Media

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team is readily available to help journalists with their media enquiries, with a range of spokespeople available to share their expertise on different alcohol and other drug-related issues.


Contact

For more information please contact:
03 9611 6104 or 0430 948 380
media@adf.org.au

Recent media releases

With Dry July drawing to a close and thousands of Aussies getting set to break the month long drought, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation is urging people to take it easy and understand the impact alcohol can have on the body – especially after a month off.

It’s tempting to celebrate the end of Dry July by getting back on the beers. Struggling Aussies going through new lockdowns might feel its time to abandon the alcohol-free month along with healthy drinking habits completely as a way to cope.

But a sudden return to drinking habits could have harmful effects on your health, pocket, relationships and mental wellbeing, particularly in stressful and sometimes isolating situations like a COVID lockdown.

New alcohol guidelines released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are clear – drinking at any level contains some risk.

Yet, one in five Australians are ignorant of the harms caused by drinking alcohol, according to research conducted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO, Dr Erin Lalor AM, said alcohol tolerance can vary from person to person and reintroducing alcohol after a month off could lead to a bad time.

“Some people, especially if they were longer-term, consistent drinkers, may find their drinking tolerance drops after Dry July and the alcohol will hit them harder than it used to, increasing their risk of harm or injury,” Dr Lalor said.

“If people start to drink again after a month off, we always urge caution. Make sure to eat before and during, choose low alcohol drinks, alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks and decide before going out how many drinks you’ll have - and stick to it.”

Even though Dry July is coming to a close, it doesn’t mean going back to old habits. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation encourages people to keep up the good work by being familiar with the size of a standard drink and the new NHMRC drinking guidelines.

To reduce your risk of cancer including breast, stomach and bowel, keep it to 10 or less standard drinks a week. Have no more than four standard drinks in one day to reduce your risk of injury and accidents. 

“Using a period like Dry July as a reset button on your drinking habits is a great way to understand the effects of your drinking and really start to feel the benefits of drinking less,” said Dr Lalor.

Dr Lalor said people could use the end of Dry July to reflect on the positive changes they’ve seen over the month – big and small - and use these as motivation to continue to drink less.  The new drinking guidelines can also help you stay on track.

“Continue reaping the benefits of reducing the number of drinks you have. Whether you have more energy, you’ve got a bit of extra cash in your wallet or you’ve recovered extra weekend mornings that you didn’t have previously,” she encouraged.

For more information about the new alcohol guidelines, people can visit: https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/alcohol/alcohol-guidelines/

People can also visit https://adf.org.au/ for information about what is a standard drink and tips to reduce your drinking.  

For free and confidential drug information or support, we encourage people to visit https://adf.org.au/ or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The non-judgmental service provides the facts about alcohol and other drugs, advice on how to support loved ones, and connects people with relevant health and support services in their state and territory.   

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For interviews and media enquiries, please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

One in five Australians are ignorant of the harms caused by drinking alcohol, according to new research conducted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

And young Australians are of particular concern as they are not making a link between alcohol and illness or physical harm.

Key findings of the research, conducted earlier this month, also include:

  • More than half of Australians polled don’t know what a standard drink is
  • More than half polled are not sure or only have some idea of the recommended alcohol they should be consuming per day/week

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO, Dr Erin Lalor AM, said it was disturbing that over 20 per cent of Australians DID NOT associate any harm with drinking alcohol.

Dr Lalor said new alcohol guidelines released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) were clear – drinking at any level contains some risk.

The NHMRC has guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. The guidelines provide clear guidance about steps Australians can take to reduce their risk of alcohol related harm such as breast, stomach and bowel cancer, heart disease and depression and other mental health issues.

“The evidence is clear. The less you drink, the lower your risk of harm, such as injuries, illnesses, dependence and diseases like cancer,” Dr Lalor said.

“The Alcohol and Drug Foundation supports the new alcohol guidelines and is committed to educating the community about them. By understanding the new guidelines, people will be able to make informed decisions about their drinking.”

Of serious concern, Dr Lalor said, was the number of young Australians not making the link between alcohol and harm.

Twenty-nine per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds, and 25 per cent of 25 to 29-year-olds, did not associate alcohol with illness or injury.

