Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #135
Issue no. 135
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • New Research on Alcohol-Related Injuries Originating at Home
  • FASD Video Available Online
  • Alcohol and Rivers: A Dangerous Mix
  • Update on Dan Murphy’s Maylands Application  
  • Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!
  • Alcohol in the News
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Young, risky drinking males had an average of 17 standard drinks and females an average of 14 standard drinks during their last risky drinking session.
New research from Curtin University, Monash University and the University of NSW analysed drinking patterns and harms among the heaviest drinking young Australians aged 16 to 19 years.
Young people reported that on their last risky drinking session:

  • Image of paper by Lam and colleagues86% experienced at least one alcohol-related consequence;
  • 39% said or did embarrassing things;
  • 25% could not remember stretches of time;
  • 18% did impulsive things;
  • 10% passed out; and
  • 8% got into sexual situations they later regretted.
Over the past 12 months:
  • 47% rode in a car where the driver was affected by alcohol and 20% reported doing so 3 or more times;
  • 11% presented to a hospital emergency department (ED) at least once with an injury due to their own drinking;
  • 7% attended an ED as they were injured due to someone else’s drinking; and
  • One quarter had accompanied a friend into the ED due to their friend’s drinking.

More than a quarter of those who conducted face-to-face interviews had scores indicative of alcohol dependence.
Lead author, Dr Tina Lam said, “While we have been witnessing more abstinence in young people, we have not seen a decline in arrivals at emergency departments…It is concerning that there is a group of teens who are still putting themselves at substantial risk.”
Want more?
Read the full paper in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Read media coverage.
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth

did you know?

Young risky drinkers aged 16 to 19 years report a private home as the most popular drinking location, with 85% drinking either at their own or another person’s home.

Source: Lam et al 2016.

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New Research on Alcohol-Related Injuries Originating at Home

Over a third (36%) of alcohol-related injuries presenting to Queensland emergency departments (EDs) originated at home.
At a time when public attention is largely focused on injuries around licensed venues, researchers from Queensland have analysed alcohol-related ED presentations that originated in the home. Between 2003 and 2012, they found:Image of paper by Bunker and colleagues
  • The proportion of alcohol-related injury presentations to EDs had increased over this time. 
  • On average, 1229 alcohol-related presentations to EDs occurred per year.
  • 59.5% of injuries identified as domestic violence by spouse or partner originated at home.
  • 62% of all presentations reported as a result of violence by spouse were females and 38% were males.
  • Alcohol-related injury caused by domestic violence was 1.3 times more likely to occur in the home than other locations.
  • Alcohol-related injuries presenting to EDs that were sustained at home were associated with more severe and complicated injuries and resulted in more inpatient admissions than any other location.
The researchers noted that reducing the availability and harmful use of alcohol along with raising the price of alcohol, brief interventions and long-term treatment for problem drinkers and community interventions have all shown to be effective measures in reducing violence and subsequent injury.

Want more?
Read the full paper in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Young Women Drinking As Much As Men

New research shows that women have caught up with men in the amount of alcohol they drink.
The researchers pooled data from 68 studies in 36 countries to summarise alcohol use changes between sexes over time (1891 to 2000).Image of newspaper clippings
The gap in alcohol use between the sexes had narrowed over time and by the end of the last century, men’s and women’s drinking had almost reached parity. This seemed to be driven by increases in the rates of females drinking, rather than males drinking less. Interestingly, the closing gap between males and females is most evident among younger adults (those born after 1981).
Harm from alcohol also seemed to even out between the sexes. Among those born in the early 1900s, males were 3.6 times more likely to experience alcohol-related harm than females. By the late 1900s, this ratio decreased to just 1.3.
The change is partly the result of successful alcohol industry marketing campaigns and the creation of sweeter products aimed at young girls, as well as price cuts, reports The Guardian.
Want more?
Read the full paper, media coverage and a summary of the research on The Conversation.
Listen to a Triple J Hack podcast of an interview with the lead author, Associate Professor Tim Slade.

