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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Wet and dry generations: what happens when a population turns around on drinking?

Temperance Impact current and historical perspective!

Professor Robin Room –Turning Point

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Alcohol harms in Australia are extensive and well acknowledged: resulting in 5,500 deaths every year and a further 157,000 hospitalisations.
Faced with the evidence of those harms, the alcohol industry’s oft-cited defence is to reference official per capita consumption data which shows national alcohol consumption in decline, in an effort to argue that Australia has become a nation of responsible drinkers.
Risky business, a new video produced by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) dismantles that flawed logic, revealing that the decline in the amount of alcohol being consumed as a nation in fact masks alarming patterns of consumption in significant segments of the population.
More than 3.8 million Australians average at least four standard drinks of alcohol per day, that’s twice the recommended health guidelines.
The findings contained in the Risky business video are drawn from an analysis of the study Understanding recent trends in Australian alcohol consumption by the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR).
Over 1.9 million Australians drink on average more than six standard drinkers per day, three times the amount outlined in the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health risks from Drinking Alcohol. Just under a million Australians consume on average more than eight standard drinks a day, equivalent to more than four times the recommended health guidelines.
The video also exposes the alcohol industry’s ‘dirty little secret’, that is, its economic dependence on risky drinkers.
The 3.8 million Australians averaging more than four standard drinks of alcohol per day represent just 20 per cent of all Australians aged 14 and over, yet this group accounts for a staggering 74.2 per cent of all the alcohol consumed nationally each year.
No surprise then that these almost 4 million Australians represent the lifeblood of the Australian alcohol industry. They are the industry’s best customers, targeted and branded by industry as ‘super consumers’. But while the alcohol industry sees ‘super consumers’, health professionals see risky drinkers.
The alcohol industry’s reliance on risky drinking is brought into sharp relief when examining the economic impact of measures to encourage ‘super consumers’ to drink within the guidelines. The total alcohol consumed as a nation would be reduced by 39 per cent, or 38 million litres of pure alcohol.
This knowledge explains the alcohol industry’s steadfast refusal to support alcohol policy measures that would effectively encourage and support Australians to drink within the recommended guidelines. But it does not excuse the industry’s consistent and continuing efforts to block and undermine measures that would save lives and reduce alcohol-related injury and disease.

This paper expands on the ‘super consumer’ story, providing greater detail on the alcohol consumption data underpinning the Risky business video, an overview of the Australian alcohol industry, and an analysis of the impact on the industry if ‘super consumers’, those Australians drinking at extremely harmful levels, where given the necessary support and encouragement to drink within the guidelines instead.
complete report  or view pdf

January 5, 2016

Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have identified 428 distinct disease conditions that co-occur in people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), in the most comprehensive review of its kind.

The results were published today in The Lancet.
"We've systematically identified numerous disease conditions co-occurring with FASD, which underscores the fact that it isn't safe to drink any amount or type of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy, despite the conflicting messages the public may hear," says Dr. Lana Popova, Senior Scientist in Social and Epidemiological Research at CAMH, and lead author on the paper. "Alcohol can affect any organ or system in the developing fetus."

FASD is a broad term describing the range of disabilities that can occur in individuals as a result of alcohol exposure before birth. The severity and symptoms vary, based on how much and when alcohol was consumed, as well as other factors in the mother's life such as stress levels, nutrition and environmental influences. The effects are also influenced by genetic factors and the body's ability to break down alcohol, in both the mother and fetus.

Different Canadian surveys suggest that between six and 14 per cent of women drink during pregnancy.

The 428 co-occurring conditions were identified from 127 studies included in The Lancet review. These disease conditions, coded in the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10), affected nearly every system of the body, including the central nervous system (brain), vision, hearing, cardiac, circulation, digestion, and musculoskeletal and respiratory systems, among others.
While some of these disorders are known to be caused by alcohol exposure - such as developmental and cognitive problems, and certain facial anomalies - for others, the association with FASD does not necessarily represent a cause-and-effect link......

View Full Article


Does the social context of early alcohol use affect risky drinking in adolescents? Prospective cohort study

Louisa Degenhardt 1234*, Helena Romaniuk 256, Carolyn Coffey 2, Wayne D. Hall 78, Wendy Swift 1, John B. Carlin 35, Christina O’Loughlin 2 and George C. Patton 26

* Corresponding author: Louisa Degenhardt This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



There are limited longitudinal data on the associations between different social contexts of alcohol use and risky adolescent drinking.

