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ALCOHOL
VOLUME SALES
– VICTORIA

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AOD STATS
Interactive
Data Site

Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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Review article

Lange S, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2017.

Conclusions and Relevance: Globally, FASD is a prevalent alcohol-related developmental disability that is largely preventable. The findings highlight the need to establish a universal public health message about the potential harm of prenatal alcohol exposure and a routine screening protocol. Brief interventions should be provided, where appropriate.

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It's not just about tobacco either.  Look at this recent line from the BMJ Open just published "Low alcohol consumption and pregnancy and childhood outcomes: time to change guidelines indicating apparently ‘safe’ levels of alcohol during pregnancy?"  It concludes that despite thin evidence all women should be warned about the use of alcohol in pregnancy.

With cannabis many systematic reviews and meta-analyses  have shown retardation of foetal growth rate, small for dates infants, increased rates of early and premature births and impairment of school age and early life development intellectually socially and often physically.  

 The summary comments of the Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in JAMA Psychiatry on 9th December 2016 on the use of cannabis in pregnancy strongly concur that it is not appropriate and women of reproductive age should be warned against its use.  Even the patient information leaflets from GW Pharmaceuticals which markets Sativex globally emphatically urges both males and females of reproductive age not to indulge in cannabinoid use.  For these potent arguments – which should be enough to close out any rational debate - the cannabis camp have no meaningful response – only copious slander.

 Pamela McColl (S.A.M. Canada) causes waves for the same reason a large rock does when firmly rooted to the bed of a fast flowing river.  Eddies form behind the rock because it doesn't move – it is rooted an grounded deep in the river bed.  The rhetoric – and slander – of the cannabis camp gets more disconnected from reality – and especially the totality of the scientific evidence – with every passing day.  One day everyone will be only too well aware that the "deep green king has got no clothes on."  And for that matter - nor have any of his children!

Adj Professor A.S. Reece

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By Shanna Whan 10/10/17

Three years ago I had hit my personal rock bottom, and was at a point where I was ready to take my own life. And yet here I stand, today, blessed to be three years into a life fully-recovered, healthy, and completely free from any desire to even touch alcohol. There are countless women who think there is no hope left…It wasn't like falling off a cliff and having a tragic accident. It wasn't sudden. This thing took hold of my life when I was 18, and manifested over a period of more than twenty years. It began as a series of traumatic events and abusive relationships that happened when I was an extremely naïve young country girl. 

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Abstract

Importance: Prevalence estimates are essential to effectively prioritize, plan, and deliver health care to high-needs populations such as children and youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). However, most countries do not have population-level prevalence data for FASD.

Objective: To obtain prevalence estimates of FASD among children and youth in the general population by country, by World Health Organization (WHO) region, and globally.

Data Sources: MEDLINE, MEDLINE in process, EMBASE, Education Resource Information Center, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web of Science, PsychINFO, and Scopus were systematically searched for studies published from November 1, 1973, through June 30, 2015, without geographic or language restrictions.

Study Selection: Original quantitative studies that reported the prevalence of FASD among children and youth in the general population, used active case ascertainment or clinic-based methods, and specified the diagnostic guideline or case definition used were included.

Data Extraction and Synthesis: Individual study characteristics and prevalence of FASD were extracted. Country-specific random-effects meta-analyses were conducted. For countries with 1 or no empirical study on the prevalence of FASD, this indicator was estimated based on the proportion of women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy per 1 case of FASD. Finally, WHO regional and global mean prevalence of FASD weighted by the number of live births in each country was estimated.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of FASD.

Results: A total of 24 unique studies including 1416 unique children and youth diagnosed with FASD (age range, 0-16.4 years) were retained for data extraction. The global prevalence of FASD among children and youth in the general population was estimated to be 7.7 per 1000 population (95% CI, 4.9-11.7 per 1000 population). The WHO European Region had the highest prevalence (19.8 per 1000 population; 95% CI, 14.1-28.0 per 1000 population), and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region had the lowest (0.1 per 1000 population; 95% CI, 0.1-0.5 per 1000 population). Of 187 countries, South Africa was estimated to have the highest prevalence of FASD at 111.1 per 1000 population (95% CI, 71.1-158.4 per 1000 population), followed by Croatia at 53.3 per 1000 population (95% CI, 30.9-81.2 per 1000 population) and Ireland at 47.5 per 1000 population (95% CI, 28.0-73.6 per 1000 population).

Conclusions and Relevance: Globally, FASD is a prevalent alcohol-related developmental disability that is largely preventable. The findings highlight the need to establish a universal public health message about the potential harm of prenatal alcohol exposure and a routine screening protocol. Brief interventions should be provided, where appropriate.

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Abstract

Trivialization of cannabis consumption goes hand in hand with a growing exposure of children and the number of cannabis poisoning cases is steadily increasing. As clinical presentation can be different from what is currently seen in adults, added to the fact that it is not always suspected, diagnosis of cannabis intoxication in children is often delayed or missed. A 16-month-old girl was admitted to the pediatric emergency unit for an important drowsiness combined to moderate fever. After elimination of infectious causes, a toxic origin was considered and biological analyses led to the diagnosis of involuntary acute cannabis intoxication. In conclusion, cannabis intoxication in child has uncommon presentations compared to that seen in adults. In this context, biological analyses have a great importance for a rapid diagnosis and also for the understanding intoxication circumstance. This is of paramount importance because it may lead to consider child protection measures.

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