'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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“Domestic violence is a widely discussed issue in Australia. However, many narratives fail to acknowledge the impact of alcohol and illicit substances on the prevalence and severity of domestic violence. They also fail to adequately describe the complexity of violence that occurs within families.                                                                                                     

A new study has revealed heavy episodic drinking doubles the risk of family and domestic violence. (Alcohol/Drug-Involved Family Violence in Australia (http://www.ndlerf.gov.au/publications/monographs/monograph-68)

Heavy drinking was also found to be linked to increased coercive controlling behaviour. This encompasses the behaviours used to exert control over an intimate partner such as financial control, threatening and intimidating behaviour, emotional control and isolation.”             

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Written by Honor Whiteman  Published: 3 December 2016            

The festive season is upon us, meaning many of us will be indulging in a drink or two at office parties or family gatherings. But a new study suggests it might be worth steering clear of white wine; it could raise the risk of melanoma. Researchers found white wine could be independently linked to greater risk of melanoma.
Eunyoung Cho, an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, RI, and colleagues recently published their findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.  Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, which are cells in the top layer of skin.                                              
 

While melanoma is significantly less common than other skin cancers - such as basal cell carcinoma - it is much more deadly. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 10,000 people in the United States will die from melanoma in 2016.  Now, Cho and team suggest alcohol - particularly white wine - should be added to the list. Daily glass of white wine could raise melanoma risk by 13 percent.

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When I started my consultant job specialising in older people’s mental health, I did not have the faintest idea that I would be writing this nearly 20 years later against the backdrop of an alarming rise in the physical, psychological and social harms from alcohol among older people…5 years into my job, I could bear in no longer. With a ward where up to half my older patients had alcohol related mental health problems and finding that my community team was giving the stock answer of “Sorry, but we are not an addictions service” for anyone referred where alcohol played a large part in the presenting problem, I decided to gain additional expertise in addictions. It wasn’t easy juggling this against a busy clinical job, but it meant that my eyes were finally opened to the possibility of developing a service for older people whose alcohol misuse accompanied other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and dementia…

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THE OLDER YOU GET, THE LONGER ALCOHOL STAYS IN YOUR SYSTEMA pioneering Danish study found that tee-totallers got pregnant much sooner than even very light 'social' drinkers and they had a lower miscarriage rate… ‘Alcohol affects just about every system because it’s a small molecule that goes everywhere in the body,’ says Paul Wallace, emeritus professor of public health at University College London and medical director of the charity Drinkaware.  ‘From the gut to the heart, the blood vessels to the skin, its effects are all pervasive.’  But why does it feel like the effects of drinking are so much worse post-40? ‘The organs that metabolise alcohol such as the liver and the stomach shrink as you get older, so alcohol stays in your system longer,’ says Dr Tony Rao, consultant old age psychiatrist at the South london and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. This could explain that wretched two-day hangover post-40.  ‘Plus, the total fluid in the body is a lot less - we get more dehydrated as we get older - so because alcohol is distributed in blood which will be more concentrated, it won’t be broken down as quickly as it would in the bloodstream of a 20 year old.’                                                                                                                                                    

Brain - ‘Alcohol gets through the blood-brain barrier where it works as a depressant,’ says Professor Wallace. ‘We feel quite excited and stimulated when we drink because it’s having a depressing effect on controlling behaviours such as judgement, self-monitoring, planning and reasoning’, he says. It explains why what seemed like great idea the night before is not so much the morning after. ‘Over time this gives you a higher propensity to mood problems such as anxiety and depression.’  In his NHS clinic specialising in alcohol problems, Dr Rao sees people in their 60s with subtle alcohol related brain damage after a lifetime of casual drinking. ‘I always say to my patients ‘Your brain is affected a lot earlier than your liver’’, he says. ‘Before we see the cirrhosis we see depression and problems with impulse control, moodiness, problems making complex decisions, say with finances and their children or spouses might say ‘Oh that’s just so-and-so being a silly old bugger,’ so the problems are missed.’  Good news is, the damage can be reversed after just six months of not drinking, he says. of these substances later in life."

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