ALCOHOL WATCH #14 by Russell Guy.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE BDR
Senator Nova Peris (pictured) has challenged the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to advocate for more action in tackling alcohol-related domestic violence.
She called on the AMA to formally adopt a policy position that supports the principle that people who have committed alcohol-related domestic violence be banned from purchasing alcohol at the point of sale.
“An indigenous woman is 80 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than other Territorians. In 2013, domestic violence assaults increased in the Northern Territory by 22 per cent,” she said.
Senator Peris criticised the incoming NT government’s August 2012 decision to scrap the banned drinker register.
“Domestic violence perpetrators were again free to buy as much alcohol as they liked. As predicted by police, lawyers and doctors, domestic violence rates soared.” (The Australian, 5/3/14).
ALCOHOL TOPS THE LIST OF DRUG ABUSE IN SCHOOLS
A survey of over two hundred principals on the use of alcohol and other drugs in secondary public urban, rural and remote schools, released in July, 2013 by the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), found that significant concern relating to alcohol and cannabis use, “requires a holistic community response”.
But a major alcohol study suggests that other action, such as “making alcohol more expensive and restricting its availability” is also required. (ABC, 12/3/14).
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) sought to find out whether community action, without tough legislation could be effective. Working with leaders in 10 rural New South Wales communities, using measures including education campaigns at school and work, doctors screening patients for alcohol problems and targeting high risk individuals and high risk weekends, the NDARC spent five years studying those 10 communities against 10 other communities which didn’t have the measures.
The study found that community action didn’t cut other more serious problems such as alcohol-related crime, road-traffic crashes and hospital admissions.
The research suggests that issues like one-punch problems and more serious assaults are best dealt with through tighter legislation.
ABSTINENCE, ALCOHOL AND AA
Ross Fitzgerald, a long-time commentator on the need for alcohol reform, writes that “alcohol-related violence is clearly on the increase, especially among the young.
“One disturbing trend seems to be an exponential increase, among Australians 15 to 25, in out-of-control drinking, and especially in binge drinking among teenagers of both sexes.
“In a society like ours, with such an entrenched drinking culture and with such a politically powerful liquor industry, significant pressure is applied to those, young as well as old, who need to remain abstinent in order not to harm others and themselves, let along live productive lives.” (Australian. 9/3/14).
Responding to these comments, Dr Alex Wodak from Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital ER, writes: “The most important inconvenient myth about alcohol is that we have known for a long time how to substantially reduce the extent of this problem – and these methods have little to do with abstinence or AA.
“Even small increases in price and modest restrictions in the availability of alcohol work wonders.” (Australian, 10/3/14).
ALCOHOL WATCH #14 by Russell Guy.