Prescription and illicit drug use | Doctor waiting lists

Prescription and illicit drug use | Doctor waiting lists.

Thousands of West Australians have become addicted to dangerous prescription drugs while waiting to see a doctor, but a lag in illicit drug use statistics has left the escalating problem largely undetected, a scathing parliamentary inquiry has found.

General practitioners are concerned that about 22,000 West Australians are now addicted to opioids such as morphine and oxycodone, prescribed to them to manage chronic pain while they waited up to 12 months to see a specialist, the Education and Health Standing Committee said in an interim report tabled in parliament yesterday.

“The misuse of prescription opioids has become a significant problem within Western Australia and the number of people misusing them is now at a similar level to the number consuming heroin,” the report says.

Alcohol and your health make informed choices

Alcohol and your health make informed choices

Alcohol

Alcohol is a commonly used beverage. People drink alcohol for a range of reasons – including relaxation and celebration. Alcohol can be enjoyed in sensible quantities. However, alcohol is a mind-altering substance and has a number of potentially harmful effects.  Alcohol can:

  • slow down the activity of the brain and the central nervous system, impairing speech, movement, mood and judgement;
  • increase the risk of accidents, drink driving, injury as a pedestrian, unsafe sex, physical and sexual assault, self-harm and overdose;
  • cause drowsiness, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting.

The likelihood and severity of these harmful effects will increase with the amount of alcohol consumed.

Regular excessive drinking can:

  • jeopardise people’s jobs and relationships, and cause legal or financial difficulties;
  • cause serious health conditions – including cancer, heart and circulation problems, impotence and liver disease.

Importantly, heavy drinking can affect brain development in young people.

More at;  Alcohol and your health make informed choices | Australian Medical Association.

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Teens & Alcohol Shops

Alcohol Shops Affect Teen Drinking

Alcohol outlets lead to specific problems among youth and young adults

Alcohol research has clearly demonstrated a connection between alcohol outlets and alcohol-related problems.

A new study focuses on the effects of alcohol outlets on underage youth and young adults.

Findings show that alcohol-related injuries among underage youth and young adults are shaped by the density and types of alcohol outlets in neighbourhoods.

Prior studies have not only demonstrated a clear connection between alcohol outlets and alcohol-related problems, they have also shown that certain types of outlets are associated with different types of problem outcomes. A new study shows that a particular group, underage youth and young adults, have specific problems – injury accidents, traffic crashes, and assaults that are related to specific types of alcohol outlets – off-premise outlets, bars and restaurants.

Results will be published in the March 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“Over the past four decades, public health researchers have come to recognize that although most drinkers safely purchase and enjoy alcohol from alcohol outlets, these places are also associated with serious alcohol-related problems among young people and adults,” said Paul J. Gruenewald, senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center and corresponding author for the study.

“In the early studies, researchers believed associations were due to increased alcohol consumption related to higher alcohol outlet densities,” added Richard Scribner, D’Angelo Professor of Alcohol Research at the LSU School of Public Health. “However, as the research area has matured, the relations appear to be far more complex. It seems that alcohol outlets represent an important social institution within a neighbourhood. As a result, their effects are not limited to merely the consequences of the sale of alcohol.”

For this study, researchers obtained non-public hospital discharge data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, including residential zip code and patient age for all patients discharged. Ninety-nine percent of the injury records were successfully mapped to zip codes. Population demographics, place characteristics, and data related to alcohol outlets were also collected from various sources, and modelled in relation to two age groups: underage youth between 18 and 20 years of age, and of-age young adults 21 to 29 years of age.

“Greater numbers of off-premise outlets such as take-out establishments were associated with greater injuries from accidents, assaults, and traffic crashes for both underage and of-age young adults,” said Gruenewald. “But only among of-age young adults were greater number of restaurants related to traffic crash injuries and greater numbers of bars related to assault injuries. These findings confirm previous observations that drinking at bars may be a particular risk for aggression and alcohol-related assaults while drinking at restaurants may be a particular risk for drunken driving and alcohol-related traffic crashes. The findings also confirm prior studies that indicate underage risks are uniquely associated with off-premise establishments.”

