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December 15, 2017

NATIONAL ALCOHOL STRATEGY: CONSULTATION OPEN NOW

The Department of Health is inviting stakeholders to provide feedback on the National alcohol strategy 2018-2026.  As a sub-strategy of the National drug strategy 2017-2026, the National alcohol strategy aims to ideintify national priority areas and opportunities for action, as well as promoting collaboration between the government and non-government sector.  The strategy is also attempting to reduce harmful alcohol consumption by 10%. The online submission process is now open and will close on 11 February 2018.

You can view the draft National alcohol strategy 2018-2026 here.

To lodge a submission, please email the nationaldrugstrategy@health.gov.au

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November 10, 2017

WEBINAR ON FASD IN THE YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM: WEDNESDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 12PM

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong condition relating to permanent brain damage caused by fetal alcohol exposure.  The majority of young people who have FASD live with significant cognitive, behavioural and learning difficulties.  Being FASD informed is important for all workers who support young people. The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre is hosting a free webinar on FASD on Wednesday 29 November with guest presenter Dr Raewyn Mutch from the Alcohol, Pregnancy and FASD department at Telethon Kids Institute.  The webinar will run for approximately one hour, and will discuss FASD with a focus on the prevalence of FASD in the youth justice system.

To read more about joining the webinar visit.

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October 6, 2017

FETAL ACLHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD) HUB WEBSITE LAUNCH

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Hub Australia is a website funded by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a 'one stop shop' for evidence based information, tools and resources about FASD. The website has information on how alcohol use during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetus, tools and information for workers on how to diagnose FASD and importantly, resources for health professionals and families on how they can work together to give the best possible support to people living with FASD. A current understanding of FASD is key for any health professional working with young people and families.

Go to the FASD Hub

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August 18, 2017

CONSULTATIONS ON THE NATIONAL FASD STRATEGY 2018 - 2028

The Australian Government Department of Health is developing a "National FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Strategy 2018 - 2028" and services and individuals are able to make submissions in order to inform the strategy.  The objectives of the strategy are to:

  • Strengthen efforts and address the whole-of-life impacts on FASD
  • Address the whole-of-population issues
  • Support collaborative cross sectoral approaches required to prevent FASD in Australia
  • Provide information and support those living with and affected by the disorder

Submissions close 4th of September.

Find out more or provide a submission here.

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March 17, 2017

ACT ON ALCOHOL: 2017 ANNUAL SURVEY OPEN NOW

Act on Alcohol is a program run by Lives Lived Well, which supports Queensland communities to address alcohol related harms.  Every year, Act on Alcohol conducts a survey to better understand the alcohol related issues faced by different communities.  This helps to identify local issues and prioritise responses.  The annual survey takes about 5 - 10 minutes to complete, and is open until 5pm Friday 31st of March, 2017.

To complete the survey click here.

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March 10, 2017

ADF DRUG FACTS

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (formerly known as the Australian Drug Foundation) have re-launched their Drug Facts website.  The site contains information on a broad range of drugs, in an accessible format suitable for any worker.  Each fact sheet contains information on the specific substance including how the substance is used, an overview of the effects and harms, and information on rates of use in the population.

Go to the ADF Drug Facts website

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January 27, 2017

ESTIMATING THE GLOBAL PREVALENCE OF ALCOHOL IN PREGNANCY AND FAS

An article has been published in The Lancet titled "Estimation of national, regional and global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis." The article involved a review of 328 studies of alcohol use in pregnancy, and 62 studies on FAS (Fetal alcohol syndrome). This allowed the researchers to estimate rates of FAS in various regions around the world. The authors found that globally, 9.8% of women drank during pregnancy, and the estimated prevalence of FAS in the general population was 14.6 per 10 000 people.  The authors estimate that one in every 67 women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy would deliver a child with FAS.

Go to "Estimation of national, regional and global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis."

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November 10, 2016

CAN YOU CHANGE A VIOLENT DRINKING CULTURE BY CHANGING HOW PEOPLE DRINK?

Peter Miller and Alex Wodak published an article on "The Conversation" back in 2015 which we think is worth revisiting.  Titled "Fact Check: Can you change a violent drinking culture by changing how people drink?", the article addresses a recent research report funded by the alcohol company Lion which concluded that you can't change a violent culture by simply changing drinking patterns.  Miller and Wodak describe a wide range of research that shows the opposite: that changing drinking patterns can result in significant decreases in violence and antisocial behaviour.  The provides links to research showing that shutting pubs and clubs two hours earlier results in between 30% - 40% reduction in the number of reported assaults.  Other research indicates that for every hour after midnight that pubs are open there is a 15%- 20% increase in violence, drink driving and emergency department attendance.

Read: "Fact Check: Can you change a violent drinking culture by changing how people drink?"

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September 22, 2016

CAN EXERCISE OFFSET SOME OF THE HARMS OF REGULAR DRINKING?

The UK government health service, the NHS, operates a website that provides plain English summaries of recent research.  Last week, they published an article titled "Can exercise offset some of the regular harms of regular drinking?".  The article describes a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which collected data on 36 370 people aged over 40, and tracked their alcohol consumption and levels of physical activity. The study found a direct link between all levels of alcohol consumption and risk of cancer mortality.  The study also found that the more a person exercised, the less their risk of cancer mortality as well as death by any causes.  In people with the highest levels of physical activity, there was no significant link between any amount of alcohol consumption and cancer mortality.

Go to "Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?"

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September 9, 2016

AUSTRALIAN GUIDE TO THE DIAGNOSIS OF FASD

The "Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD" is has been recently developed to assist health practitioners in the diagnosis of FASD and to make sure once a diagnosis is made, people get the support required to manage the condition. The diagnostic tool differentiates between FASD with three sentinel facial features (which is similar to the previous diagnostic category of "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome") and FASD with less than three sentinel facial features (which encompasses the previous dianostic categories of "Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" and "Neurodevelopmental Disorder-Alcohol Exposed').  The website includes e-learning modules to assist in upskillng workers in identifying and respoding to FASD.

You can download the Guide here and also access the Diagnostic Instrument E-Learning modules.

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