Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #40
Issue no. 40
In this Issue
  • welcome to alcohol action station
  • did you know?
  • alcohol.think again parents, young people and alcohol campaign
  • what's new on drink tank?
  • night venues and entertainment events project
  • alcohol action in rural communities: new research
  • alcohol advertising review board: now on twitter!
  • alcohol advertising review board: recent determinations
  • alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) is the largest cause of non-genetic, at-birth brain damage in Australia.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs conducted an inquiry into FASD. The report of the inquiry – FASD: The Hidden Harm – was tabled in parliament today.
The Committee made 19 recommendations directed at the Commonwealth Government, outlining a national strategy to prevent, identify and manage FASD in Australia. The recommendations include:
  • The actions set out in this report should constitute the Commonwealth Government’s National Plan of Action for the prevention, diagnosis and management of FASD.
  • The establishment of an ongoing FASD Reference Group reporting to the relevant Commonwealth Government Ministers.
  • Ensure that all health professionals are fully aware of the NHMRC guidelines that advise women not to drink while pregnant and trained in discussing the guidelines with women.
  • Implement a general public awareness campaign which promotes not drinking alcohol when pregnant or when planning a pregnancy as the safest option. Specific awareness campaigns should be developed to target youth and Indigenous communities.
  • Include health warning labels for alcoholic beverages, including a warning label that advises women not to drink when pregnant or when planning a pregnancy, on the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation’s December agenda.
  • Commission an independent study into the impacts of the pricing and availability of alcohol.
  • Commission an independent study into the impacts and appropriateness of current alcohol marketing strategies directed to young people.
  • Expedite the rollout of the FASD diagnostic instrument and the development of a training and user manual.
The full report is available here
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

FASD is caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. There is no cure—there is only prevention.

Source: FASD: The Hidden Harm report. November 2012.

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Alcohol.Think Again Parents, Young People and Alcohol Campaign

Alcohol.Think Again posterHave you seen the new Alcohol.Think Again campaign?
The Parents, Young People and Alcohol campaign has been developed to give parents and young people important information and tools to make informed choices about delaying initiation to alcohol use.
The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines - Under 18. No Alcohol. The Safest Choice.

View the Parents, Young People and Alcohol campaign ad.

Want to get involved in sharing the Alcohol.Think Again message?
  • Check out the resources to support parents on the Alcohol.Think Again website and share them with your friends, family and networks
  • Order copies of the campaign poster (pictured right) to display where parents and young people will see it
  • Follow Alcohol.Think Again on Twitter (@AlcoholThinkAgn)
  • Retweet Alcohol.Think Again tweets
  • Like Alcohol.Think Again on Facebook
  • Share the Alcohol.Think Again ads on YouTube

What’s New on DrinkTank?

DrinkTank logoDrink Tank is an online space that’s all about discussing and debating alcohol issues.
FARE launched Drink Tank to bring people together from across Australia and the globe, to showcase a wide range of opinions and perspectives about alcohol policy and community concerns.
Check out some of the recent blogs on Drink Tank...
Got an opinion on any of the blogs? Leave a comment!

Night Venues and Entertainment Events Project

The Night Venues and Entertainment Events Project brings together industry, government agencies and health professionals to address alcohol and other drug-related harm in licensed venues and at entertainment events.
The Project includes a comprehensive evaluation and monitoring component which includes a patron survey and an observational checklist - the results for 2012 were released recently.
Key findings of the audit of 142 licensed night venues in metro and regional WA include:
  • Many of the venues are compliant with checking ID (68%), counting patrons (40%), providing food (70%) and water (100%), appropriate noise volume and  ventilation and providing ‘chill out’ zones (92%).
  • Signs of patron drunkenness were observed in 34.5% of venues.
  • Staff were observed serving someone who was already drunk in 11.3% of venues.
  • More than two-thirds of venues displayed alcohol promotional material.
Among the 582 patrons surveyed:
  • 64% had consumed alcohol prior to going out
  • Almost 50% had observed staff serving alcohol to drunk people
  • Almost 40% of patrons at events reported having had a bad experience related to another person’s alcohol use in the past 6 months
  • There was strong support (74%) for strategies to prevent intoxicated people from entering venues and events.
The audit and patron survey, completed annually, provide a basis to support the night venue and entertainment event industry to develop and implement practices and policies that promote responsible attitudes towards alcohol and other drugs.
Click here for media coverage of the project.
Find out more about the Night Venues and Entertainment Events Project here.

