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Issue #12 June - July 2014

In this edition:

 

Tena koutou

 

Your challenge – find one piece of new information in this newsletter and share it with one other person today! In these times with so much electronic information, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of communications you receive on a daily basis. However - the shift to a paperless society means that we can also miss out on important information more easily too. These e-newsletters are designed to provide you with a brief update with the opportunity to link to more detailed information. This edition features a number of free online learning resources which you can access at any time to increase your knowledge and skill set.  Meantime, get ready for Dry July and try giving your body a rest from alcohol for a month. Better still – get some mates to join you. You might surprise yourself with the experience. J

 

Mauri ora, Dave Hookway 

Health Promotion Advisor - Alcohol and other Drugs – Northland DHB

In this

Issue:

Flaunting it on Facebook: Young adults, drinking cultures and the cult of celebrity.

Dry July – Clear you head, make a difference!

NEW – ABC Alcohol on-line learning module.

Managing Your Own Withdrawal: A Guide for People Trying to Stop Using Drugs and or Alcohol

NEW – Safer drinking guidelines resources.

Alcohol NZ – your quick update on new law changes.

New evidence on minimum alcohol pricing.

'Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, Big Influence' - video presentations.

PotHelp - a new online resource

Planning for International FASD Day – 9th September.

Need more help?

Flaunting it on Facebook: Young adults, drinking cultures and the cult of celebrity.

A new NZ research project has explored the ways in which new technologies are being used by a range of young people (and others, including marketers) in drinking practices and drinking cultures. It also explored how these technologies impact on the behaviours and identities of rangatahi, and how this varies across young adults of diverse ethnicities, social classes and genders.

Key findings show that social technologies play a crucial role in young adults’ drinking cultures and processes of identity construction. Consuming alcohol to a point of intoxication was a commonplace leisure-time activity for most of the young adult participants, and social network technologies were fully integrated into their drinking cultures. Crucially, many rangatahi did not see themselves as direct targets of online alcohol marketing (despite engaging with alcohol brand sites and friending them on Facebook).

Alcohol companies recognise this and increasingly employ social media (and devote increasingly large percentages of their budgets) for digital marketing to young people.  Participants also showed very little awareness of the amount of personal information they gave away with every ‘like’ or interaction with an alcohol page on Facebook. This personal information is used by drinks companies to engage in more sophisticated and personally targeted campaigns.

 Read or download the report here.

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Dry July – Clear you head, make a difference!

Imagine what you can achieve with a clear head and a spring in your step every day for a month! The countdown is now on until Dry July – your opportunity to have 31 gloriously hangover-free days. Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go booze-free for a month to support adults living with cancer. 

Taking part in Dry July gives you the chance to also focus on yourself – notice your own drinking habits and the value of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It helps you get healthy and clear your head while also raising funds for an important cause.  Dry July improves the wellbeing of adult cancer patients by providing funds to create better services and environments for them and their families.

Last year this campaign raised around $400,000 for the Northern region, of which $30,000 came directly to Northland. The rest went towards regional services, such as the bone marrow unit and radiation oncology treatment, which Northlanders utilise. The $30,000 contribution to Northland is going towards the purchase of treatment chairs for our new oncology unit.  If you’d like to sign up, click here.

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NEW – ABC Alcohol on-line learning module.

Harmful drinking is a major avoidable risk factor and the ABC Alcohol approach has been adopted to identify and provide brief advice to patients who engage in harmful drinking. The ABC approach provides a systematic approach to recording alcohol status and brief advice by integrating the ABC approach into the everyday practice of all primary health care workers, as it was originally developed for smoking cessation.

The ABC Alcohol Approach steps are:

A: Ask

B: Brief advice

C: Counselling 

 

 

Now - a new online learning module is now available free of charge for health practitioners, and is designed to raise awareness of alcohol-related harm in NZ, and promote the ABC Alcohol approach. The new module provides training and support to ensure competency in providing screening, brief advice and referrals for patients with hazardous or harmful alcohol behaviours. The course is available at here under 'New Courses' and the 'Featured Courses' sections. Completion of the course earns CME credits.

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Managing Your Own Withdrawal: A Guide for People Trying to Stop Using Drugs and or Alcohol


http://www.matuaraki.org.nz/uploads/images/managing-your-own-withdrawal.jpgThis booklet has been written for people who are thinking about stopping, or wanting to stop, drinking or using drugs even if just to give their  body and brain a break for a while.

 

If you are concerned about your own use of psychoactive substances or someone else's and would like information about how to manage your own withdrawal, please download this booklet for some useful tips.

For immediate advice and support – Phone the free Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800-787-797.

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NEW – Safer drinking guidelines resources.

New resources have been produced by Northland DHB to promote greater awareness of current long-term safer drinking guidelines. The new folded pocket resources provide information on what constitutes a standard drink – important for engaging patients in discussion of their drinking habits. They also inform current recommended standard drink limits to reduce both long-term health risks and the risk of injury. Larger fridge magnets reinforce the standard drinks message of “How much am I drinking?” for clients.

