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Saturday, September 26, 2009
The most common causes of admissions were alcohol dependence, falls, assaults, attempted suicide and injuries sustained in road accidents.
New research from the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) found that alcohol continues to be a major preventable cause of death, injury and disease for many Australians. Risky or high risk alcohol consumption caused the death of 32,696 Australians aged 15 and older in the 10 years from 1996 to 2005, and 813,072 Australians were hospitalised due to alcohol-caused injury and disease over the same period.
This bulletin shows trends in estimated population adjusted rates of deaths and hospitalisations attributable to risky/high risk alcohol consumption (based on NHMRC 2001 drinking guidelines) across all jurisdictions for a period of 10 years (1996-2005). The rates shown here are for adults (15+ years) and are based on the aetiologic fraction method for quantifying alcohol-attributable mortality and morbidity (English et al. 1995; WHO 2000). As such, these rates are considered estimates of deaths and hospitalisations ‘caused’ as opposed to the more loosely defined estimates of ‘alcohol-related’ events. Rates have been directly age-standardised to the 2006 national population aged 15 years and older (ABS 2008).
This Bulletin also includes estimates of non-alcohol-attributable deaths and hospitalisations as a comparison measure (page 4). Nonalcohol- attributable conditions were those not currently considered to be attributable to either alcohol or tobacco use (changes in population tobacco use may influence underlying mortality/morbidity trends). Non-alcohol-attributable conditions include for example; pancreatic cancer, unspecified dementia, and cataracts but exclude tobacco attributable conditions such as lung cancer, peptic ulcer, chronic bronchitis, peripheral vascular disease, renal pelvic cancer and bladder cancer.
PIPPA GRANGE September 26, 2009
RECENT international statistics suggest that alcohol kills more than six times more people than all other drugs combined. In Australia it causes about 3000 deaths and 65,000 hospitalisations every year. Between 1998 and 2005 there was a 39 per cent increase in presentations for behavioural or mental health issues associated with alcohol.
Dr Andrew Rochford, registrar at Sydney's North Shore Hospital, reports that as much as 50 per cent of weekend night-time presentations in emergency are alcohol related and they take up to 70 per cent of staff time. The estimated cost of alcohol-related social issues runs to more than $15 billion annually.
Excessive drinking creates financial, relationship, physical and mental health, cultural and social costs - and they are unacceptable. Risky drinking is a problem in Australia.
The kind of risky drinking we see in AFL is binge drinking. The home-and-away season is about getting the absolute best out of each player as an elite athlete and there is very little place for hangovers, dehydration or reduced training capacity caused by alcohol. The game is more ruthless and more professional than ever, and each man is accountable to his teammates and to his jumper. . . . . . .
The Observer, Sunday 27 September 2009
We tested the hypothesis that dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens, a neural structure that mediates reinforcement, is necessary for context-induced reinstatement of responding for ethanol-associated cues.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) 31: Implementing Change in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs provides guidance on integrating evidence-based practices (EBPs) into substance abuse treatment programs.
Written for substance abuse treatment administrators, managers, and supervisors, TAP 31 suggests practical and efficient approaches for introducing and implementing EBPs. It includes steps for assessing an organization’s readiness to adopt new practices, identifying priorities in adopting EBPs, evaluating progress, and sustaining change over time. TAP 31 complements the best practices described in SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's (CSAT's) Treatment Improvement Protocols.
Read Full Publication (PDF)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A Plan to Ensure the Cost of Reform Is Budget-Neutral
A third option is sin taxes. Taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages reduce consumption of these products, thus contributing to the overall health of the American people, and raise significant revenue—an estimated $200 billion over the next decade.
Alcohol remains one of the most pressing public health concerns in many American Indian and Alaska Native communities. As sovereign nations, American Indian and Alaska Native tribes have the ability to pass a wide range of laws to control alcohol, which may be an important component of more comprehensive prevention planning. This policy brief, produced by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP), focuses on evidence about the potential impact of these policies.
