The NHMRC Drinking Guidelines 2021: It is important to note these are just ‘guidelines’, not recommendations.
However, the growing evidence around both short- and long-term harms of alcohol consumption warrant a more robust set of warnings for consumers to better inform and create appropriate awareness of the real and growing harms.
You will note that alcohol should not be consumed by
But also, it is important to emphasise that you should also not consume alcohol if,
Further recommended resources,
CBC News – June 2021
"I was hanging around some older kids, and I got into a drug called ecstasy and I was addicted to that," she said, explaining she began experimenting with drugs in high school in an effort to fit in.
But things changed when one of the older guys she hung out with offered her crystal meth, a much cheaper alternative to the drugs she had been buying.
"From there, I never touched another drug. It had a hold on me for the first time I used it."
It was the beginning of a long descent… She lost her job, got kicked out of school and eventually wound up in jail multiple times.
"That was always my detox — going to jail," she said. "When I'd get out I always had these good intentions to stay clean. But I just didn't know how to."
Drug court answers prayers - Her prayers were answered in the form of drug treatment court in Regina, which mandated that she live in an approved residence called Kate's Place.
"Thank God I did, because my family, I can manipulate. My friends, I can manipulate. If I were to live by myself, I could have used and no one would know," she said, adding that she needed long-term treatment, not just a 30-day stay in a facility.
"So, Kate's Place and drug court, they were perfect for me."
Meagan Jasper graduated from drug court in Regina after 13 months.
She hasn't used since she was arrested on Sept. 7, 2017. She has also gone back to school to get a business certificate and has found a job with the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan
For complete story
ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) refers to traumatic incidents in childhood. They were identified in the epidemiological CDC-Kaiser ACE Study that surveyed 17,000 participants. The Study looked at how 10 types of childhood trauma (ACEs) affected a person’s long-term health. They included:
- physical, emotional or sexual abuse;
- physical and emotional neglect;
- living with a family member a problem drinker or alcoholic or used street drugs
- was in a household with a family member who was depressed or mentally ill or attempted suicide;
- having parents who divorced or separated
- having a family member who was incarcerated
- witnessing a mother or step-mother being physically abused.
Secondhand drinking refers to the negative impacts a person’s drinking behaviors [or other drug use behaviours] has on others.
Drinking behaviors are typically unintentional (unless they are the behaviors a person exhibits when not drinking). They are the result of the ethyl alcohol chemicals in alcoholic beverages interrupting the brain’s normal cell-to-cell communication system while “waiting” to be metabolized by enzymes in the liver. This occurs at an average rate of 1 hour for each “standard drink,” which is defined as 5 ounces of table wine or 12 ounces of regular beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor. Drinking patterns that cause drinking behaviors include binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism.
Common drinking behaviors include: verbal, physical, emotional abuse; neglect; blackouts; sexual assault; breaking promises to stop or cut down; shaming, blaming, denying; domestic violence; unpredictable behaviors; alcohol-induced crime; and driving while impaired, to name a few.
Coping with these drinking behaviors causes serious physical and emotional and quality of life impacts – especially for the family and within that, especially for the children. These impacts are the consequence of toxic stress. Toxic stress changes brain and body health and function, which can cause a person to experience migraines, anxiety, depression, stomach ailments, sleep disorders, autoimmune disorders, changes in eating habits, and so much more. Toxic stress also causes a person to adopt unhealthy, toxic stress-related, reactionary coping skills (explosive anger, physically lashing out, shutting down emotionally, as examples).
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Click here for more on the Harms of Second-hand Drinking
There is no such thing as a “safe” level of drinking, with increased consumption of alcohol associated with poorer brain health.
Conclusion: No safe dose of alcohol for the brain was found. Moderate consumption is associated with more widespread adverse effects on the brain than previously recognised. Individuals who binge drink or with high blood pressure and BMI may be more susceptible. Detrimental effects of drinking to be great than other modifiable factors. Current ‘low risk’ drinking guidelines should be revisited to take account of brain effects.
(Along with increasing risk of cancer, liver disease, road toll and family and domestic violence, it’s time to ‘rethink the drink?’ No Brainer)
For complete study
Earlier age at drug initiation has been shown to be associated with faster transition to substance use disorder (SUD).
Discussion | Using nationally representative data, we observed higher prevalence of SUD within 12 months of cannabis and prescription misuse initiation among adolescents than among young adults (e.g., cannabis use disorder: 10.7%vs 6.4% within 12 months; 20.1% vs 10.9% at more than 36 months), consistent with the association of faster transition to SUDs with younger age at drug initiation. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening for substance use among adolescents, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends such screening in primary care settings only among adults. Our results underscore the vulnerability of adolescents to SUDs and the importance of screening for substance misuse among adolescents.
Dr Nora Volkow et al – Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Demand Reduction, Prevention and Early Intervention, including drug screening of teens is good public and personal health practice.