This month we bring you the latest CDAT news from around the state, safe partying fact sheets just in time for Schoolies, and a range of useful alcohol and other drug resources.
The Aboriginal Alcohol in Pregnancy Project is a NSW Ministry of Health initiative to raise awareness among Aboriginal women and their partners of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) which can cause lifelong disabilities for a person. The damage to the brain can result in developmental delays; problems with learning, behaviour, memory, language and communication skills; and everyday living and socialising skills.
Developed in consultation with Aboriginal child and maternal health, drug and alcohol and mental health professionals and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the ‘Stay Strong and Healthy – It’s Worth It’ Project includes a printed guide and video to support health workers advising Aboriginal women about alcohol in pregnancy. The video also provides guidance on cultural safety when working with Aboriginal women during pregnancy.
The project also emphasises the role partners, families and communities can play in supporting pregnant Aboriginal women to make healthy lifestyle choices and the availability of professional services to support them.
The ‘Stay Strong and Healthy – It’s Worth It’ Project products include an illustrated story book about a pregnant young Aboriginal woman who learns about the harms of alcohol consumption in pregnancy and the potential impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) on a child and their family. A poster, postcard and video for women has also been produced and a poster and video for men encouraging them to support their pregnant partner in not drinking during pregnancy. A poster, postcard and video to raise awareness of young people about FASD and alcohol in pregnancy are also available.
The Facebook page www.Facebook.com/StayStrongAndHealthy expands on the key messages as well as offering health information about pregnancy and having a young baby, mental health, healthy recipes and links to the campaign videos.
For more information on FASD go to http://www.nofasd.org.au/resources/what-is-fasd-1
For information on the Women Want to Know project visit http://www.fare.org.au/women-want-to-know/
The NSW Ministry of Health have recently released a suite of papers on crystalline methamphetamine. These papers have been developed in consultation with both government and non-government organisations including: NSW Police, Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, St Vincent’s Health Network, ACON and NSW Users & AIDS Association.
The papers aim to provide the facts around crystalline methamphetamine, including the associated harms, NSW Health response, treatment options and NSW data.
Methamphetamines are stimulants, and part of the amphetamine group of drugs manufactured from common pharmaceutical drugs and readily available chemicals such as acetone, bleach, battery acid, and engine coolant.
Methamphetamines are potent and illegal stimulants that speed up the function of the brain and nervous system.
There are four main forms of methamphetamine:
- Ice – also known as ‘crystal meth’ is the purest form. It has a clear to white crystalline appearance. Ice is usually smoked or injected.
- Powder – a white or off-white powder generally known as ‘speed’, typically of low purity, which can be snorted, injected or swallowed.
- Base – a damp or oily substance, white/yellow/brown in colour with a higher purity than powder. This form is typically injected and sometimes swallowed.
- Pills – methamphetamine has also been sold in pill form
Crystalline methamphetamine is the purest form of methamphetamine available in Australia.
These papers are available at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/crystallinemethamphetamine
The factsheet at http://yourroom.com.au/product/methamphetamine-speed-and-ice-drug-facts/ also provides further information on methamphetamine including where to go for further advice, support or referral.
Dr Koob, who is director of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, tells The New Daily that a week of binging (over Christmas for example) can be enough to cause serious harm, which a month off can reverse.
“A moderate drinker who drinks heavily for just a week can develop fatty liver, the earliest and reversible stage of alcoholic liver disease,” Dr Koob says.
Acceptable drinking is no more than two standard drinks a day, Australian guidelines say. Risk is low if you stick to this limit, which is approximately two beers, 1.5 glasses of wine or two nips of spirits. But as Professor Maree Teesson, a senior researcher at the National Alcohol and Drug Research Centre, has told The New Daily previously: “Two is so far from what our normal experiences are.”
Turning Point clinical director Dr Matthew Frei says the first week can be the hardest.
“In the first week or two you are feeling a bit shaky and wondering what you’re doing,” Dr Frei says. “By the second week, you actually start to notice some recovery.
“Third week, your health is really getting better.
“Fourth week, it’s all coming together and you’re starting to objectively look at what you are like alcohol-free and asking yourself if that’s what you want to be.”
Need 2 chat about it? 93618000 or 1800422599
The Australian Drug Foundation has launched a groundbreaking new campaign encouraging parents to consider what habits their children are learning at their sports club.
The ‘Is your child’s club a Good Sports club?’ campaign uses powerful imagery of kids mimicking drunken behaviours that they have observed around their sports club. The campaign asks parents to consider what their kids are learning at their club, and encourages them to choose a club involved in the Good Sports Program.
2014 National Alcohol Policy Scorecard, produced by National Alliance for Action on Alcohol, is released 8th January 2015.
Commencing 2013, the National Alcohol Policy Scorecard is an initiative of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA) and aims to:
- raise awareness of progress in alcohol policy development within Australian States/Territories and Federally;
- recognise good practice in alcohol policy; and,
- motivate governments to continue to strengthen and improve alcohol policy.
The National Alcohol Policy Scorecard covers each of the eight State and Territory jurisdictions, as well as the Federal jurisdiction in Australia. The scorecard consists of 10 alcohol policy criteria against which each jurisdiction’s performance has been benchmarked. The results of the 2014 benchmarking are based on:
- The scores and the accompanying comments provided by a minimum of two expert assessors in each jurisdiction;
- Information NAAA requests from each jurisdiction;
- NAAA research regarding the status of alcohol policies and programs in each jurisdiction; and,
- Comparison of 2013 and 2014 scores.
Further information- National Alliance for Action on Alcohol
In 2013, over 40% of Australians smoked daily, drank alcohol in ways that put them at risk of harm or used an illicit drug in the previous 12 months, according to a report released on 25 November by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report: 2013 builds on key findings from the survey (released online in July 2014), presenting more detailed analysis, including comparisons between population groups and states and territories.
This month issue: we crack into schoolies, from the perspective of someone who’s been there and done that. We give you tips on hosting safe parties, and we look at targeting workplaces as potential project venues. CDAT Newsletter – November Edition
World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. An initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, WMHD is an annual program held on 10 October to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.
This year in Australia, WMHD has three objectives:
* Encourage help seeking behaviour
* Reduce the stigma associated with mental illness
* Foster connectivity throughout communities
The 2014 WMHD campaign aims to achieve these goals by encouraging people to take personal ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing.
To do this, the campaign focusses on a simple, personal mental health promise that can be made by anyone, regardless of their own mental health.
You don’t have to have a mental illness to take part, you just need to have an interest in your own good health, which is important to everyone.
Everyone knows that alcohol fuelled violence is ugly. And the results of that violence are even uglier. From smashed faces and broken bones to shattered lives and wasted futures: the consequences of alcohol fuelled violence can be life changing for both victims and aggressors.
Preventing and minimising alcohol fuelled violence is a key Government priority.
“Stop before it gets ugly” is the first NSW Government advertising campaign to specifically address alcohol fuelled violence. Targeting young men aged 18-35 the group most likely to be the offenders of alcohol-related violence, it sends a strong message that responsible alcohol consumption and consequential behaviour is a matter of personal responsibility.
The campaign communicates a clear call to action:
Know your limits. Pace yourself. Recognise the ‘tipping point’ when your behaviour starts to change, and stop before it gets ugly.
Watch out for your mates. If they’ve had too much to drink, get them to stop and help them get home safely. You can help stop it getting ugly.
More information: http://www.nsw.gov.au/stopbeforeitgetsugly