want more?
Read the WA Coalition’s Election Platform.
Check out
market research results.
Read the
media release and media coverage for more.
 
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth

did you know?

73% of WA adults think that children and young people are exposed to alcohol advertising frequently or very frequently.
 

Source: McCusker Centre.

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Alcohol and Energy Drinks: A Dangerous Mix

New research from VicHealth has highlighted the dangers of alcohol mixed with energy drinks.
 
The three year project found that:
  • Image of a canYoung adults aged 18-24 reported the highest use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, with 20% doing so in the past 3 months.
  • Reasons for mixing alcohol with energy drinks included: taste preference, energy seeking, pleasure seeking (they like the ‘buzz’) and to increase/accelerate or decrease/decelerate intoxication or to appear less drunk.
  • Use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks was seen as being deliberately and purposefully reserved for heavy drinking sessions in the context of binge drinking and a ‘big night out’ where the drinker adopted a persona as the ‘life of the party’.
  • There is a link between risk of alcohol dependence, experience of harm and aggression and the use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks.
The report notes that policymakers should consider the roles of pricing, availability and promotion of alcohol mixed with energy drinks prior to and after midnight, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as one aspect of wider decision making on action to reduce alcohol-related harm.
 
“This research shows that there is potential to contribute to reducing alcohol-related harm by specifically considering [alcohol mixed with energy drinks] in late night liquor licensing alcohol control policy and regulation,” the report states.
 
Want more?
Read the full report from VicHealth; read media coverage.

Alcohol and Drugs of Most Concern Among Young People

A new survey by Mission Australia shows increasing numbers of young people are reporting concerns about alcohol and drugs, mental health and discrimination. Image of Mission Australia report findings
 
The Mission Australia Youth Survey 2016 interviewed 22,000 15 to 19 year olds. Results include:
  • Alcohol and drugs was the top issue of national concern, with 28.7% of young people concerned. In WA, 4 in 10 (38%) were concerned about alcohol and drugs.
  • Mental health entered the top three concerns for the first time, with concern doubling in the last 6 years to 20.6%.
  • Around 3 in 10 (30.9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people identified alcohol and drugs as an important issue in Australia today.
  • Around 20% of Australian young people, 29.5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and 21.3% of WA young people identified alcohol and drugs as an issue of personal concern (at least somewhat concerned).
  • Compared to the previous two years, alcohol and drugs has risen as an issue of national concern among WA young people.
Catherine Yeomans, CEO of Mission Australia said she was particularly worried about the growing numbers of young people reporting concerns around alcohol and drugs, mental health and discrimination.
 
Want more?
Read the media release and the report on the Mission Australia website.
Read media coverage here.

How Many Times Will Children See Alcohol Ads This Festive Season?

With the festive season fast approaching, the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) is encouraging Australians to think about how many times children could be exposed to alcohol ads, particularly as alcohol advertising tends to ramp up around the Summer months.
 
Image of AARB's A Day in the Life Of infographicA Day in the Life of a Child is a hypothetical example of how many times an average 15 year old could be exposed to alcohol advertising, based on complaints received by the AARB. Young people could be exposed to alcohol ads through social media, public transport, shopping centres, on TV during sport, and various websites.
 
It is well established that alcohol advertising impacts on young people. Expert groups recommend restricting alcohol advertising during times and in places which have high exposure to children and young people.
 
What can I do?
Next time you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, let the AARB know. Submitting a complaint is very simple – either email us or fill in the online form. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and briefly why it concerns you.
 
Want more?
Check out the ‘A Day in the Life of a Child’ infographic.
Read recent determination reports by the AARB Panel.

Alcohol Tax Among Top 10 Priorities to Get Australia’s Health on Track

A new report tracking Australia’s health has recommended responsible alcohol tax as a way to reduce harm from alcohol.
 
Getting Australia’s Health on Track reports that while recent trends in alcohol consumption indicate progress towards the target of a reduction in the harmful use of alcohol, alcohol-related harm has remained stable or worsened.
 
The proportion of young women presenting to emergency departments for alcohol-related injuries is on the rise and the proportion of young men – although improving slightly – remains too high.
 
“Australia’s alcohol taxation system should be consistent, coherent and based on harm reduction principles. Therefore, a 10% increase in current excise for alcohol is recommended, and volumetric excises should be applied to wine, cider and other fruit-based alcohol products (which have previously been exempt from volumetric tax),” the report recommends, noting that this is the most effective way of significantly reducing alcohol related harm.

 Image from the Getting Australia's Health on Track report

Want more?
Read the full report Getting Australia’s Health on Track from the Australian Health Policy Collaboration.

Top Tips on Going Alcohol-Free This Festive Season

With the holiday season in full swing, DrinkTank has published a guide to going booze free over Christmas.
 
The guide includes tips on how to avoid alcohol during five common social situations over the festive season: the catch up, Christmas parties, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Eve.
 Image of Christmas decorations
The guide also includes a link to 12 Mocktails of Christmas, where 12 ‘delightful mocktail recipes’ are slowly revealed during December.
 
Check it out here.
 
From all of us at the McCusker Centre, we would like to wish all readers a safe and happy festive season!

Alcohol in the News

St Vincent’s Hospital calls on NSW government to rethink bottleshop changes
Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2016
St Vincent’s Hospital has called on the Baird government to reconsider an extension of bottle shop trading hours as part of a relaxation of its controversial “lockout laws”, saying a 10pm closing time has “stopped a conveyor belt of carnage” and domestic assaults.
 
Lockout, last drinks laws relaxed after review
Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2016
A relaxation of the 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks laws for live entertainment premises in Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD will be trialled for two years and a state-wide ban on take away sales and home delivery after 10pm shifted to 11pm following a review of the controversial measures.
 
Wealthy mums risk alcohol-affected babies
The West Australian, 7 December 2016
There are white, educated, affluent mothers in leafy Perth suburbs who drank alcohol during pregnancy, gave birth and unaware they could be raising a child affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – FASD – because their child does not have the facial abnormalities or severe intellectual impairment associated with the extreme end of the condition. 

Push for grog limits in regions
The West Australian, 6 December 2016
Regional community leaders and police are pushing for broader liquor restrictions across country WA in a bid to help address family dysfunction, antisocial behaviour and crime.
 
Majority oppose plan to extend NSW bottle shop opening hours: poll
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 December 2017
Public attitudes towards extending opening hours for bottle shops in NSW are split along generation lines with the majority of young people supportive but over half of the wider community opposed.
 
FASD: Record Indigenous incarceration rates could be avoided with early clinical assessment: experts
ABC News, 28 November 2016
Leading experts in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) believe Australia’s record rates of Indigenous incarceration could be dramatically reduced if children were clinically assessed when their troubled behaviour first emerged in the classroom or at home.
 
Liquor trader yet to share millions with Indigenous owners
The Australian, 28 November 2016
A company lobbying to wind back landmark alcohol restrictions in the troubled West Australian town of Fitzroy Crossing had failed to distribute millions of dollars in profits to its Aboriginal shareholders since it formed almost 30 years ago with federal government backing.

The Facts

New research from Melbourne on drunkenness among pedestrians shows:
  1. Alcohol use is common among Victorian pedestrians, bike riders and other non-motorised transport road users.
  2. 1 in 4 pedestrians and 1 in 10 bicyclists with serious injuries presenting to a major trauma centre were drunk.
  3. The trauma burden from drunkenness is likely to be grossly underestimated.
Source: Mitra et al. Alcohol intoxication in non-motorised road trauma. Emergency Med Australas. 2016. 
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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