                                                

 

 

Folded pocket resource                                                                                                                                                 

 

Fridge Magnet

 

  

 Click here to order your copies if these resources.  Please include your name, organisation, delivery details and quantity required.

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Alcohol NZ – your quick update on new law changes.

New changes under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 came into force at the end of last. Some of the key areas that involved change included:

·        Limits of the supply of alcohol to minors,

·        New maximum default trading hours,

·        Opportunity to develop and implement  Local Alcohol Policies,

·        Stricter provisions on the promotion of alcohol and on discounting,

·        New on-the-spot fines,

·        Conditions on the sale of alcohol, and

·        A new definition of “intoxicated”.

To help you better understand these changes, a new publication from the Health Promotion Agency - AlcoholNZ – is available to help clarify the new Act.  It also provides evidence-based articles, topical commentaries, and summaries of new alcohol-related research and guidelines to update readers’ knowledge and inform debate about alcohol issues in New Zealand. Click on the link or the picture to download your copy.

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New evidence on minimum alcohol pricing.

Despite the Government recently rejecting a minimum pricing policy for alcohol, a new study published in The Lancet has highlighted significant projected health gains for lower income people and in particular for heavy drinkers. They found that the biggest impact of a minimum price policy was on “harmful” drinkers in the lowest income quintile (7.6% reduction in alcohol), whereas the impact on harmful drinkers in the highest income quintile was modest (1%).

Their findings also concluded that individuals in the lowest socioeconomic group would accrue 81·8% of reductions in premature deaths and 87·1% of gains in terms of quality-adjusted life-years. New Zealand commentators believe the importance of The Lancet paper for New Zealand is that it demonstrates how the policy is likely to play out if the purchasing patterns of UK drinkers are similar to NZ. The 2012 survey of NZ alcohol purchasing patterns commissioned by the Ministry of Health (click here to request a copy)  showed the heaviest drinkers did buy more low cost alcohol in NZ, although as expected, this was not exclusively the case.

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'Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, Big Influence' - video presentations.

According to the World Health Organisation, the diseases of unhealthy behaviours linked to tobacco, alcohol and obesogenic diets are the global health challenge of the 21st century. The Public Policy Team at the University of Southampton have now released videos from a recent symposium titled 'Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, Big Influence: New vectors for global diseases’ which examined some of the ways in which commercial interests have influenced policy and implications arising from this.   Click on the pictures to watch the presentations.

 Left: Dr Nick Sheron, Head of Clinical Hepatology, University of Southampton Professor - on Alcohol policy and vested interests: different methods, or different goals.

Right: Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Member of the Health Select Committee and MP for Totnes - on Evidence and strategy in alcohol politics.

 

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PotHelp - a new online resource.

A new online website has been set up by the NZ Drug Foundation and funded by the Ministry of Health to help “pot” users cut back or quit. PotHelp features compelling stories from people about the highs and lows of their cannabis use and their journey through treatment.

“The stories are from gutsy New Zealanders who stepped forward to share their experience, insight and hope on how they have successfully tackled dependency on cannabis or are somewhere near beginning that journey,” says Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell. “People who are serious about cutting back or giving up cannabis will be able to work their way through the PotHelp online therapy with the support of these stories.”

PotHelp offers users:                                         

·        Honest accounts of the process of giving up pot,

·        An online treatment programme to help  change their  life for the better, 

·        Contact details for a number of New Zealand organisations ready to help achieve freedom from drug dependence.

The online therapy tool was designed by addiction treatment specialists. Check out the website for more information.

 

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Planning for International FASD Day – 9th September.

Organisation is again underway for this year’s International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day  - FASD Day for short! Building on the success of a numer of community events in the past few years, Northlanders are once again taking to the street to highluight the importance of being alcohol free during pregnancy and whilst breast feeding after baby is born.

Health and community workers are keen to reach the 1 in 4 mums who despite current Ministry of health guidelines, continue to put their unborn child at risk of a range of developmental and mental disbilities, commonly framed under the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It has been estimated that up to 6 in 100 children born may suffer the harmful effects due to their mother’s consumption of alchol during pregnancy.

Held on September 9th, events are currently planned for Whangarei, Kaitaia, Kaikohe, and the Hokianga. If you would like to host your own local event, contact here for more information.

 

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Need more help?

If you are concerned about your own drinking or that of someone close to you, contact the free Alcohol Drug Helpline on  0800-787-797  from 10am to 10pm or visit www.addictionshelp.org.nz.

Remember - In an Emergency - Dial 111

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Compiled and produced by:

Dave Hookway  - Health Promotion Advisor - Alcohol and other Drugs

Northland District Health Board - 55 Hobson Ave, Kerikeri 

Postal address: - PO Box 906, Kerikeri 0230, Bay of Islands 

(  Ph (09) 430-4101 x 7895 | Mob 021-221-4027 or Freephone 0800-537-4342 option #3  

Click here to email    

 

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