Welcome to Alcohol Action Station Edition #101
Issue no. 101
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action station
  • did you know?
  • Update on secondary supply laws in WA
  • national framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence
  • you can do something about alcohol advertising
  • new report: review of WA aboriginal health programs
  • time to call it a day for cheap wine casks
  • save the date: alcohol research seminar on 21 July
  • what's new on drinktank?
  • Alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

New research released by the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) shows the rate that Australian women presented at emergency departments (ED) on weekends for alcohol-related injuries had increased at a faster pace than for males.

Emergency department data was analysed from all states and territories (except Tasmania) for the 7 years between 2005 and 2012.
Key findings include:

  • The rate of alcohol-related ED presentation for girls aged 15-19 years increased 63% from 2005-06 to 2011-12, from 4.6/1000 to 7.5/1000.
  • By comparison the rate for males in the same age group rose 21%, from 10/1000 to 12.9/1000.
  • The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for young males, aged between 15 and 29 years, appears higher than the rest of the population.

NDRI researcher Professor Tanya Chikritzhs said, “These figures are a reminder of the significant burden created by alcohol-related injury and premature death in Australia.”
“Young people are particularly susceptible to alcohol-related injury and nationally increasing trends confirm that this is no time for complacency. It also appears that the gender gap may be closing with the rate of harm among young women accelerating faster than for males.”
Want to find out more?
Download Bulletin 14 from the National Alcohol Indicators Project on the NDRI website.
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan De Piazz, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

Alcohol is involved in up to 65% of family violence incidents reported to police in Australia.

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Update on Secondary Supply Laws in WA

You will be aware of the WA Government’s commitment to introduce secondary supply laws following the review of the Liquor Control Act.
Media reports in the last couple of weeks suggested that the legislative changes could be introduced to the WA Parliament very soon. While we are keen to see secondary supply laws in WA as soon as possible, the WA Parliament will be in recess from tonight for 6 weeks. We hope there will be good news to share on secondary supply soon after Parliament resumes in early August.
Want to find out more?
Check out the media reports from the ABC and WA Today.

National Framework for Action to Prevent Alcohol-Related Family Violence

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty have released a Framework of policies and programs that all Australian governments can implement which will have a tangible impact on reducing and preventing family violence.
Alcohol is implicated in too much of Australia’s family violence, for example:
  • Alcohol is involved in up to 65% of family violence incidents reported to police and up to 47% of child abuse cases in Australia.
  • Alcohol was consumed by the perpetrator in more than a third of intimate partner homicides.
The Framework’s priority is to prevent alcohol-related family violence across the whole community. Areas for action include:
  • Reducing the physical and economic availability of alcohol.
  • Regulating the promotion of alcohol.
  • Public education and school-based education on preventing family violence.
  • Support family-centred programs for people with AOD problems.
  • Screening programs for alcohol in healthcare settings.
  • Investing in data collection and reporting of alcohol’s involvement in family violence.
  • Evaluate policies and programs to prevent alcohol-related family violence.
Want to find out more?
Download the report and videos of the launch event at the FARE website.

You can do something about alcohol advertising

AARB logoAlcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products in the world. Sometimes, we’re so used to being surrounded by alcohol ads, we don’t even notice them!
Alcohol advertising is everywhere: during popular TV shows, on your favourite sports team’s uniforms, at the cinema, on Facebook and Instagram, or on the side of the bus your kids catch to school. Research shows alcohol advertising impacts on the drinking behaviours and attitudes of young people.
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 a very simple process - we accept complaints by email, an online form, phone or the post. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and a few sentences on why it concerns you.
The AARB accepts complaints from anywhere in Australia. Whether you’re in Perth, Karratha or Esperance, or across the country in Melbourne or Canberra, it’s never been easier to have your voice heard!
Recent determinations by the AARB include:
So next time you see an alcohol ad that doesn’t sit right with you, voice your concerns! It’s important we work together to take action on alcohol advertising.
To keep up to-do-date on AARB determination, reports, and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