With eased COVID restrictions, younger Australians polled are now drinking more than they were last year.

Over a quarter (27 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds are now drinking more since COVID lockdowns.

“Younger Australians are vulnerable to alcohol-related harm,” Dr Lalor said.

“Alcohol contributes to all the leading causes of death for young people; suicide, land transport accidents, accidental poisoning, and assault,” Dr Lalor said.

“Alcohol causes significant harm across Australia, including nearly 4,200 alcohol-related deaths each year.”

Built on the latest evidence, the guidelines recommend:

  • To reduce your risk of cancer including breast, stomach and bowel, keep it to 10 or less standard drinks a week. Have no more than 4 standard drinks in one day to reduce your risk of injury and accidents.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 should not drink any alcohol to help prevent injury and other harms to their health
  • Women who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or breastfeeding should not drink alcohol, as it’s safest for the health of their baby

“It’s been over a decade since the alcohol guidelines have been updated. The new guidelines reflect the most up to date evidence on the health impacts of alcohol, which have evolved considerably,” explained.

“Australians wanting to reduce their alcohol consumption, particularly if their drinking habits have changed since the outbreak of COVID, should be mindful or the new guidelines,” Dr Lalor added.

Dr Lalor said she was concerned, even if Australians were following the guidelines and sticking to the recommended number of drinks per week, they did not know how much alcohol a standard drink contained.

And ninety per cent were not sure at all or had only some idea of the recommended amount of alcohol they should be consuming each day an across the week.

“A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol.” Dr Lalor said.

“The type of alcohol makes no difference; 10 grams of alcohol is 10 grams of alcohol, whether it is in beer, wine or spirits.”

A standard drink includes:

  • Full strength beer (4.9% alc/vol) 285 mL
  • Sparkling wine (13% alc/vol) 100 mL
  • Wine (13% alc/vol) 100 mL
  • Spirits e.g., vodka, gin, rum, whiskey (40% alc/vol) 30 mL

For more information about the new alcohol guidelines, people can visit: https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/alcohol/alcohol-guidelines/

People can also visit https://adf.org.au/ for information about what is a standard drink and tips to reduce consumption.

For free and confidential drug information or support, we encourage people to visit https://adf.org.au/or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The non-judgmental service provides the facts about alcohol and other drugs, advice on how to support loved ones, and connects people with relevant health and support services in their state and territory.

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For interviews and media enquiries, please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation is encouraging Australians not to drink or take drugs and drive over the Easter break.

With border restrictions eased and many of us looking forward to a “COVID normal” holiday break, Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor AM, said she understood many Aussies would be keen to celebrate with family and friends.

“Australia is very fortunate and many of us can have a COVID normal Easter,” she said.

“It’s understandable people will want to celebrate. We want everyone to have a healthy and safe Easter break, and this includes minimising the risk of alcohol and drug-related harm caused by road accidents.”

“Many people will no doubt be celebrating the ability to once again catchup with family and friends after long periods of separation. Celebrations may be extra special this year and there are some really easy things that people can do to stay safer, healthier and reduce the risk of alcohol and other drug harm.”

Alcohol is a depressant drug. It slows the activity of the central nervous system, including the brain. This can have a huge impact on your ability to drive safely.

Even very small amounts of alcohol can affect your concentration, judgement and performance. You may feel like you are fine, but your reaction times are slower than normal, and your concentration is dulled. This is important when you need a high degree of skill and concentration, or if the safety of others is involved.

Even in low doses, drugs can significantly reduce your driving skills.

If you’ve taken cannabis, you may drive too slowly, find it difficult to stay awake, or find it hard to stay within designated lanes.

Stimulants, like amphetamines and cocaine, can lead to speeding or erratic driving as well as increased risk taking behind the wheel.

“Most people don’t know that your Blood Alcohol Content can continue to rise for up to 3 hours after your last drink,” Dr Lalor said.

“On average, the liver breaks down a little less than one standard drink per hour. Before driving, you should wait at least an hour for each standard drink you've had.”

