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Australia's plan for tackling alcohol abuse and harm has been compromised because of meddling from the alcohol industry, health experts have warned.

Key points:

  • A leaked copy of the National Alcohol Strategy describes alcohol as "an intrinsic part of Australian culture"
  • State and territory ministers say they cannot endorse the new draft
  • Alcohol accounts for up to 15 per cent of emergency admissions at hospitals

The impasse is presenting an obstacle for Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, as he seeks to finalise the long-awaited blueprint.

"I'm not sure why we need to see it watered down," Western Australian Health Minister Roger Cook said. "Minister Hunt now needs to re-examine his conscience."

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said industry inclusion in strategy governance "presents a commercial conflict of interest" She added that changes from the Commonwealth had "significantly reduced the quality of the document".

This first draft also focused on "challenging perceptions of risk among Australians about safe drinking levels, including in relation to health impacts". But the revised draft instead focuses more on educating Australians or measures to prevent "excessive alcohol consumption" and "excessive drinking". Professor Miller says it ignores the harm caused by regular alcohol consumption. "That our governments and bureaucrats aren't pushing that message clearly in a National Alcohol Strategy is frightening," he said

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Quitting alcohol may improve health-related quality of life for women, especially their mental well-being, according to a study from Hong Kong published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Dr. Ni. "Our findings suggest caution in recommendations that moderate drinking could improve health-related quality of life. Instead, quitting drinking may be associated with a more favourable change in mental well-being, approaching the level of lifetime abstainers."

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No Such Thing as ‘Safe’ Teen Drinking!

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  • Cannabis users found to be 5 times more likely to develop alcohol problem
  • Marijuana use also increases likelihood of drug dependency, experts say
  • They warn pot smokers will also be more likely to develop a smoking habit
  • Experts say 'adverse psychiatric outcomes' should be considered by doctors when considering the best treatment for patients Alcoholics, who did not use the drug, were significantly more likely to be seeking treatment in rehab, within three years, according to scientists at Columbia University and the City University of New York.

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This article is from the June 28, 2019 of The Herald Sun Digital Edition, Reporter, AARON LANGMAID  

MIDDLE aged men have been identified as the most common victims of coward punch attacks with alarming research revealing the average age is actually trending up. 

Males in their 50s have been identified as the most likely to be targeted in random acts of violence. 

The research from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine showed there had been 127 coward punch attacks in Australia from 2000-16 . 

The study also found: ALCOHOL was a contributing factor in 73 per cent of cases; MOST deaths occurred at homes, pubs or clubs between 12pm and 3am; and NINETY-four per cent of victims were men. 

A decrease in the prevalence of drinking in young people — and the success of campaigns to end the random attacks — have been pinpointed as a factor in the results. 

Monash University Senior Research Fellow Jennifer Schumann said  “While the data is focused on the number of associated deaths, just as many victims survive and few get away without permanent physical, mental or psychological disability. 

“Survivors never really get better. They just learn to adapt.” 

For complete article can be found https://www.heraldsun.com.au/.  

and full Forensic Report can be obtained at  https://www.vifm.org/wp-content/uploads/Cowards-Punch-Research-Update-2019.pdf

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