Communities losing ground in war against liquor giants: experts

ABC, 30 June 2017
Author: Sophie Scott
“More than three quarters of court cases where local communities are against big alcohol stores being built are being thrown out because judges do not have to consider the health impacts of planning decisions. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Sax Institute and the George Institute for Global Health found that in more than 75 per cent of cases across Australia, the courts found in favour of the alcohol industry. Currently, researchers said courts could consider competition and noise issues but not public health and family violence impacts.”
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Global systematic review of Indigenous community-led legal interventions to control alcohol

BMJ Open 2017; 7:e013932.
Authors: Muhunthan J, Angell B, Hackett ML, et al
“The national and subnational governments of most developed nations have adopted cost-effective regulatory and legislative controls over alcohol supply and consumption with great success. However, there has been a lack of scrutiny of the effectiveness and appropriateness of these laws in shaping the health-related behaviours of Indigenous communities, who disproportionately experience alcohol-related harm. Further, such controls imposed unilaterally without Indigenous consultation have often been discriminatory and harmful in practice.”
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Outdated Privacy Law Limits Effective Substance Use Disorder Treatment: The Case Against 42 CFR Part 2

Health Affairs Blog, 1 March 2017
Authors: Sarah Wakeman, Peter Friedmann
“On November 17, 2016, Surgeon General Vivek Murphy released the first report on substance use disorder (SUD) in the U.S. This landmark document described the tremendous toll of alcohol and drug use on the health and well-being of our nation. With the report, the Surgeon General issued a call to action, stating “how we respond to this crisis is a test for America.” Highlighted in the recommendations was the need to address the segregation of SUD treatment outside of medical care and the need to fight persistent stigma. However, full implementation of these recommendations remains nearly impossible so long as the archaic federal privacy law known as 42 CFR part 2 remains in place.”
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Scottish court gives go-ahead to minimum alcohol pricing

BMJ 2016; 355: i5720
Author: Anne Gullard
“The drinks industry in Scotland has been urged to accept a ruling that a minimum price for a unit of alcohol is legal. The Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled on 21 October that the Scottish parliament had acted in its powers when it passed a bill implementing a minimum price of 50p (Ä0.56; $0.61) for a unit. The Scotch Whisky Association, alongside other bodies representing the alcohol industry, has waged a legal battle against the bill since it was passed in 2012, arguing that it contravened European Union law.”
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Alcohol consumption: monitoring, regulation and impact on public health

Public Health Res Pract. 2016;26(4):e2641640
Authors: Jo Mitchell, Adrian Dunlop
“The recently released Report of the Chief Health Officer of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, presents information on alcohol consumption from the perspective of drinking frequency, harmful drinking, nondrinkers and health impacts. The report shows that alcohol consumption continues to have a significant impact on individual and population health and healthcare systems, as it does in many other parts of Australia and the world. There is also an economic impact – the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education has estimated this cost at $36 billion per year across Australia. This issue of Public Health Research & Practice explores the role and outcomes of monitoring and regulation of alcohol consumption, as well as avenues for reducing alcohol-related harm.”
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Drug to treat alcohol use disorder shows promise among drinkers with high stress

NIH, 29 September 2016
Source: NIH
“A new medication that targets part of the brain’s stress system may help reduce alcohol use in people with alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to a new study by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers found that participants receiving ABT-436 experienced more days of alcohol abstinence than those receiving the placebo. In particular, participants who reported high levels of stress appeared to respond better in both the frequency of their drinking and the number of heavy drinking days they experienced decreased.”
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Indonesia Is Pushed to Ban Alcohol for Health of Bodies, if Not Souls

NYT, 2 September 2016
Author: Joe Cochrane
“The threat is not a plague of locusts, nor one of Bali’s dormant volcanos springing to life. It is in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital several hundred miles away, where Parliament is debating legislation that would ban beer, wine and spirits across the thousands of islands that make up this country.”
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