Should you be driving?

Aussie drink-driving laws have similar penalties, but our BAC level is still at .05. This will be moved to .02 in the coming years.
Be safe for you, your family and the person you may injure because, you thought you were ‘ok to drive!’



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Breast milk is a live substance with unmatched immunological and anti-inflammatory characteristics that protect an infant against a variety of illnesses, infections, and diseases. It provides all the necessary nutrients a baby needs for its first six months.

Breastfeeding is deemed extremely beneficial and essential for both the mother and the child. However, it is essential to understand that nicotine and alcohol affect breastfeeding and harmful substances can be transferred to the baby through breast milk.

A recent study has noted a significant impact of drinking while breastfeeding upon children’s future cognition. Infants exposed to alcohol through breastmilk were found exposed to dose-dependent reductions in their cognitive abilities. The study, that appeared earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics, conclusively established that drinking alcohol while breastfeeding can impact the cognitive development of the child.

For more

Professor Sonia Saxena, one of the authors of the controversial study, tells 60 Minutes that most people are not actually aware of the serious health effects that just one drink can have.

“Especially in older generations, alcohol's responsible for about 25 percent of deaths in women. One in five men will die as a result of alcohol,” Professor Saxena says.

Last year, the average Australian aged over 15 drank the equivalent of 9.4 litres of pure alcohol –that’s about 224 stubbies or 38 bottles of wine each. (60 Minutes)

“As soon as you start consuming alcohol, you’re more likely to die?” Steinfort asks.

“That’s correct,” she responds.

It’s a stern warning, with the evidence to back it up – but not everyone is convinced.

Professor David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the esteemed Cambridge University, tells 60 Minutes he is concerned that the numbers touted by the study have been blown massively out of proportion, and that the statistics themselves are being “abused”.

Professor Sonia Saxena, one of the authors of the controversial study, tells 60 Minutes that most people are not actually aware of the serious health effects that just one drink can have.

For complete story

Alcohol use is a leading health risk factor. Its impact is complex and includes purported benefits at low levels for certain health conditions. Using data from 694 individual and population-level studies in 195 countries and territories, researchers evaluated the global impact of alcohol use and estimated the levels of consumption that minimize an individual’s total attributable risk on health.

  • In 2016, alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor for death and disability worldwide.
  • Among those aged 15–49, alcohol use was the leading risk factor, accounting for 2.3% of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and 3.8% of deaths among women, and 8.9% of DALYs and 12.2% of deaths among men.
  • The burden changed over the lifespan: tuberculosis, road injuries, and self-harm were leading causes of death attributable to alcohol among 15-49 year-olds, while cancer was the leading cause among people over 50.
  • A J-shaped curve showing positive effects for lower levels of alcohol use was found only for ischemic heart disease, with a minimum relative risk at 0.86 standard drinks (10g ethanol) per day for men and 0.92 standard drinks for women. For all other outcomes (including all cancers), risk increased with any alcohol consumption.
  • Protective effects were offset by cancer risks. Consuming zero standard drinks a day minimized the overall risk for all health outcomes.

Comments: This analysis provides a global view; the exact distribution of each alcohol-attributable illness will vary by locale. Nonetheless, Alcohol use contributes largely to global death and disability, particularly among men. These results indicate that the safest level of drinking is none, which should encourage health agencies to revise current recommendations. We should not drink alcohol because we think that it is good for our health.

Nicolas Bertholet, MD, MSc

Reference: GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators. Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Lancet. 2018;392(10152):1015–1035.

Sep 3, 2018

Australians are drinking the least alcohol they have in more than 50 years.

That’s what you would find, on average, in 224 stubbies of beer, 38 bottles of wine, 17 bottles of cider, 33 cans of pre-mixed drinks and four bottles of spirits.

A drop in the amount of beer drunk has been the biggest contributor to the overall fall in the year.

Australians downed 3.4 per cent less pure alcohol from beer, or 2.6 million litres in 2016-17, compared to the year before.

But it’s still beer that Aussies like to drink the most, with the beverage accounting for 39.2 per cent of all alcohol consumed in the year.

Wine was a close second, accounting for 38.3 per cent of pure alcohol, followed by spirits (13.1 per cent), ready-to-drink beverages (6.0 per cent) and cider (3.4 per cent).

However, they can also underestimate the true level of alcohol drunk by each Australian, given about a fifth simply don’t drink at all.

For complete article

EXCESSIVE middle-aged drinkers risk setting a similar path for their kids as booze-related hospital admissions soar among older people. 

Construction and hospitality industry workers have been identified as among the heaviest drinkers. 

Most middle-aged people are drinking at home, but heavy sessions at sports bars also pose a risk. 

New VicHealth analysis shows alcohol-related hospital admissions among people aged 40-65 increased in all but three of Melbourne’s 31 council areas between 2011 and 2015. VicHealth principal program officer Maya Rivis told the Sunday Herald Sun middle-aged parents who drank heavily could end up passing bad habits on to their kids. “Young people model their parents’ behaviours,’’ Ms Rivis said. “There is evidence to say if the parents drink a lot, then a young person is more likely to take up drinking.” Stonnington, taking in South Yarra and Prahran, posted the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2014-15 , with 200 residents treated for every 10,000 people. 

Port Phillip, Greater Dandenong, Bayside, Frankston, Yarra, Knox and the Mornington Peninsula were also problem areas. 

Manningham, Glen Eira and Yarra Ranges had the biggest percentage increase in hospitalisations, with rates soaring more than 20 per cent. 

Uniting senior social justice advocate Mark Zirnsak said greater controls on bottle shop numbers was needed to curb access to alcohol, which was also linked to assaults and family violence. 

For complete story 

Copyright © 2018 The Herald Sun