Figure 9.1. Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who had five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year: United States, 1997-March 2009
Figure 9.2. Percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who had five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year, by age group and sex: United States, January-March 2009
Figure 9.3. Age-sex-adjusted percentage of adults aged 18 years and over who had five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year, by race/ethnicity: United States, January-March 2009
Data tables for Figures 9.1-9.3
September 23, 2009 – A new survey released today shows that in a time of partisan debate over health reform, Americans across party lines agree on improving access to addiction treatment. Despite difficult economic times, most are willing to pay out of their own pocket to make lcohol and drug addiction treatment more accessible and affordable for those who need services. Large majorities see treatment as an effective, ongoing process. Yet many Americans who have personal experience with addiction report that finding affordable treatment is difficult.
Key findings include:
• Nearly seven in ten (69%) support paying two dollars more per month in health insurance premiums to make addiction treatment more accessible and affordable, including majorities of support across political parties.
• Only one in four Americans (26%) say there are enough affordable, accessible, quality treatment centers and services in their community; nearly half (47%) reports an inadequate number of treatment centers.
• Of those who know someone who has looked for addiction treatment, 46% say it was difficult finding affordable, quality treatment services. Additionally, a poll conducted in June 20091 found that half (49%) of Americans say they feel they could not afford the costs of treatment if they or someone in their family needed it.
• An awareness gap exists around insurance coverage for treatment. While nearly three‐ uarters (73%) think health insurance plans should cover treatment for addiction, nearly two‐thirds (64%) of insured Americans are not sure whether their plan currently covers treatment services.
Eighty‐eight percent of Americans say treatment is extremely or very important to helping people get better, including 92% of Democrats, 85% of independents and 87% of Republicans.
• Eight in ten Americans (82%) believe that, like diabetes, addiction is a health condition that requires ongoing attention and support. Further, 76% of the public agrees that while it is possible for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol to stop using on their own, long‐term success is unlikely without treatment and ongoing support.
• Americans (87%) see treatment as an ongoing process, sometimes needing more than one period of treatment. Only eight percent say treatment tends to be a onetime occurrence. Additionally, the public sees treatment as effective, even if individuals relapse and need another period of treatment.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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The first EU Alcohol Strategy was adopted by the European Commission in October 2006 in response to the growing recognition of the health impact of harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption in the EU. The Strategy was endorsed by the other EU institutions indicating that a broad consensus has been achieved in the EU on the approach to tackle alcohol related harm. This is the first report to review progress against strategy implementation.
The HINARI Programme, set up by WHO together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Over 6400 journal titles are now available to health institutions in 108 countries, areas and territories benefiting many thousands of health workers and researchers, and in turn, contributing to improved world health.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Serum ethanol is independently associated with decreased mortality in patients with moderate to severe head injuries. Additional research is warranted to investigate the potential therapeutic implications of this association.
The “EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY ON PREVALENCE OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION, ALCOHOL DRINKING PATTERNS AND ALCOHOL RELATED HARMS IN MONGOLIA survey was undertaken to determine the prevalence of alcohol consumption, alcohol drinking patterns and alcohol related harms among the population.
1. To determine the prevalence of alcohol consumption
2. To identify the alcohol drinking patterns
3. To determine the prevalence of alcohol dependence
4. To identify health alcohol related harms
5. To identify social alcohol related harms
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Based on current evidence, interventions to reduce harm from alcohol are highly recommended. The potential reduction in costs of treating alcohol-related diseases and injuries mean that substantial improvements in population health can be achieved at a relatively low cost to the health sector.
Because binge drinking and subsequent driving were common in establishments licensed to sell alcohol, and because licensing is conditional on responsible beverage service practices (i.e., not selling to intoxicated people), efforts to prevent impaired driving should focus on enforcing responsible beverage service in licensed establishments.
Our results support a bidirectional relationship between alcohol use and violent behavior. Efforts to reduce one problem can be expected to reduce the other. Programs and policies aimed at reducing violence or alcohol use among adolescents should take into account this relationship.