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Welcome to the Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter Edition #3 
Issue no. 3

19/04/2011

ICCWA MCAAY
In this Issue
  • editorial
  • action station: engaging your local politician
  • publications
  • local stories of action on alcohol
  • alcohol in the media
  • the facts
  • coming up
Here we are with edition 3 of Alcohol Action Station.
Well it's been an interesting fortnight with some radical calls for change to the way alcohol is served and advertised in W.A..  The Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor last week announced plans to apply a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol shots and alcohol mixed with energy drinks after midnight at licensed venues in the Perth CBD, Northbridge and Subiaco.  In a move to curb alcohol-fuelled violence, the banning of shots is one of several proposed changes that has been supported by the Australian Hotels Association.  Read the full story.

Alcohol advertising, something we've talked about in the last two editions of AAS, has been raised by Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz. In an bid to reduce binge drinking, Mr Abetz wants alcohol advertising banned around events such as schoolies week and other events where "excessive alcohol consumption is likely".  With alcohol associated with so many celebrations and events in Australia we'd love to see more people in the community make requests to the Director for Racing, Gaming and Liquor to stop advertising that encourages irresponsible drinking. 

Easter in Australia has particularly become closely linked with alcohol.  Whilst many of us will indulge in a bit too much chocolate over the coming Easter and ANZAC Day break, many will also indulge in a lot of alcohol.  Alcohol specials, especially bulk buys, are abundant, encouraging people to buy more and ultimately drink more. WA Police have rightly voiced concern that the longer break will increase the likelihood of people drinking to excess, drink and drug driving and driving tired, and are bracing themselves for an associated increase in alcohol related violence and road fatalities.

As parents and role models for our young people it’s a good opportunity to engage in activities over the long break without including alcohol – remember that young people’s future drinking habits are influenced by those of their parents and parents’ friends. Actively make a change, fill the esky with soda water and without a doubt you'll find beach cricket, fishing, Frisbee and whatever else you do this weekend a lot easier, more enjoyable and you’ll be able to do it again the next day!  

Enjoy the Easter and ANZAC Day long weekend, be safe and consider how your alcohol consumption affects not only yourself, but others too. 

Until next time,
Jodie Holbrook for Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and Mary Ashe, Injury Control Council of WA.
did you know?

In fatal road crashes in 2009, the drivers most likely to have illegal Blood Alcohol Contents were males in the 25 to 39 year age group followed by males in the 17 to 24 year age group. Research also suggests that young women aged 17 to 24 are also at high risk.

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Local Stories of Advocacy in Action

Had a win with getting innappropriate alcohol advertising removed?  Spoken with your local bottleshop about making sure they ask underage young people for ID?  Worked with your local school on fundraisers that don't rely on alcohol?  Well we want to her about it! Share your story through the Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter. 
  

Publications

On 6 April, Minister for Youth, Robyn McSweeney, and the Minister for Mental Health, Helen Morton launched the revised booklet Young people and Alcohol – Helpful information for parents and Carers. The booklet, which was first produced by the Western Australian Drug and Alcohol Office in 2007,  provides information for parents, carers and community members about a range of alcohol issues in relation to young people.  Included in the booklet are guidelines around health and legal issues, general advice on how to talk with your young people about alcohol and contact details of where to go for info and support. 

Parents have a major influence on their children, so it's important it's the right influence. Research from the National Health and Medical Research Council has found that delayed drinking means young people are less likely to develop long-term drinking problems with children under 15 being at the greatest risk of harm from alcohol - the safest option for young people is not to drink alcohol at all.

The booklet will be available in schools and health practices and copies can also be downloaded here.
 
 
On 14 April, the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation launched their Annual Alcohol Poll: Community Attitudes and Behaviours. 
 
The poll focuses on gauging Australians’ perceptions and awareness of alcohol-related issues, their drinking behaviours and assessing their level of support for a range of alcohol policy reform strategies.
 
Key findings from the report include:
- A majority of Australians (80%) believe we are a nation with a drinking problem, while 82% also feel more action is needed to fight the damage caused by alcohol misuse.  
- Over 4 million Australian adults admit to drinking to get drunk, with over 60% of Gen Y drinkers engaging in such risky drinking behaviour.
- Over five million Australians have been affected by alcohol-related violence, including 2.6 million who have been direct victims of such violent incidences.
- More than half the Australian population believe that governments (58%), pubs and clubs (68%), and alcohol companies (74%) are not doing enough to address alcohol-related harms.

To download a copy of the report click here.

Alcohol taxation is a hotly debated topic, but research has shown time and again that it is by far one of the most effective ways of reducing alcohol related injury, violence and death.  The Australian Drug Foundation has recently released an excellent paper on this very topic.  Giving an overview of our current tax system, volumetric tax and how it relates to health, we urge you to check it out at Policy Talk.