Alcohol Action in Rural Communities: New Research

Community action does reduce excessive alcohol consumption and harms – that is the key finding of the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) research project.
The AARC project involved 20 towns (10 experimental communities, 10 control communities) in New South Wales over 5 years in the largest evaluation of a community action approach to reducing risky alcohol consumption and related harms ever undertaken anywhere in the world.
Thirteen evidence-based, community-led strategies were implemented in the experimental communities, including:
  • high school-based interactive sessions on alcohol harms
  • the Good Sports program
  • brief interventions in health settings
  • provision of town-specific data on risky alcohol consumption
  • media advocacy, and
  • police targeting high risk weekends.
The communities that implemented the interventions saw a...
  • 20% reduction in alcohol consumption
  • 42% reduction in residents’ experience of alcohol-fuelled verbal abuse
  • 33% reduction in alcohol-related street offences
  • 30% reduction in short-term high-risk drinkers
...compared to the control towns.
A cost benefit to community action was found – for every $1 spent on action, the value of the returns to the communities was estimated at between $1.75 and $1.37.
The AARC project was a partnership between local communities, local government, government agencies, FARE, and the Universities of New South Wales and Newcastle.
Media coverage of the AARC project can be seen here and here.

Click here to find out more about the AARC project.

Alcohol Advertising Review Board: Now on Twitter!

Want to keep up-to-date on Alcohol Advertising Review Board determinations, reports and media?
Follow the AARB on Twitter (@AlcoholAdReview) to get all the latest news.
Twitter image
How you can get involved Happy tweeting!

Alcohol Advertising Review Board: Recent Determinations

AARB logoCheck out some of the recent determinations by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community: Seen an alcohol ad recently that concerned you? Contact the Alcohol Advertising Review Board to submit a complaint.

Alcohol in the Media

Police prepare for 'legal' leavers
The West Australian, 26 November 2012
Police may review leavers' celebrations as they work out how best to tackle 2015 when the first wave of 18-year-old schoolies have legal access to alcohol.
Cameron to set minimum price for alcohol (UK)
UK Independent, 25 November 2012
David Cameron risks a backlash from the drinks industry, health groups and members of his own Cabinet this week over his plans to tackle the scourge of binge drinking by raising the minimum price of alcohol to as high as 50p per unit.
Advice for 'schoolies'
Weekend Courier, 23 November 2012
Finishing 12 years of school is a milestone achievement and from next week 16 and 17-year-olds all over WA will let their hair down, revelling in the feeling of freedom of not having to return to school as a student ever again. This crop of tomorrow’s adults – potential leaders and parents all – have a great reason to celebrate but it’s the way many will choose to do so that never fails to get the community talking.
Di Natale: we’re not wowsers for responding to booze abuse
Crikey, 22 November 2012
Greens Senator Dr Richard Di Natale takes issue with Bernard Keane’s analysis of “preventative health wowsers”.
Changing the rite of passage
The West Australian, 21 November 2012
Teenage school leavers drink until they vomit, fight, try drugs and have unprotected sex during leavers week. These findings from a survey of leavers have prompted the lead researcher to call for governments and commercial providers to offer alcohol-free holiday packages for students celebrating the end of school.
Don’t buy leavers booze: police
The West Australian, 21 November 2012
Police are planning to crackdown on predators, particularly adults, who sell alcohol at inflated prices to school leavers at Rottnest and Dunsborough. West Australian police have also urged parents not to buy alcohol for their children as they embark on the State's Leavers Week festivities.

The Facts

  1. More young people are choosing not to drink.
  2. In 2011, almost 1 in 4 school students had never consumed alcohol. In 2008, 1 in 6 students had never consumed alcohol.
  3. But of the young people who do drink, the proportion drinking at risky levels has increased. Of the young people who drank in the last week, over a third drank at risky levels for single occasion alcohol-related harm (based on the NHMRC guidelines for adults). This represents a statistically significant increase from 20.9% in 1993 to 36.2% in 2011.  
Source: Bridle, R., Goggin, L., & Christou, A., (2012). Alcohol Trends in Western Australia: ASSAD Survey 2011. Brief communication no.6. Perth: Drug and Alcohol Office.
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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