ADF tips for safe driving this Easter break:

  • Monitor the number of standard drinks you consume each hour.
  • Keep track of how much you drink. And if you intend to drive, remember that the safest option is not to drink.
  • Some people need to drink less to keep their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) under 0.05% and drive safely..

Limit your drinking

  • Start with a non-alcoholic drink, and have a non-alcoholic drink (a ‘spacer’) every second or third drink.
  • Avoid topping up your glass. This makes it difficult to keep an accurate track of how much you've had
  • Drink low-alcohol drinks, and avoid mixed drinks like cocktails. It is difficult to tell how much alcohol they contain
  • Avoid drinking in rounds, so you don't feel pressured to keep up with your friends
  • Sip drinks, and avoid salty foods that make you thirsty

“The only way to remove alcohol from your system is to allow the body time to process it. Showers, coffee and fresh air will not reduce your blood alcohol content,” Dr Lalor said.

“If you're in doubt as to how much you've had, don't drive. Always have a backup plan prepared in advance.”

Dr Lalor warned that even taking prescription medication, whether it has been prescribed to you or not, can be dangerous if you get behind the wheel.

If you are feeling drowsy, aggressive, dizzy, nauseous, light-headed or shaky, it can be dangerous to drive as this may impair your vision and ability to concentrate.

If taking prescribed or over-the-counter medication, always:

  • read the labels carefully and obey the directions and warnings
  • ask a doctor or pharmacist if it’s likely to affect your driving
  • arrange alternative transport, if advised.

More information

For free and confidential drug information or support, people can visit www.adf.org.au or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The non-judgmental service provides the facts about alcohol and other drugs, advice on how to support loved ones, and connects people with relevant health and support services in their state and territory.

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For media enquiries please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has welcomed the findings of a senate committee report into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

The final report from the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into Effective Approaches to Prevention and Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) contains 32 recommendations covering the prevention, diagnosis, and management of FASD.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor, AM, said she was particularly supportive of the report’s recommendation that alcohol companies introduce pregnancy health warnings on alcohol products ahead of 2023, when they will become mandatory.

“Too many Australians are unaware that drinking alcohol during pregnancy, or while trying to conceive, risks adverse outcomes such as miscarriages, still births, low birth weight and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD),” Dr Lalor said.

“It is crucial Australians are aware that not drinking alcohol is the safest option during pregnancy as there are several risks associated with consuming alcohol while pregnant or trying to fall pregnant.

“People affected by fetal alcohol exposure are at risk of life-long brain damage which may result in learning difficulties, mental illness, chronic offending behaviour and subsequent incarceration. They often require lifelong support,” Dr Lalor said.

Key recommendations from the report include the need to:

  • improve data collection on FASD, including a national prevalence study and research into the cost of FASD in Australia
  • introduce Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Items that cover the range of clinical practices involved in FASD assessments, diagnoses and treatments
  • include FASD in the Australian Government list of recognised disabilities
  • screen children and young people within the child protection and youth justice systems for FASD
  • engage with First Nations organisations to improve access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people in remote Australia and the development of community-led projects to prevent and manage FASD.

The Committee also recommends the need to address the broader culture of alcohol that contributes to higher-risk alcohol use through the introduction of marketing, pricing and taxation reforms set out in the National Alcohol Strategy.

“This report recognises the need to tackle FASD in the community and introduce significant prevention initiatives,” Dr Lalor said.

“We now need all Australian Governments to play a part and commit to implementing these recommendations.”

“If implemented, these recommendations can impact future generations and improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.”

For free and confidential drug information or support, people can visit www.adf.org.au or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84.  The non-judgmental service provides the facts about alcohol and other drugs, advice on how to support loved ones, and connects people with relevant health and support services in their state and territory.

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For media enquiries please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor, AM, said it was regrettable that not-for-profit organisations, like the ADF, and other vital community groups had been caught up in the Facebook ban.

The ADF’s Facebook page had been stripped of content this morning.

“The Facebook ban means the ADF and other vital health and not-for-profit organisations are impacted,” she said.

“We are not a news organisation. We are vital to community health and as so Facebook needs to rectify this immediately. This could impact lives and it’s irresponsible.”

For information or support, people can visit www.adf.org.au or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The confidential service provides drug information and puts people in touch with relevant support and health services in their state and territory.

