The middle-class trend of “wine o’clock” is increasing the rate of heart problems, liver disease and even alcohol-induced dementia.
And doctors warn people who enjoy a “few glasses” of wine at home each evening could be suffering from a form of chronic alcoholism.
While most responsible drinking advertising targets young people, there is also a growing concern about people in their 50s and 60s binge drinking. A glass or two ... or several more.
NSW Health data reveals 27.3 per cent of people aged 55-64 consume alcohol at levels that pose a long-term risk to their health.
While a few glasses of wine with dinner might be seen as “culturally sophisticated”, Australian Medical Association NSW president Dr Brad Frankum said there was a lack of awareness about the danger of home drinking.
“They don’t associate binge drinking with the cultured act of a glass of wine at night.
“But the evidence is clear that daily drinking increases risk of pancreatitis (and) liver disease and it contributes to obesity and weight problems, which cause a range of cardiovascular issues.”
Australian youth are drinking and smoking less than before. AAP
School-aged Aussie kids are drinking less alcohol and smoking less tobacco and cannabis, The study is the work of researchers at Deakin University, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, and has been published in the Drug and Alcohol Review journal.
Better parental attitudes about the dangers have been linked to the trend, identified by an analysis of more than 40,000 student surveys completed in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia between 1999 and 2015.
But so, too, has the fact it’s become harder for kids to get their hands on harmful substances.
“Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use all fell significantly from 1999 to 2015,” Australian researchers found, but noted higher levels of use in Victoria compared to the other two states.
Parental supply of alcohol has dropped from a high of 22 per cent in 2007, to 12 per cent.
The sale of alcohol to minors also has plunged from 12 per cent in 1999, to just one per cent.
“It is plausible that a reduced tendency for parents and other adults to supply adolescent alcohol are implicated in the reductions in adolescent alcohol use observed across Australia,” the study found.
“This is a game changer; we can see that parents are taking on the advice from our national health guidelines that even a small amount of alcohol is harmful to teenagers, And we believe this is what has seen Australia go from having one of the highest rates of alcohol use by high school students in the world, to one of the lowest…findings also point to the value of school drug education programs, restrictive underage purchase laws and market regulations.” Lead researcher Professor John Toumbourou, from Deakin University
By Katherine Gregory 14/1/18
Queensland grandmother Sharon Wallace said she needs locks on her bedroom door.
That's because her seven-year-old grandson Xavier can be incredibly loving one minute, but destructive the next.
"Xavier loves to have something that smells like me, plays with my ears. And then the other side of Xavier is that he'll put huge holes in the walls at home, he'll hurt his brothers and sisters or me," Ms Wallace said.
"He gets in such high anxiety states of aggression and he won't calm down for ages. He could be fine right now and ten minutes later he's having a big rage and there's no calming him down."
Ms Wallace has to hide knives and hammers from Xavier, because of the damage he can cause at home.
It has gotten worse since he wasn't allowed back to school.
"He says it's payback, but usually it's when he's having his meltdown," Ms Wallace said.
"I think he regrets it afterwards but at the time it's his way of getting his anger out.
"It can be very confronting."
Ms Wallace said the episodes happen up to three times a day.
She has been looking after Xavier and his siblings since they were taken away from their mother because of problems with alcohol.
That was one of the reasons why last year she decided to take Xavier to see doctors at the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic on the Gold Coast.
She was looking for answers to his wild and uncontrollable behaviour.
"Nothing else we tried has worked," Ms Wallace said.
By Kayla Brantley For Dailymail.com PUBLISHED: 14 November 2017