FASD Video Available Online

A new video from the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (RFFADA) aims to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).Screenshot of FASD video It offers a prevention message to parents and shows professionals, teachers, lawyers and allied health providers the typical trajectory of an undiagnosed individual.
Anne Russell, the RFFADA founder, noted in a post on DrinkTank that FASD should not be viewed as a relatively isolated condition. It is directly and indirectly responsible for meltdowns, misunderstandings, bizarre decisions, domestic and family violence, opportunistic crimes, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health problems, clients with complex needs, homelessness, joy riding, inappropriate sexual behaviour and high rates of ADHD.
Want more?
Watch the video. Read Anne Russell’s post on DrinkTank.

Alcohol and Rivers: A Dangerous Mix

New research shows that at least 41% of people who drowned in rivers around Australia had alcohol in their system at autopsy.
Researchers analysed Australian river drownings between 2002 and 2012. Key findings include:Image of Canning River
  • Alcohol was known to be involved in 314 cases of river drownings; 62% of these had a blood alcohol reading of 0.05% or higher.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were overrepresented in alcohol-related river drownings – over half (56%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander river drowning victims recorded known positive alcohol involvement.
  • 30% of child and adolescent river drowning victims (aged 0 to 17 years) recorded a BAC of ≥0.10% (twice the legal driving limit).
The authors note that priorities for drowning prevention include an increased focus on adolescents, the role of alcohol in river drowning and development of population level strategies to curb risky drinking behaviours on and around rivers.
Want more?
Read the full paper by Peden and colleagues in Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Read media coverage.

Update on Dan Murphy’s Maylands Application

Maylands residents recently held a rally to show their continued opposition to a Dan Murphy’s liquor store being built at the Image of Lisa Baker MLA and resident in MaylandsMaylands Peninsula Tavern site.
The WA Liquor Commission refused an application by Woolworths to build a Dan Murphy’s liquor store in Maylands earlier this year; however, Woolworths have appealed the decision in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court hearing was scheduled for last week, but the judge has reserved a decision.
Maylands residents and their local MP Lisa Baker MLA have continued to oppose large warehouse-style liquor stores in their community. Ms Baker said she was “sick of fighting” the four-year fight against the 1117m2 liquor superstore.
We’ll keep you updated. 
Want more?
Check out the ‘Say no to Dan Murphy’s in Maylands’ Facebook page. Read media coverage.


Alcohol Advertising Review Board Update

Check out some recent determinations in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community: What can I do?
If you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, let the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) know. 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

Governments accused of failing to fully recognise role of alcohol in family violence
The Guardian, 27 October 2016
A coalition of alcohol experts including doctors and researchers have accused federal, state and territory governments of failing to properly acknowledge the role of alcohol in family violence.
Stigma is a part of giving up drinking, researcher finds
Daily Telegraph, 22 October 2016
People who are giving up booze for health reasons are lying to their friends about why they’re turning down a drink.
Young female drinkers at higher risk of breast cancer
Herald Sun, 21 October 2016
Young women who drink alcohol before their first pregnancy face a 35% higher risk of breast cancer, new research suggests.
NT Government restricts takeaway alcohol licences
Sky News, 20 October 2016
No new grog licences at bottle shops will be considered in the Northern Territory as part of government efforts to curb alcohol abuse.
Our worst drink drivers will now have to give a breath test to start their cars
The West Australian, 19 October 2016
More than 6,000 drivers are expected to have an alcohol interlock device installed on their cars each year, the State Government says.
Most countries get more calories from alcohol than soft drink – study
The Guardian, 17 October 2016
People in the UK and many other countries get more of their calories from alcohol than from sugary drinks like cola and lemonade, according to new data which suggests that tackling Britain’s drink problem may be more important for health than cracking down on sugar consumption.
Critics fry foul over tick for Territory intervention reforms
The Australian, 15 October 2016
A review of the Stronger Futures legislation has found federally imposed alcohol restrictions, land rights reforms and measures to improve food quality in the Northern Territory were “largely effective.”

The Facts

New alcohol consumption figures released by the National Drug Research Institute, based on alcohol sales data, show:
  1. In 2011-12, West Australians aged 15+ drank an average of 11.94 litres of pure alcohol per person.
  2. The national average in 2011-12 was just 10.04 litres.
  3. Per capita consumption in the NT was estimated to be 13.27 litres and 10.96 litres in QLD.
Source:  Loxley W, et al. National Alcohol Sales Data Project (NASDP) Stage Five Report; 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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