The National Centre for Education and Training on Addictions (NCETA) is growing, and we would like to introduce you to our new staff members Dr Ashlea Bartram, Christina Norris, and Nathan Harrison.
A key purpose of this book is to document the contribution that opioid agonist therapy (OAT) has made to public health and to the life of individuals in Australia. As with many fields of endeavour, OAT began from relatively rudimentary beginnings in Australia and has developed as the evidence base concerning effective practice grew. It is noteworthy that Australia made a substantial contribution to the development of this evidence base.
The development of OAT programs has varied significantly between Australian jurisdictions. So too, there are significant variations between jurisdictions in current patterns of OAT provision. The federated nature of Australia’s system of government has contributed to these variations, and as such, this system is described in Chapter One. Other contributors to these differences include differing profiles of drug problems, differing funding models and at times, happenstance.
This study aimed to examine perceived social norms, the effect of parental drinking on these norms, alcohol use in front of children, and how norms and consumption vary based on child age and gender of the parent.
A cross-sectional online panel survey was undertaken with n = 1000 Australian adults (including 670 parents) aged 18–59 years. The survey assessed: alcohol consumption in front of children; normative attitudes towards drinking in the presence of children; and perceived social norms.
Overall, 33.9% of parents reported drinking a glass of alcohol each day or a couple of times a week, 18.2% reported getting slightly drunk and 7.8% indicated getting visibly drunk each day or a couple of times a week with their children present. In total, 37.5% reported drinking in front of their children at least weekly. Fathers were more likely to drink in front of children than mothers. Most parents deemed drinking small amounts of alcohol in front of children as acceptable but did not accept drunkenness. Respondents were less concerned about a father drinking one or two drinks in front of their children than a mother. Social expectations were not related to child age, but norms related to others’ perceived behaviour were.
Many parents, particularly fathers consume alcohol in front of their children. There is a need to target health promotion strategies to adults and parents consuming in excess of health guidelines, and to the many parents who are consuming alcohol at higher levels in front of their children.
Encouraging and assisting smokers to quit remains a key public health goal. Government and commercial initiatives have nudged smokers towards supported cessation. We tracked long-term trends in Australian smokers’ quit attempt methods across 20 years.
Data from 11,917 smokers were collected from an annual, cross-sectional, face-to-face, random and representative population survey. The survey measured demographic characteristics, tobacco use, recent quit attempts, nicotine dependence, quit intentions, and recent methods used when attempting to quit. Quit attempt preferences were analysed over time and by smoker characteristics.
Each year, more smokers attempted to quit than remained quit, with a stable trend over time. Socioeconomic disadvantage and mental health conditions are more likely among smokers, but there was no difference in quit attempts by these characteristics. Quit attempts have risen among those aged 60 years and over whereas other age groups have remained stable. Although trending downwards, unassisted quitting remained the most common method: 1998: 61% and 2017: 40%. Asking a doctor for help/advice (34%) was the most common assisted method in 2017, increasing from 18% in 1998. Methods of quitting varied by smoker characteristics, with supported methods used more often by older, more dependent, socio-economically disadvantaged smokers and those with a mental health condition.
The relative stability of recent quit attempts, persistence in unassisted quitting, and fluctuating preferences for supported cessation methods indicate that it is important for clinicians and policy makers to continue to support quit attempts through a variety of options, tailored to smoker's needs.