The Health News – 30 June 2016

Overview:
• Drug law reformers Matt Noffs and Dr Alex Wodak are pushing ahead with Australia’s first supervised ice smoking room, in a move which directly contradicts the NSW Government’s stance on such a centre.

• Young Australians are drinking about 50 per cent less alcohol than people the same age 10 years ago, new research shows. The study was led by Dr Michael Livingston from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at Melbourne's La Trobe University. Illicit drug use is down, too, which shows young people are not simply switching from one vice to another.

• It is hoped the Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service, based at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, will boost immunisation rates across the state to target children who are not vaccinated because of complex medical conditions.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  30th of June 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-29/ice-smoking-rooms/7551256

Drug law reformers Matt Noffs and Dr Alex Wodak are pushing ahead with Australia’s first supervised ice smoking room, in a move which directly contradicts the NSW Government’s stance on such a centre.

The …centre in Sydney would provide clean pipes and smoking equipment and encourage contact with addiction health services, but not provide any substances to users.

“My understanding is we don’t face any legal obstacles to having an inhalation room. The obstacles are all politics and crisis management,” Dr Wodak told 7.30.

7.30 joined the pair as they looked at potential locations and spoke to air ventilation suppliers about the equipment needed to purify the air of toxic chemicals exhaled by several ice users smoking the drug in a confined space.

Assistant NSW Minister for Health Pru Goward told 7.30 that an ice smoking room did not have Government support.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-29/young-australians-drinking-much-less-than-previous-generations/7553970

Young Australians are drinking about 50 per cent less alcohol than people the same age 10 years ago, new research shows.

Data from population surveys was used to analyse the drinking habits of more than 124,[000] Australians aged 14 to 79 who were surveyed over 18 years.

The study was led by Dr Michael Livingston from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at Melbourne’s La Trobe University.

Dr Livingston said Australians who are in their teens or early 20s were drinking much less than previous generations.

While alcohol has been the target of public health campaigns in Australia, Dr Livingston said the trend was evident across the world.

“We’re seeing these results in other countries like Sweden, like the UK — countries with different patterns and cultures,” he said.

Illicit drug use is down, too, which shows young people are not simply switching from one vice to another.

“That was the first thing we looked at. It is, in fact, the opposite,” Dr Livingston said.

“There’s less drug use, there’s less drinking, there’s less smoking. It’s a broad shift towards more responsible, less risky behaviour.”

The reason why young people are drinking less remains unclear.

Dr Livingston said changes in socialising could be a factor, but there was no strong evidence to support the theory at this stage.

“My favourite theory of the many is that it is something to do with the way interaction has changed,” he said.

“Alcohol, especially in young people, is very much about socialising.

The study was published in the scientific journal Addiction.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-29/immunisation-vaccination-clinic-brisbane-specialist-complex-need/7553714

A new specialist immunisation clinic has been launched in Queensland to target children who are not vaccinated because of complex medical conditions.

It is hoped the Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service, based at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, will boost immunisation rates across the state.

The service, funded by the State Government at a cost of $1.6 million a year, will be extended across Queensland through tele-health.

A hotline will also be available for regional doctors to call the clinic for specific advice for patients.

The vaccine program will help children with cystic fibrosis, cancer, or those who have had transplants or other major procedures, who are at risk of an adverse event following immunisation.

The State is aiming to have 95 per cent of all Queensland children fully immunised by 2017.