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FASD Day - 9 September 2017

9/09/2016


Stay Strong and Healthy

​9 September is FASD day – a good time to remind pregnant women and all the community that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). A child born with FASD may have a range of problems including physical defects and a life-long challenge with learning, behaviour, memory, language, communication and everyday living.

The disabilities associated with FASD are permanent and preventable.

Go to http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/wwtk for Women Want to Know brochures, videos and e-learning courses which encourage health professionals to routinely discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women and to provide advice that is consistent with the NHMRC Guidelines.

For Aboriginal Stay Strong and Healthy FASD videos and resources for community and health professionals go to http://www.yourroom.com.au/for-aboriginals/ and http://www.facebook.com/staystrongandhealthy

  1. NSW Liquor & Gaming announce minimal changes to Newcastle CBD Liquor License conditions

    ​The NSW Liquor & Gaming Authority is considering only minimal changes to the liquor licence conditions of 14 late night trading hotels located in Newcastle CBD, following an independent review. Chair of the Authority Philip Crawford announced: "The case for maintaining existing patron lockout restrictions in the 14 Newcastle venues, and for maintaining requirements for the sale or supply of liquor to cease 30 minutes before closing, was strong." The minor changes that are being considered include no longer requiring the use of a common radio network, and plans of management to be reviewed annually rather than quarterly. Mr Jonathan Horton QC was requested by the Authority to conduct a review of conditions imposed by the former NSW Liquor Administration Board in 2008 and the impact this has had on reducing alcohol-related violence. Following this request, Mr Horton released the Horton Report earlier this year, advising the Authority on the current liquor licence conditions. Why was the Horton Report created?  Liquor licence conditions were imposed in Newcastle CBD in 2008 following community, police and medical practitioner concerns about late night alcohol-related violence. Since then, there have been many demographic, development and regulatory changes in the area. Mr Horton states that although the 2008 liquor conditions were reliable in preventing alcohol-related violence at that time, some of these conditions have now become out-dated. "Newcastle is no longer in need of a 'solution': what is required is a licensing regime which prevents a return to past problems and allows for the City to develop in a balanced way and in accordance with community expectations, needs and aspirations," wrote Mr Horton. What conditions were considered? As a result of the report and under the Liquor Act 2007, the Authority considered Mr Horton's recommendations.  Importantly, Mr Horton recommended trading hours remain the same as the existing hours as they "have proved successful in reducing alcohol-related violence to an acceptable level, since those hours were set". Horton went on to state, "to increase the hours would, in all likelihood, lead to greater violence". Mr Horton's recommendations also included changing the conditions surrounding notification of licence conditions to staff, as well as a new requirement for each licensee to update their Plans of Management and perform an annual review of these in consultation with NSW Police. After 10pm, Mr Horton recommended "drinks commonly known as shots, shooters, slammers or bombs or any other drinks that are designed to be consumed rapidly" are prohibited. Who was involved? Mr Horton conducted a process of public consultation between November 2017 and February 2018, where he received over 90 written submissions from a variety of stakeholders. This included NSW Police, public health bodies, academics, licensed businesses, industry bodies, private individuals and special interest groups. Following the Authority's decision the licensees were provided with a period of 21 days to respond. Mr Crawford commented: "We would like to express our gratitude to those members of the community who provided the written and oral submissions that informed the Horton Report."  The Horton report can be read in full  here . How important is language when it comes to discussing alcohol and drugs, and the people who use them? Find out by reading our article on  why language matters .    

    05/06/2018

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  2. Drink less alcohol, get active and eat well! What is Get Healthy and how can it help me?

    ​Have you heard of the Get Healthy service? This telephone-based coaching service provides NSW residents over 16 with a free personal health coach to guide and support them on their journey to live a healthy life - helping them to drink less alcohol, get active and eat well. Alcohol consumption is associated with a risk of developing health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, liver cirrhosis, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road accidents. It is also a huge contributor to weight gain as it contains few nutrients for the body to use. If you are worried about your level of alcohol consumption then this program is for you. Get Healthy has an alcohol-reduction module designed to support you to drink a little less on a regular basis.  A health coach will assess your risk of drinking and provide you with the support and motivation you need to help you reach your alcohol reduction goal. Our coaches use the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), an internationally validated screening tool to screen for alcohol risk. You are eligible for 10 to 13 phone calls with your coach and will receive an information book containing information about appropriate alcohol intake, an alcohol facts booklet and an alcohol journey book to help keep you motivated and record your progress.  The Get Healthy coach will also help you to: Identify areas of challenge Learn simple ways to improve your health Set a healthy lifestyle goal Create an action plan Stay motivated on the journey The Get Healthy service is for everyone! Learn more today by visiting:  gethealthynsw.com.au/   Check out the Your Room Alcohol Risk Assessment  here .   

