Sherry and her friend Mike comes from the New South Wales. The friends are 12 years old. Sherry’s mother reports that over the weekends, Sherry comes home intoxicated and with alcohol smell. Mike, as well drinks sporadically and becomes violent with her friends when under the influence, Mike becomes physically and verbally abusive. The two have seen significant drops in school performance. Mike’s parents have engaged counsellors in several occasions and is considering rehabilitation programs. Sherry is under intense school supervision; however, this has not changed her behaviour.
In Australia and many parts of the world, people consume alcohol for enjoyment. However, a number of people have involved in excessive consumption that risk their lives as well. A report made by The Report of the Chief Health Officer, 2016 captured an alarming trends in alcohol consumption in NWS. The report has also captured alcohol topic on violence, education, prevention, and intervention approaches (World Health Organization, 2013). Alcohol consumption is a growing concern in New South Wales population including the young people, people from economically disadvantaged communities, people from regionally remote areas, and the Aboriginal population.
Alcohol drinking is linked to 58% of underage drinking and 58% of hospital admissions. Teenagers use older people to help them purchase alcohol from stores. According to The Salvation Army data, the drive to consume alcohol is linked to social influence, the spirit of adventure, low self-esteem, and peer influence. In Australia, underage drinking is becoming an health issue since it is linked to the growing burden of diseases.
Excessive alcohol consumption is the leading cause of death to people within 44 years old and comes third behind tobacco and high body mass deaths. Economically, $3.87 is lost annually to alcohol, additionally a lot is spent in hospitals on injuries, liver diseases, and mental problems (Colchero, Popkin, Rivera, & Ng, 2016). Additionally, alcohol consumption has been linked to the growing burden of cancers.
In New South Wales, alcohol consumption among people below sixteen has been stable at 1 person out of 10 between 2006 and 2011. A notable decrease in alcohol consumption was recorded between 2011 and 2015, 9.8% and 7.5%, respectively. 1 every 10 people over 65 years drank alcohol on a daily basis, 14.8%. The older group statistics were higher than the younger generation of 0.8% among those within 16-24 and 3.3 percent within the age of 24-44 years. Men had higher drinking rates than women.
Long term alcohol consumption is associated with many risks. The most at risk group were the men, people born in Australia and other English speaking countries, individuals living away from the major cities. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommend drinking no more than 2 standards of alcohol and drinking above the recommended level is associated with harmful results (Colchero, Popkin, Rivera, & Ng, 2016). The NSW Population Health Survey has been adopted to establish drinking statistics.
Based on the Ottawa Charter policy of 1986, health promotion calls for a collaborative effort. The policy has been adopted from the grassroots level to the top governmental tiers. In mitigating alcohol problems, the collaboration of health services, international bodies, different governmental organs, the local and cultural organizations, and the communities affected is crucial in managing alcohol related issues (Chief Health Officer, 2016). The following strategies can be adopted in curbing excessive drinking in New South Wales:
Community mobilization and creation of awareness: Community mobilization brings the community to support its prevention strategies by enhancing media advocacy and coalition building. The component will as well increase awareness on youth drinking, its effects, and possible solution measures (Colchero, Popkin, Rivera, & Ng., 2016). It will be structured to motivate the youth to adult other healthy behaviours away from alcohol consumption (Chief Health Officer, 2016). The approach will involve the family units, church activities, and organizations operating in the community. The youth will be target for trainings and advocacies. The trainings will be vital in ensuring the youth and the community in general acquires the relevant values and ability to cope with the new changes.
Responsible beverage drinking: Community intervention will involve alcohol retailers and servers who sell at the designated places to reduce sales to the youth by regulating their onsite quantities. The program will offer training opportunities to help the alcohol sales people develop helpful sales and retail tips. Beverage policies will be implemented to reduce intoxication and driving will under the influence. These will include regulating drinking times and ensuring age limit to alcohol access (World Health Organization, 2013). The theory behind this approach is that regulation of accessibility and supply of alcohol with result to artificial shortage and reduces opportunistic drinking habits.
Reduced underage drinking: alcohol intervention will ensure stringent measures for retailers selling alcohol offsite. As proposed by WHO, offsite sales have been documented to increase underage drinking as compared to the onsite sales. Among the measures will include high taxation level among those selling alcohol offsite, arrests, and other punitive measures (World Health Organization, 2013). The involvement of police will be critical in managing site of sales and ensuring the enacted policies are put in place. Education will be adopted as an informative and a training tool to the sales and retail group to ensure full understanding and ability to implement the policies (Better Health, n.d). Religious organizations, as well have a vital role in impacting the desired values in the community. The church will be involved in offering healthy behaviour seminars as part of holistic change strategy.
Reduced drinking and driving: The government should tighten its ropes on apprehending those driving under the influence. To achieve the goals, police will be involved in constant patrol especially during peak drinking ours, utilize passive alcohol sensors, come up with checkpoints in strategic points (World Health Organization, 2013). The strategy will lead to apprehension of youth drinking under the influence of alcohol. The police cells will act as training points for modelling behaviours rather than a punitive or torture points. The policies will be directly as deterrent measures following advocacy and education programs (Wilson-Gahan, 2015). Since the program’s goal is to help the youth, before apprehension measures are put in place, they will be involved in policies amendment as part of behaviour change.
Restriction of Alcohol Access: While alcohol restrictions are in place, the government should involve municipalities to help in ensuring restricted alcohol access through control sales control, supply management, and zoning powers. The program will include onsite training programs, which will be rolled out training for the implementers, religious leaders, political figures, a team drawn from the municipality, and police Colchero, Popkin, Rivera, Ng, 2016). Studies have illustrated that alcohol consumption in any group of people is influenced by the ease of accessibility. Control accessibility will have a positive impact in reducing consumption (Wilson-Gahan, 2015). Among the strategies, which can be applied include hiking alcohol prices, setting drinking age measures, increasing operating taxes for alcohol retails, and regulating sales time, among other economic and legal sanctions.