New Report: Review of WA Aboriginal Health Programs

An external review of WA’s State funded Aboriginal Health Programs conducted by Professor D’Arcy Holman was recently released by the WA Government.
The findings related to alcohol included:
  • Primary prevention programs, including alcohol education, were underfunded relative to their significance in closing the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage. The share of funding for alcohol interventions should increase from 1.9% to 9%.
  • The harmful consumption of alcohol caused around 9.7% of the lost life-years contributing to the WA gap in 2004-2008.
  • Around 30% of road trauma deaths and 15% of other fatal injuries in Aboriginal people are caused by alcohol misuse.
  • The most important avenue available to the WA Aboriginal health sector to reduce premature deaths from other injuries is through effective attention to alcohol education and rehabilitation.
  • Some 80% of Aboriginal prisoners have alcohol dependence.
  • Local bans or restrictions on alcohol have had a large beneficial effect; however, regulatory restrictions alone are not a complete solution – a comprehensive approach is needed.
  • Enforcing a dry community policy (a regulatory strategy) should be seen as a strategy with both important immediate benefits, but also one that buys time to implement a more comprehensive approach to alcohol intervention with mass educational and community participative strategies, such as engagement of local community members to identify ‘sly groggers’ to police.
  • The sector should advocate for the introduction of a comprehensive alcohol interlock program in WA, which is known to achieve large reductions in repeat drink-driving.
  • Inclusion of well-funded statewide and regional media-based mass communication strategies (TV, radio, cinema, and social media) is essential. The myth that public media are not an effective method of health education for Aboriginal people should be put aside. As with any market segment, communication strategies for mass education can be optimised for that segment using appropriate symbols, language, visual images and characters.
Prof Holman recommends reallocating some existing resources to alcohol education and rehabilitation to strengthen those programs.
Download the full report.

Time to call it a day for cheap wine casks

To mark the 50th anniversary of the wine cask, McCusker Centre Director Professor Mike Daube called on the Federal Treasurer to “act now to reform Australia’s outdated and chaotic alcohol tax system and consign dirt cheap wines to history”.
In a recent article published on The Conversation, Prof Daube draws attention to the anomaly in the alcohol tax system which means wine is taxed on its wholesale value, not its alcohol content, so the cheaper the wine, the less it is taxed.
Prof Daube urged the federal government to “introduce a volumetric tax system based on a product’s alcohol content, while ensuring that this does not reduce the price of spirits”.
Read the full article in The Conversation.

Save the date: Alcohol research seminar on 21 July

Healthway invites you to an alcohol research seminar on the morning of Tuesday 21 July at the Boulevard Centre in Floreat.
Speakers will include Professor John Toumbourou from Deakin University and Professor Simone Pettigrew from Curtin University.
Further details will be announced soon…check the next edition of Alcohol Action Station for more information or contact Healthway.

What’s new on DrinkTank?

Check out some of the recent blog posts on DrinkTank:

Alcohol in the Media

Keep warning kids about risks - even if they don't listen
Health+Medicine, The West Australian, 24 June 2015
Parents should continue to quietly “bang the drum” about the dangers of drinking and smoking.
Alcohol-related injuries in young women skyrocket, study finds
Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June 2015
The number of women presenting at emergency departments with alcohol-related injuries is increasing at an alarming rate, a new national study has found.
Health report reveals alcohol is the nation’s biggest problem-causing drug
Herald Sun, 19 June 2015
Tasmania is awash with booze and drinking problems account for more than 40 per cent of drug treatment cases in the state, says Australia’s leading health agency.
Rosie Batty endorses plan for alcohol levy to fund family violence programs
Sydney Morning Herald, 17 June 2015
A levy should be applied to alcoholic drinks to fund responses to family violence, according to a call to arms launched by Australian of the Year Rosie Batty.
Drink-drivers with readings over 0.1 to have cars impounded under new Victorian laws
ABC News, 15 June 2015
First-time drink-driving offenders who register a blood-alcohol reading greater than 0.1 will have their cars impounded under tough new Victorian laws.
Adults to face hefty fines for giving alcohol to children without parents' consent, under proposed laws
ABC News, 12 June 2015
New laws that will see adults face hefty fines if they give children alcohol without their parents' consent have been given the green light by Western Australia's Cabinet.
Under age, no consent booze ban set for WA Parliament
WA Today, 12 June 2015
Laws that could ban adults from supplying alcohol to under 18s in the home or other unlicensed premises - without the permission of a parent or guardian - could be introduced into parliament as early as next week.

The Facts

  • Alcohol is a significant contributor to family violence in Australia.
  • In just one year (2011) there were 29,684 incidents of alcohol-related family violence in NSW, VIC, WA and the NT.
  • Alcohol-related family violence accounts for between 23% and 65% of all family violence incidents reported to police.
Source: National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence.
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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