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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View the eNews February 2021

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First published: 11 June 2019


Aims: The main aim of this study was to assess the relationship between parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use and their child's alcohol use. Secondary aims included assessing the relationship between attitudes reported by parents and those perceived by children, and between perceived parental attitudes and children's alcohol use.

Methods: Meta‐analysis of studies reporting on the associations between parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use and children's self‐reported alcohol use. Published, peer‐reviewed cross‐sectional and longitudinal studies were identified from the following databases up to April 2018: Medline, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Scopus and Web of Science. Quality assessment was performed by using guidelines developed by Hayden, Cote & Bombardier. Pooled effect sizes were calculated by using random‐effects meta‐analyses, if there were at least two studies that could be included per analysis. Of 7471 articles screened, 29 were included comprising data from 16 477 children and 15 229 parents.

Conclusions: Less restrictive parental attitudes towards children's alcohol use are associated with increases in children's alcohol use onset, alcohol use frequency and drunkenness. Children's perception of less restrictive parental attitudes is associated with children's alcohol use.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE--Heavy alcohol consumption (three drinks or more/day for women and four drinks or more/day for men) is linked to alterations in immune function among people with HIV.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) looked at biological markers of innate immune function, a kind of immune response that acts quickly and non-specifically to new infections and pathogens. They investigated biological markers of three specific immune processes: systemic inflammation, monocyte activation and altered coagulation. Higher levels of biological markers for these processes have previously been associated with higher risk of death. In the current study, the researchers assessed self-reported alcohol use over time (three times over two years) and also measured alcohol use using a blood-based marker of alcohol consumption called PEth (phosphatidylethanol) that detects alcohol consumption up to about 21 days after drinking. Additionally they measured other behaviors and health conditions that could obscure the true relationship between alcohol consumption and these biomarkers.

"We found that people who reported drinking more alcohol or had high PEth had higher levels of these biomarkers of immune function. The fact that heavy alcohol consumption was linked to elevated levels of these biomarkers, which are linked to mortality, suggests that alcohol may be contributing to mortality risk through immune dysfunction among people with HIV," said corresponding author Kaku So-Armah, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM.

For complete article

Own your drunken decisions

If someone has done something wrong while under the influence of alcohol, we tend to give them a “get out of jail free card”, rather than hold them accountable for their actions. We also extend these excuses to ourselves…It turns out that while we might believe that alcohol changes our personalities, it doesn’t. You’re still the same person after a drink – your existing sense of morality left intact. So, while alcohol might affect how we interpret and understand the emotions of other people, we can’t blame our immoral behaviours on alcohol.

Drunken you has the same moral compass. And so, you are responsible for your moral and immoral actions, whether you’ve had a few drinks or not.

For complete article

About 70 percent of those who engage in simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use reported simultaneous use at least weekly

A new study from Penn State found that compared to people who only drank alcohol, those who used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously were more likely to drink heavier and more often. They were also more likely to experience alcohol-related problems -- like impulsive actions they later regretted.

"The results suggest that individuals who simultaneously use alcohol and marijuana are at a disproportionately higher risk for heavy, frequent, and problematic substance use," said Ashley Linden-Carmichael, assistant research professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State.

The researchers said the findings -- recently published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse-- also suggest that prevention and intervention programs should take into account not just alcohol, but also if people are using additional substances, as well.

According to the researchers, marijuana use is at an all-time high among young adults in the U.S., possibly leading to people using marijuana and alcohol simultaneously.

"The problem with simultaneous use is that it can affect people cognitively and perceptually, and also have an impact on motor impairment," Linden-Carmichael said. "There is a burgeoning area of research that is examining why people are using marijuana and alcohol together and what those effects are."

 For complete study

AUG 2019


Aims: To assess the longer-term effects of the 2014 NSW liquor law reforms on levels of violence in the inner Sydney area.

Results: In the 62-months following the reforms, statistically significant reductions in non-domestic assault incidents occurred in the lockout precincts as a whole (down 13.3%) and in the specific precincts of Kings Cross (down 53%) and the CBD Entertainment Precinct (down 4%). There was evidence of geographical displacement to surrounding areas with increases in non-domestic assault observed in both the PDA (up 18%) and the DDA (up 30%). Over time, the size of the assault reduction in the lockout locations has declined while the increase in assaults in the displacement sites has risen. Despite this, the reforms still delivered an overall reduction in non-domestic assaults over the period February 2014 to March 2019, with an estimated net benefit of 395 fewer non-domestic assault incidents.

Conclusion: While non-domestic assault appears to have reduced in both target precincts after the 2014 liquor law reforms, the effect in the CBD precinct has declined over time. Displacement of violence to surrounding areas should continue to be monitored.

For complete report