Australian prospective longitudinal cohort of 1943 adolescents with 6 assessment waves at ages 14–17 years. Drinkers were asked where and how frequently they drank. Contexts were: at home with family, at home alone, at a party with friends, in a park/car, or at a bar/nightclub. The outcomes were prevalence and incidence of risky drinking (≥5 standard drinks (10g alcohol) on a day, past week) and very risky drinking (>20 standard drinks for males and >11 for females) in early (waves 1–2) and late (waves 3–6) adolescence.

Forty-four percent (95 % CI: 41-46 %) reported past-week risky drinking on at least one wave during adolescence (waves 1–6). Drinking at a party was the most common repeated drinking context in early adolescence (28 %, 95 % CI 26-30 %); 15 % reported drinking repeatedly (3+ times) with their family in early adolescence (95 % CI: 14-17 %). For all contexts (including drinking with family), drinking 3+ times in a given context was associated with increased the risk of risky drinking in later adolescence. These effects remained apparent after adjustment for potential confounders (e.g. for drinking with family, adjusted RR 1.9; 95 % CI: 1.5-2.4). Similar patterns were observed for very risky drinking.

Our results suggest that consumption with family does not protect against risky drinking. Furthermore, parents who wish to minimise high risk drinking by their adolescent children might also limit their children’s opportunities to consume alcohol in unsupervised settings.
Read more

It is unfortunate that there are so many myths propagated amongst adults and youth which misinform and presume there are simple strategies to mitigate the intoxicating effects of alcohol and provide remedies to overcome the effects of binge drinking.

The following are some examples of these false myths. The facts which refute these myths are reported in the source documents acknowledged at the end of this article.

MYTH: A cold shower, fresh air or hot coffee will sober someone up.
MYTH: You will feel better if you don’t mix your drinks
MYTH: You can sweat off a hangover.
MYTH: Lining your stomach with milk will stop you puking after drinking.
MYTH: Another (alcoholic) drink will cure your shakes the morning after.
MYTH:  Breath mints can help beat random alcohol breath tests.

Then there are also myths propagated with the intention of encouraging people to  feel more relaxed about drinking excessively. 

For example:

MYTH: Alcohol will give you more energy and make you more sociable
MYTH: While alcohol is considered a drug, you cannot overdose on it
MYTH: Your body develops a tolerance to alcohol, so you can safely drink more.
MYTH: Lining your stomach with a big meal before drink can help to reduce the risk of getting drunk.
MYTH: Eating a big meal before you drink will keep you sober.
MYTH: Beer is less intoxicating than other types of alcoholic beverage.
MYTH: Alcohol is a stimulant.
MYTH: White wine is a good choice for a person who wants a light drink with less alcohol.
MYTH: Women are affected by alcohol to the same degree as men.
MYTH: Women can hold their drink as well as men can.
MYTH: Only young people are the ones who have a problem with alcohol.


Then, even worse, there are those myths perpetuated to encourage drinking to achieve a higher level
of intoxication and release of inhibitions in order for people to “enjoy” themselves.

MYTH: Switching between beer, wine, and spirits will make you more drunk.
MYTH:  Certain drinks make you act unlike yourself!…For example, a person may claim that a certain drink (e.g. gin) will make them teary, another (e.g. whiskey) will make them see red and then there’s the drink (e.g. champers) that sends them “loopy”.

Finally, there are some common perceptions circulating in the community which
through scientific research have been shown to be true!

FACT: Drinking more than a glass of wine a day may reduce your chances of getting pregnant.
FACT: Drinking too much alcohol can reduce male fertility.
FACT: Alcohol is fattening.
FACT: Drinking water can lessen the effects of a hangover, but the alcohol will still be removed from the body at the usual rate.
FACT: Alcohol is a class one carcinogen.

It is imperative that every opportunity is taken to refute these and other popular but false myths and duly inform the community on what science and medicine have substantiated.  Dalgarno Institute promotes awareness of what the medical research informs us about alcohol consumption and its harmful effects amongst people of all ages through a wide variety of means including a comprehensive web site, social media (Facebook, You Tube and Twitter), television and radio advertising and community wide programs.

With a commitment to informing and motivating youth to embrace healthy attitudes and behaviours, Dalgarno has developed and recently released a specially designed educational program entitled “NoBrainer: I wish I never…”  which aims at informing and encouraging youth to make a stand for a better future through prevention of harm from alcohol and other drugs before they succumb to these common myths and associated social pressure.

(See sample DVD clips View Video Clips)

Written and compiled by Derek Steenholdt—Research Officer

Sources for Myths and Facts on Alcohol:

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