“In other words,” said Scribner, “the pattern of alcohol-related injuries among underage youth and young adults is not random; their occurrence is shaped by the density and type of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood. For example, when young adults reach the minimum legal drinking age, they begin legally drinking in bars where events such as bar fights are relatively common, and more likely when the density of bars increases. A little more complex is the strong association between an increasing density of off-premise outlets such as convenience stores and liquor stores, and higher rates of all injury outcomes among both underage youth and young adults. The authors indicate this association may be related to broader social factors where the concentration of these types of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood influences the social networks of both youth and young adults by reinforcing high-risk drinking practices. Clearly this type of research can help to develop informed policy in areas where high rates of youth injuries are considered a problem.”

The key message, said both Gruenewald and Scribner, is that a neighbourhood’s alcohol environment plays a role in regulating the risks that youth and young adults will be exposed to as they mature.

“From a prevention perspective, this represents an important refocusing of priorities, away from targeting the individual to targeting the community,” said Scribner. “This is hopeful because a community-based approach that addresses the over concentration of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood where youth injuries are a problem is relatively easy compared with interventions targeting each youth individually.”

World Federation Against Drugs

worldfederationagainstdrugs The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) is a multilateral community of non-governmental organisations and individuals. Founded in 2009, the aim of WFAD is to work for a drug-free world. The members of the WFAD share a common concern that illicit drug use is undercutting traditional values and threatening the existence of stable families, communities, and government institutions throughout the world.

The work of the WFAD is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights. We believe that working for a drug-free World will promote peace and human development and dignity, democracy, tolerance, equality, freedom and justice.

WFAD welcomes all individuals and organisations which are campaigning to achieve a society free from the abuse of illicit drugs. The path to achieving this goal is long and beset by problems, which is why unrelenting efforts to gradually reduce drug abuse step by step are so important.

WFAD regards the non-medicinal use (abuse) of narcotic substances as a severe public health problem which results in major problems for society. At the same time, narcotics can have important medicinal uses and must therefore be available to the health services.

http://www.worldfederationagainstdrugs.se/

10 Benefits of Love

The Moment“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right. Love and health are intertwined in surprising ways. Humans are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards are immense. But we’re not necessarily talking about spine-tingling romance.

10 Benefits of Love.

Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The Australian National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders Inc.

(NOFASARD) was established and incorporated in Adelaide in 1998. It is Australia’s peak body representing parents, carers and others interested in or affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). NOFASARD currently receives no operational funding and is staffed totally by volunteers.

The Aims and Objectives of NOFASARD are:

  • To promote and resource good practice in the management of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and related disorders resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Provide information, advocacy, education and support that will assist carers and those working with and affected by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and related disorders.
  • Work towards the prevention of Foetal alcohol syndrome and related disorders.

NOFASARD members lobby State and Federal Agencies, politicians and professional associations about:

  • The lack of appropriate education about the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy
  • The lack of acknowledgment of this disability by health authorities in Australia
  • The lack of appropriate management strategies and support for people with FASD.

Through education and advocacy, NOFASARD members aim to improve the lives of children/adults with FASD. Representatives from the organization present at seminars and workshops for both government and nongovernment agencies throughout Australia

More information at; http://www.nofasard.org.au/

Australian Medicos Support British Plan to Raise Alcohol Prices

Australia map The Australian Medical Association (AMA) thinks the UK chief medical officer’s proposal to increase alcohol prices to curb binge drinking is a good idea.

In England, the debate to increase prices per unit of alcohol was sparked after the Scottish Government announced plans to regulate prices.

President of the AMA Dr Rosanna Capolingua says increasing prices means teenagers are unable to afford the drinks.

She says a similar scheme in Australia would benefit the health of the wider population.

Full story at ABC Rural

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