United Nations Youth Alliance

The United Nations Youth Association of Australia is a national organisation with divisions in every State and Territory. It is a not-for profit, volunteer organisation run solely by people aged 15 to 24 and operates under the mantra of "by youth, for youth".
 
Each year the United Nations Youth Association of Western Australia (UNYAWA) hosts a State Conference for students in years 10, 11 and 12. The theme for this year’s conference was “International Action and Justice”.
 
The conference is an opportunity for young people to listen to speakers across diverse fields and participate in respectful and considered debate on a wide range of issues. Motions on local, state, national and international issues are developed, discussed and voted on. The process culminates in the development of the Youth Motion.
 
The Youth Motion for 2011 reflects UNYA’s belief that if the world is to be improved, then decision makers must empower young people and allow them to have their legitimate, original ideas heard and taken seriously.
 
In relation to alcohol harm, the Youth Motion 2011 includes the following statements;

  • With respect to education; call for drug and alcohol awareness to be introduced to school earlier.   
     
  • With respect to health; urge the Government to create support groups and awareness campaigns to decrease binge drinking. 
     
  • With respect to Indigenous Affairs; ask the Government to introduce drug education programs for Indigenous Students to break the cycle of substance abuse. 
     
  • With respect to Law and governance; we are deeply concerned by binge drinking amongst youth.

 
Read the full document here.For more information about UNYA and the Youth Motion visit www.unyawa.org.au 
 

Alcohol in the Media

High Sobriety
Sydney Morning Herald 10 April 2011
Hello Sunday Morning!  Most Sunday mornings, Facebook is abuzz with vows of ''never again'' and tales of a few quiet drinks turning into a lost weekend.  Age reporter Jill Stark relays her story of alcohol and Australian culture and talks about the growing movement of waking up to Sunday with a clear head. 


Midnight drinks ban in Perth
 
WA Today 10 April 2011
Energy drinks mixed with alcohol and straight alcohol shots will be banned after midnight across all inner-city Perth nightclubs, bars and pubs, in what Western Australia's peak hospitality body says is an Australian first. Licensed premises will be forced to impose lockouts 30 minutes before close and after 1am pubs, bars and clubs will be prohibited from serving drinks in vessels bigger than 750ml, meaning bottles of wine and jugs of beer and cocktails will be unavailble.


Researchers examine alcohol, energy drink cocktails
ABC online 12 April 2011
The first Australian study examining the potential dangers of mixing alcohol with energy drinks is being commissioned. It follows the West Australian Government's announcement it will ban the drinks in pubs and clubs. The study is being funded by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation which says international evidence points to the potentially deadly effects of mixing the drinks.


Study finds grog bans more effective than intervention
ABC Kimberley online 13 April 2011
New research has found liquor restrictions in Western Australia's north have been more successful in reducing alcohol abuse than hardline measures adopted during the Northern Territory intervention. The Centre for Independent Studies has released the findings of a nine-month study of liquor management across the Top End. Researcher Sara Hudson says the limiting of takeaway sales in the Kimberley towns of Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek has been more effective than the blanket bans rolled out across 73 communities in the NT.

Schoolies alcohol ad ban wanted
The West 15 April, 2011
A call to ban alcohol advertising around schoolies week and other occasions when risky alcohol consumption is likely has been made by Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz.

 

Coming Up...

Palmerston Association is hosting a free forum for those interested in exploring the impact of alcohol and other drugs on mental health on Saturday 7 May 2011. Tony Trimingham OAM, CEO & Founder of Family Drug Support, Sydney will deliver the key note address.
 
The forum will be held The Boulevard Centre,  99 The Boulevard, Floreat (on the lower level of the Cambridge Library near the Floreat Forum Shopping Centre).
Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is provided. For further information please contact Sandra Harris: sharris@palmerston.org.au RSVP essential (08) 9287 5400.

Key Facts

  1. Nearly half of 16 -17 year old WA school students report ‘One of the main reasons I drink is to get drunk’.
  2. 80% of alcohol consumed by people aged 14-24 years is consumed in ways that put the drinker’s (and others’) health at risk of short term harm (e.g. falls, assault injuries, road crashes, burns).
  3. On average, 5 Australians under 25 die from injury and disease caused by hazardous drinking in a week. 
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.

Copyright © 2011 McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the Injury Control Council of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
You are getting this because you have subscribed to the Alcohol Action Station regular e-newsletters and urgent bulletins.
Mailing address:
McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Curtin University Health Research Campus GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845 
and/or
Injury Control Council of WA
2 Delhi St
WEST PERTH WA 6005


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