ENDS 

For media enquiries please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation is encouraging Aussies to take care if they plan on drinking alcohol outdoors this Australia Day holiday.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor, AM, said many would be spending the public holiday with family and friends at backyard barbeques and at parks and beaches across Australia.

Dr Lalor encouraged Australians to follow the new alcohol guidelines, which were released recently by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), to reduce the risk of alcohol harm.

“The guidelines are built on the latest evidence and recommend healthy adults should have no more than 10 standard drinks a week drink and no more than 4 standard drinks in one day to reduce the risk of injury and the risk of serious long-term health impacts like cancer.”

“A standard drink may be less than you think. One standard drink is a 285ml of full-strength beer or a 100ml glass of wine,” Dr Lalor explained.

She also urged them to be aware that alcohol can increase your risk of sunburn.

“Simply put, alcohol has a detrimental effect on your body and it decreases your ability to protect your skin from UV light,” Dr Lalor said.

“It only takes a few drinks to reduce the amount of UV light needed to burn the skin. Overall, alcohol consumption increases the risk of sunburn development and severity.”

She said it was well known that exposure to UV radiation from the sun was the primary risk factor for melanoma.

Dr Lalor also urged people to hydrate if they were spending time outdoors.

“Both alcohol and the sun can cause dehydration,” she said.

“Alcohol is a diuretic. This means that when you consume alcohol the body releases more fluids in comparison to other liquids and this can cause dehydration.

“Dehydration and sun exposure are significant factors that lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Effects of heat-related illness include headache, nausea, dizziness, delirium, fainting and even coma.

“We all know the damage sun exposure can cause, so this is another reason to be careful about how much alcohol you consume,” she said.

“Ensure you keep yourself cool by drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. Always space alcoholic drinks with a glass of water.  Protect yourself with sunscreen, shade and a hat.”

Tips from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation for people drinking alcohol this Australia Day, include:

  • Don’t drive or swim. If you are drinking alcohol, the safest option is not to get behind the wheel or swim. If you are out and about, assign a designated driver or pre-organise alternative transport home, such as a rideshare or taxi.
  • Eat before and while drinking. Eating slows your drinking pace. It also fills you up. If you have a full stomach, alcohol will be absorbed slower. Avoid salty snacks though as they may make you thirsty.
  • Pace yourself. Take sips, not gulps, and drink at your own pace, not someone else's. This means avoid drinking in rounds or trying to keep up with the fastest drinker. If you are in a round, drink a low or non-alcohol drink.
  • Have a 'spacer' every couple of drinks. Start with a non-alcoholic drink to quench your thirst before you start drinking alcohol. Then have a non-alcoholic beverage between other drinks.
  • Don't just sit and drink – stay busy. Play cricket, throw the frisbee, or talk to friends under a shady tree. If you have something to do, you tend to drink less.

More tips to reduce alcohol-related harms can be found here: https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/alcohol/

For information or support, people can visit www.adf.org.au or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The confidential service provides drug information and puts people in touch with relevant support and health services in their state and territory.

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For media enquiries please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation supports new alcohol guidelines released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to reduce the risk of alcohol harm and improve the health of Australians.

Built on the latest evidence, the guidelines recommend:

  • To reduce the risk of serious long-term health impacts like cancer, healthy men and women have no more than 10 standard drinks a week
  • Healthy men and women should have no more than 4 standard drinks in one day to reduce their risk of injury
  • Anyone under the age of 18 should not drink any alcohol to help prevent injury and other harms to their health
  • Women who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant or breastfeeding should not drink alcohol, as it’s safest for the health of their baby

“It’s been over a decade since the alcohol guidelines have been updated. The new guidelines reflect the most up to date evidence on the health impacts of alcohol, which have evolved considerably,” explained Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO, Dr Erin Lalor AM.

“The evidence is clear. The less you drink, the lower your risk of harms such as injuries, illnesses, dependence and diseases like cancer.”

“The Alcohol and Drug Foundation supports the new alcohol guidelines and is committed to educating the community about them. By understanding the new guidelines, people will be able to make informed decisions about their drinking.”

