Alcohol fuels the coronavirus pandemic in different ways, the alcohol industry exploits the current public health crisis and many governments around the world have largely failed to protect their people by using evidence-based alcohol policy solutions as part of the response to COVID-19 – according to a brand new research report.
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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)
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Brisbane mother Peta Rickard used to drink three bottles of champagne a night, but is now part of a growing sobriety movement.
New figures have found there has been a large increase in Australians drinking in isolation, with some drinking daily.
The boozy mum culture is starting to wear thin, with women shunning cork-popping social circles in favour of a healthier life.
The Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies reports that “sober curiosity” is beginning to take hold.
Data released last month by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that the proportion of Queenslanders aged 30 to 39 who drank daily halved from 2001-19.
The proportion who drank weekly dropped from 42 per cent to 38 per cent in the same period.
The network’s chief executive Rebecca Lang said: “We are seeing the positive side of social media, where sober Facebook pages are popping up offering mums the chance to chat and enjoy social interaction without the need to consume alcohol at the same time.
“Women are finding a new kind of community.”
“I wine because my kids whine” and “Mummy’s special juice” are just some of the memes that have flooded social media in recent years, promoting the drinking culture and suggesting that consuming wine is the only way to cope with raising kids.
“I was one of the mums that were posting those memes,” Peta Rickard told The Courier-Mail.
“I’d put up a picture of a glass of wine and say, ‘I deserve this.’ ”
The Brisbane mother of two at her worst was drinking three bottles of champagne at night to cope with losing her parents, raising children and holding down a job.
“I’d wake up in an awful state, but had to get the kids to school and get on with my day,” she said.
“I was lost in the habit and could see no way out.
“I’m speaking out to help other mums. There is so much pressure on mothers to hold everything together.
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A new study published in the journal Health & Place in March, 2021 explored how neighborhood and social network characteristics are related to adult binge alcohol use. They found that higher social cohesiveness reduces the likelihood of binge alcohol use. In unsafe, disorderly neighborhoods with low cohesion more interconnected social networks led to lower binge alcohol use.
A new study published in the journal Health & Place in March, 2021 explored how neighborhood and social network characteristics are related to adult binge alcohol use.
The study utilized online surveys from adults ages 30 to 80 years, drawn randomly from the RAND American Life Panel. Key findings are as follows:
- Living in a highly cohesive neighborhood reduces the likelihood of binge alcohol use;
- In safe and orderly neighborhoods, people with more interconnected social networks are more likely to consume alcohol “socially” and consume heavily in these occasions, regardless of cohesiveness.
- However, neighborhood and network factors control how often a person might binge on alcohol. This is possibly through neighbors checking up on each other.
- In disordered, unsafe communities that are lacking cohesion, neighborhood factors lose their overall impact. In such neighborhoods people with more interconnected social networks are less likely to engage in binge alcohol use.