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Data Site

Introduction: Welcome to AODstats, the Victorian alcohol and drug interactive statistics and mapping webpage.
AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria.

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  • Chronic alcohol drinking kills stem cells in key regions of the brain and reduces the development of new nerve cells in adults 
  • For the first time, research showed that female brains showed more severe deficits than males
  • Researchers said this discovery provides a new way of approaching the problem of alcohol-related changes in the brain

By Kayla Brantley For Dailymail.com  PUBLISHED: 14 November 2017

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Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. “This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen,” says Milkman. “I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.”

If it was adopted in other countries, Milkman argues, the Icelandic model could benefit the general psychological and physical wellbeing of millions of kids, not to mention the coffers of healthcare agencies and broader society. It’s a big if.

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The WA government is calling for nationwide support for mandatory pregnancy health warnings on alcoholic beverages. 20/11/17

Alcohol sold in Australia should be labelled with mandatory health warnings for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the West Australian government says.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook is calling for state, territory and federal governments to support compulsory health warnings on alcohol, ahead of the Australian and New Zealand ministerial forum on food regulation on Friday.

"Increasing awareness of the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is essential," Mr Cook said.

A foetus exposed to alcohol can suffer from lifelong, adverse effects to their brain and organs, known as foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

"The failure to act on this issue is inexcusable and is putting lives of vulnerable children at risk," Mr Cook said.

Currently, warning labels are voluntary.

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Review article

Lange S, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2017.

Conclusions and Relevance: Globally, FASD is a prevalent alcohol-related developmental disability that is largely preventable. The findings highlight the need to establish a universal public health message about the potential harm of prenatal alcohol exposure and a routine screening protocol. Brief interventions should be provided, where appropriate.

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It's not just about tobacco either.  Look at this recent line from the BMJ Open just published "Low alcohol consumption and pregnancy and childhood outcomes: time to change guidelines indicating apparently ‘safe’ levels of alcohol during pregnancy?"  It concludes that despite thin evidence all women should be warned about the use of alcohol in pregnancy.

With cannabis many systematic reviews and meta-analyses  have shown retardation of foetal growth rate, small for dates infants, increased rates of early and premature births and impairment of school age and early life development intellectually socially and often physically.  

 The summary comments of the Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in JAMA Psychiatry on 9th December 2016 on the use of cannabis in pregnancy strongly concur that it is not appropriate and women of reproductive age should be warned against its use.  Even the patient information leaflets from GW Pharmaceuticals which markets Sativex globally emphatically urges both males and females of reproductive age not to indulge in cannabinoid use.  For these potent arguments – which should be enough to close out any rational debate - the cannabis camp have no meaningful response – only copious slander.

 Pamela McColl (S.A.M. Canada) causes waves for the same reason a large rock does when firmly rooted to the bed of a fast flowing river.  Eddies form behind the rock because it doesn't move – it is rooted an grounded deep in the river bed.  The rhetoric – and slander – of the cannabis camp gets more disconnected from reality – and especially the totality of the scientific evidence – with every passing day.  One day everyone will be only too well aware that the "deep green king has got no clothes on."  And for that matter - nor have any of his children!

Adj Professor A.S. Reece

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