'minimising harm by maximising prevention'

  

ALCOHOL
VOLUME SALES
– VICTORIA

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AOD STATS
Interactive
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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Action Alcohol

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Benadryl is a widely used medication for treating allergy symptoms, but it can cause problems when mixed with alcohol.

The risks associated with mixing Benadryl and alcohol may not apply to everyone or every situation. It is possible that consuming small amounts of alcohol while taking Benadryl in a safe environment will cause no harm. However, the safest option is simply to abstain from alcohol while taking Benadryl.

Under no circumstances should Benadryl and alcohol be mixed before engaging in any activity that required mental alertness, such as driving.

If someone else has either intentionally or unintentionally mixed Benadryl with alcohol, it is important to ensure they are in a safe environment, where they can rest, if need be.

It is best to consult with a doctor to determine when it would be safe to consume alcohol after taking Benadryl, as this will depend on other factors, such as age or other courses of medication.

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BMC Public Health BMC series  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5199-x  Published: 1 March 2018

By 2050, around 22% of the world population will be aged 60 and over, with a significant proportion of these older individuals having a “pattern or level of drinking which places them at harm” p.656 [3]. In comparison to younger people, older adults are more susceptible to the detrimental effects of alcohol, as their tolerance to alcohol lowers with age. In addition, older people are also more likely to take prescription medications which, when taken with alcohol, can reduce effectiveness of medication, exacerbate side effects or even lead to the development of new illnesses [4].

Drinking more than five standard drinks per week and a history of an alcohol problem in men over the age of 50 has been found to quadruple the risk of developing psychiatric problems including depression and memory loss [56]. Cognitive impairment can lead to an increased likelihood of falls [7] and because older people often have weaker bones, this can lead to hip fractures, which is one of the highest causes of death in the older population [8]

Type of interventions

Interventions used in trials included varying techniques and some used more than one intervention group, and these are listed below:

  • Motivational Enhancement [19]
  • Brief Motivational Intervention [23]
  • Brief Advice [19]
  • SHARE (Senior Health and Alcohol Risk Education) [17]
  • Brief Intervention (BI) - used BI protocol including a workbook containing feedback on individuals’ behaviours and other educational resources. Two appointments, one month apart consisting of the intervention and then a reinforcement session [22]
  • Personalised reports on risks and problems [1820]
  • Educational tools [182122]
  • Diaries [20]
  • Telephone Counselling [1720]

Conclusion

This study has shown that while there is a growing evidence base for interventions for alcohol use in older individuals, there is still a need to conduct more research in the field to understand more about alcohol use in later life, and specifically understand which interventions work and for whom. Currently, interventions are aimed at general populations rather than focusing on older people. Older people are affected disproportionately by lifestyle changes such as bereavement, social isolation and loneliness and worklessness which may affect alcohol consumption [9]. More work is needed to establish the relationship between these factors and patterns of drinking in older people and also to look at varying levels of alcohol consumption across the life course, playing closer attention to stages of old age and factors such as retirement.

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SBS 27/2/18

Nearly 6000 Australians are dying from alcohol-related diseases each year. (AAP)

Nearly 6000 Australians died as a result of a disease linked to alcohol in 2015, the National Drug Research Institute has found.

Alcohol-related diseases are being blamed for causing the deaths of nearly 6000 Australians each year.

A study by the National Drug Research Institute at Western Australia's Curtin University has found an estimated 5,785 people aged over 15 died from alcohol-attributable causes in 2015.

Just over a third died from alcohol-attributed cancer, with injuries, cardiovascular disease and digestive diseases linked to 17 per cent of deaths.

"This research shows that in Australia, one person dies every 90 minutes on average, and someone ends up in our hospitals every three-and-a-half minutes, because of preventable conditions caused by alcohol," NDRI alcohol policy team leader Professor Tanya Chikritzh said.

Breast cancer and liver disease were the main causes of death for women, while most men died from liver disease and bowel cancer.

As well as the 2000 people who died from alcohol-attributable cancer, another 13,000 were hospitalised with cancers linked to low or moderate drinking levels.

Terry Slevin, education and research director at Cancer Council WA, said many people would be shocked to learn that more than one third of alcohol-related deaths were linked to cancer.

"We rarely see people with a cancer diagnosis link their drinking to the disease," he said.

"We have a long way to go to embed the notion that drinking alcohol genuinely increases risk of cancer and death."

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Researchers suggest screening, brief interventions for heavy drinking and treatment for alcohol use disorders are needed to reduce the alcohol-attributable burden of dementia.

by Jill Margo 21/2/2018

If you are drinking your troubles away, you soon may not be able to remember them at all.

A nationwide French study has just shown chronic heavy drinking is an especially potent risk factor for developing dementia before the age of 65.

And for those who have made it past 65, the sobering results show chronic heavy drinking is also a big risk factor for all kinds of dementia and that the risk is much higher than previously thought.

The French study suggests heavy drinking leads to permanent structural and functional brain damage. Andrzej Wojcicki

This latest study suggests heavy drinking leads to permanent structural and functional brain damage.

Published in The Lancet Public Health journal, it involved more than a million adults diagnosed with dementia between 2008 and 2013.

The authors say heavy drinking also increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, atrial fibrillation and heart failure, which may in turn increase the risk of vascular dementia.

It is also associated with tobacco smoking, depression, and low educational attainment, which are also risk factors for dementia.

Drink and dementia has an eroding force, and the risk of chronic heavy drinking appears to be much higher than previously thought. Stuart Hay

'This evidence is robust'

This study "is immensely important", says Professor Clive Ballard from the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain, in a linked comment in the same journal.

"In our view, this evidence is robust and we should move forward with clear public health messages about the relationship between both alcohol use disorders and alcohol consumption, respectively, and dementia."

The World Health Organisation defines chronic heavy drinking as consuming more than 60 grams of pure alcohol a day for men, which is equivalent to six or more standard Australian drinks a day.

A 30 millilitre nip of spirits is one standard drink, as is 100 millilitres of red wine.

For women, heavy drinking is four or more standard drinks a day.

The study looked specifically at the effect of alcohol disorders. This included people with mental and behavioural disorders or chronic diseases attributable to chronic harmful use of alcohol.

Of the 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia (before 65), the majority were either alcohol-related by definition or had an additional diagnosis of alcohol use disorders.

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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.”

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