“The new guidelines will play a particularly important role for those Australians wanting to reduce their alcohol consumption after their drinking habits may have changed since the outbreak of covid-19,” Dr Lalor added.

Dr Lalor expressed concerns over the alcohol industry’s criticisms of the guidelines and attempts to downplay the harms associated with alcohol consumption.

“The alcohol industry has a fundamental conflict of interest over the impact of alcohol on people’s health because it wants to sell as many alcoholic products as possible,” Dr Lalor warned.

“Alcohol causes significant harm across Australia, including more than 4,000 alcohol-related deaths each year,” Dr Lalor explained.

For more information about the new alcohol guidelines, people can visit: https://adf.org.au/reducing-risk/alcohol/alcohol-guidelines/

People can also visit https://adf.org.au/ for information about what is a standard drink and tips to reduce consumption.

For free and confidential drug information or support, we encourage people to visit https://adf.org.au/or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The non-judgmental service provides the facts about alcohol and other drugs, advice on how to support loved ones, and connects people with relevant health and support services in their state and territory.

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For interviews and other media enquiries, please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation welcomes additional funding from the Tasmanian Government for the Good Sports Program, Australia’s largest preventative health initiative in community sport.

The funding of $400,000 over 12 months, will support local sporting clubs across the state to build and maintain healthy and inclusive environments, through initiatives around alcohol management, illegal drugs and mental health.

“Further funding from the Tasmanian Government means more sporting communities in Tasmania will benefit from the Good Sports program, which encourages systematic changes in club culture to promote long-term positive health outcomes,” said Alcohol and Drug Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Erin Lalor AM.

“After what’s been a really challenging year, community sporting clubs can play a really proactive role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their members, including helping to prevent and reduce harms from alcohol and other drugs,” Dr Lalor added.

Good Sports is federally funded by the Australian Government and managed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Nearly 10,000 community sports clubs across Australia are part of the program, including around 500 Tasmanian clubs.

Good Sports is proven to reduce risky drinking at participating clubs by 37% and has seen a reduction of alcohol-related accidents among Good Sports club members and supporters by 42%. Studies have also found that Good Sports has contributed to supporting positive and inclusive community sporting environments.

“Community sporting clubs across Tasmania have the opportunity to join Good Sports. Our staff are committed to guiding clubs through the free program, making it easier for already busy volunteers to implement,” Dr Lalor added.

For more information about Good Sports visit www.goodsports.com.au or find us on @goodsportsclubs and www.Facebook.com/GoodSportsClubs.

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For media enquiries please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation is urging the NSW Parliament to amend flaws in new alcohol laws, which can make it easy for children to purchase alcohol online.

This week, the NSW Legislative Council is set to debate the Liquor Amendment (24-hour Economy) Bill 2020, which does not include age verification requirements for online alcohol transactions. The legislation also fails to specify ID checks at the point of delivery for all alcohol deliveries, only same day deliveries.

“It is particularly risky for young people to drink alcohol because their brains are still developing. This is why it’s so important that we work harder to prevent or delay young people from purchasing and consuming alcohol,” explained Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO, Dr Erin Lalor AM.

“Alcohol contributes to all of the leading causes of death for young Aussies, including suicide, car crashes, accidental poisoning and assault. Youth drinking is also connected to earlier and more harmful patterns of alcohol consumption,” Dr Lalor added.

Whilst the Bill outlines that it is an offence for same day delivery services to supply alcohol to a person who is intoxicated, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation is calling for this offence to apply to all alcohol deliveries, not just same day deliveries.

The Foundation is also urging NSW Parliamentarians to reduce the times in which alcohol can be delivered across the state. The legislation allows alcohol deliveries from 5am to midnight every day except Sunday, which has a cut off time at 11pm.

“Reducing the access and availability of alcohol is an effective way to decrease consumption and associated harms such as accidents, injuries and hospitalisations,” Dr Lalor said.

For free and confidential drug information or support, we encourage people to visit https://adf.org.au/or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84. The non-judgmental service provides the facts about alcohol and other drugs, advice on how to support loved ones, and connects people with relevant health and support services in their state and territory.

ENDS

For media enquiries please call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s media team on 0430 948 380 or email media@adf.org.au