ABC Online: Hang around an inner-city emergency department on a Friday night and you will see the damage binge drinking can cause. Bloody knuckles, broken noses, black eyes and worse — fractured limbs and fractured lives.
Alcohol is sending hundreds of thousands of people to emergency departments each year, far outranking the scourge of ice, research on Australian and New Zealand hospitals has found.
The AHED program conducts research into the extent and impact of alcohol harm in our EDs, is trialling initiatives to monitor and reduce alcohol and other drug harms, and advocates for alcohol policy reform.
OPINION, TOBY HALL: Two years ago, on any Friday or Saturday night, the emergency department at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney would be awash with victims of alcohol-related bashings and accidents. It was a war zone.
Now, 18 months after the suite of measures known as Sydney’s “lockout laws” dramatically changed things for the better, an array of special interest groups are working to have them watered down or struck from the books.
It has been well publicised that in February 2014 the NSW Government introduced legislation to try and curb alcohol related violence in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross areas (see OLGR fact sheet). The intervention included lockouts and earlier closing times for licensed premises in the target precincts. In April 2015 the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) released an evaluation of the intervention which found that since February 2014 (up to September 2014) there had been significant decreases in non-domestic assaults in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct (down 26%) and the Kings Cross precinct (down 32%) (Menéndez, 2015).
Media Release: A doubling in the number of Newcastle’s licensed premises confirms success of the “Newcastle Conditions”
4 August 2015: Recent figures provided by Newcastle Police show that the total number of licenced premises in inner Newcastle have more than doubled (110%) since the modest enforceable reduction in late trading hours across the whole precinct was introduction in March 2008 (see table below).
HONEYSUCKLE is the most popular, Hamilton can be dangerous.
Newcastle West lacks identity and the perception of other late-night Newcastle precincts may not match the reality.
1 August 2015:Newtown alcohol restrictions missing key ingredient
Newtown publicans’ decision to take matters into their own hands and introduce self-imposed alcohol restrictions is a great step towards reducing violence in the area, however they’re missing the key ingredient – reduced trading hours.
Newtown publicans agreed yesterday to introduce 3am lock outs and restrictions on some high alcohol content drinks on Friday and Saturday nights in an attempt to reduce the alcohol problems in the area.
Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and President of the Police Association of NSW, Scott Weber said that while its great to see the publicans looking to the Kings Cross and Newcastle alcohol restrictions as an example, a full suite of measures, including reduced trading hours, is needed.
“It’s great to see Newtown publicans taking serious action to reduce alcohol–related violence on our streets, but unfortunately without reduced trading hours as part of the mix, chances are this won’t have as big an impact as we need to see,” Mr Weber said.
“Lock outs make headlines and are necessary, but only as a part of a suite of measures. Reduced trading hours is they key, missing ingredient.
“Now we really need to see the State Government step in and ensure we have measures to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in hotspot areas right across the state.
“We know what works – reduced trading hours combined with lock out and restrictions on high alcohol-content drinks. It’s been proven in Newcastle and again in Kings Cross. The Government has the solution at its fingertips; now it’s just a matter of taking action and introducing the measures statewide.
“We can’t sit back and allow the carnage on our streets to continue. We know that the combination of reduced trading hours, lock-outs and restrictions on high alcohol content drinks is the way to significantly reduce alcohol-related assaults, so why are we waiting to take action?
The Last Drinks coalition represents NSW emergency service workers and includes doctors, police, nurses and paramedics.
Visit www.lastdrinks.org.au for more information.
The National Drug Research Institute released the latest Bulletin as part of the National Alcohol Indictors Project, Trends in estimated alcohol-related emergency department presentations in Australia 2005-06 to 2011-12.
Key findings from the Bulletin include:
– The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for women in 2011-12 was 3.41 per 1000 persons, an increase of 44 per cent on the 2.36 per 1000 figure recorded in 2005-06.
– By comparison, the rate of male alcohol-related weekend ED presentations was 5.66 per 1000 persons, a 30 per cent increase compared to 4.33/1000 in 2005-06.
– The rate of alcohol-related ED presentation for girls aged 15-19 increased 63 per cent from 2005-06 to 2011-12, from 4.6/1000 to 7.5/1000. By comparison the rate for males in the same age group rose 21 per cent, from 10/1000 to 12.9/1000. This appears to be the highest rate of any age group.
– The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for young males, aged between 15 and 29, appears higher than the rest of the population.
MEDIA RELEASE, 21 June 2015: Reports of increased destructive behavior in Newtown since the introduction of the greater Sydney alcohol restrictions highlight the need to expand the restrictions to alcohol hotspots across the state, emergency service workers say.