    04/06/2018

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  3. What is the link between alcohol and cancer?

    ​Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia.  It is estimated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that we are among the highest consumers of alcohol worldwide. In NSW, a quarter of all adults drink at levels that place their long-term health at risk ( 2016 Chief Health Officers Report ). According to the  Alcohol's burden of disease in Australia report : 5,554 Australians die every year as a result of alcohol use  The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)  Annual Alcohol Poll 2018  shows that: Australians have a low awareness of the long-term health conditions – including cancers - associated with alcohol  A Group 1 carcinogen In recent years there has been public confusion over whether or not alcohol is harmful when consumed regularly (but not excessively), with media coverage claiming wine and other types of alcohol is good for you, with little research to support these claims.  There is sufficient evidence that ethanol - the chemical present in all alcoholic beverages - is a  carcinogen  (this falls into the same group as asbestos, arsenic and benzene). In other words, alcohol  is a cause of cancer  and any level of consumption increases the risk of developing an alcohol-related cancer. The level of risk increases in line with the level of alcohol consumption. Cancer Council Australia  advises there is strong evidence that alcohol use increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, liver and breast. FARE's alcohol poll also found Australians have a low awareness of the long-term health conditions associated with alcohol. Less than half of those surveyed by FARE were aware of the link between alcohol misuse and stroke (38%), mouth and throat cancer (26%) and breast cancer (16%). The link between alcohol and cancer In 2010, 2.7% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia were attributed to alcohol consumption (Whiteman et al., 2015). There are a number of mechanisms by which alcohol causes cancer. Once metabolised by the body, alcohol binds to DNA increasing the likelihood of DNA mutations and impairing cell function.  At even low levels of alcohol consumption, alcohol interferes with oestrogen receptors on cells to increase the levels of circulating oestrogen, which can lead to cell proliferation – a key initiating factor in the development of breast cancer for example.  According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) research shows that unsurprisingly the highest health risks are associated with heavy consumption - but there is also a considerable burden among those who are moderate to low consumers of alcohol. For example,  a study  on the impact of alcohol on prostate cancer showed that even at low-levels of consumption, alcohol increased the risk of prostate cancer development by 23%. Your risk There is no safe level of alcohol consumption. However 4.3% of alcohol-related cancers in Australia could be prevented by reducing alcohol intake from four or more drinks per day, to two or less drinks per day, according to Whiteman. The more a person drinks over a long period of time, the higher the risk of developing an alcohol-related  cancer .  Evidence  also suggests that for some cancers it can take more than 10 years for alcohol-related cancer risk to even start to decline after ceasing alcohol consumption. There is no evidence that cancer risk varies by the type of alcoholic drink, whether it is wine, beer or spirits. The 2009 Australian Alcohol  Guidelines  by the National Health and Medical Research Council recommend: If you drink regularly, drink no more than two standard drinks each day. On any single occasion, drink no more than four standard drinks. Young people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol. The safest option for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother is not to drink alcohol. Drinking less frequently, e.g. drinking weekly rather than daily, and drinking less on each occasion, reduces the lifetime risk of alcohol-related harm. How to prevent While not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop cancer, the less alcohol you drink the lower your risk of cancer. There is no safe alcohol limit but the less alcohol consumed the better. To prevent cancer caused by alcohol, quit drinking today. Across the globe there are thousands of people who live alcohol free. If you're not ready to quit, cut down your alcohol intake or speak to someone that can help guide you towards a healthier lifestyle.  Get Healthy  is a free NSW service that provides free telephone-based health coaching to help you to drink less alcohol, get active and eat healthily. If alcohol is a problem for you, seek help. Find out which support and treatment is best for you  here . Or call the free ADIS support line for more information: 9361 8000 (Sydney) or 1800 422 599 (for NSW regional callers). Are your drinking habits are putting you at risk? Find out with the Your Room  Risk Assessment . References :  1. Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for prostate cancer? A systematic review and meta–analysis | Jinhui Zhao, Tim Stockwell, Audra Roemer, Tanya Chikritzhs | BMC Cancer. 2016; 16: 845. Published online 2016 Nov 15 2. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol 2009 (Australia) 3. Whiteman, D. C., Webb, P. M., Green, A. C., Neale, R. E., Fritschi, L., Bain, C. J., ... & Pandeya, N. (2015). Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to modifiable factors: summary and conclusions. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 39(5), 477-484. 4. Rehm J, Patra J, Popova S. Alcohol drinking cessation and its effect on esophageal and head and neck cancers: a pooled analysis. International Journal of Cancer 2007;121(5):1132-1137. 

    01/06/2018

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