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Continuing Professional Development
COUNSELLING IN PRACTICE
• DrugInfo (www.druginfo.adf.org.
au) provides information on alcohol
and drugs and the prevention of
• The Australian Government website:
information about alcohol-related health
issues and government policy.
• Family Drug Support (www.fds.org.au or
phone 1300 368 186) supports families
affected by alcohol and other drugs.
• Alcoholics Anonymous Australia (www.
aa.org.au or phone 1300 22 22 22) is part
of a worldwide organisation that helps
people trying to recover from alcoholism.
Case study continued
You tell Louise that her concerns about
Alex's drinking are valid and that his current
drinking behaviour could have a negative
effect on his health. You encourage her
to discuss Alex's drinking with him and
to explain that there are significant risks
involved in drinking at his age, especially
the excessive drinking in which he has been
indulging. You suggest to Louise that she
does not undertake this discussion when
Alex has been drinking. You remind her that
she is likely to be met with resistance from
Alex and that, if she finds she has difficulties
with helping Alex modify his behaviour,
there are many support services that can
assist both of them.
1. Fact Sheet: The facts about binge drinking. Melbourne:
DrugInfo Clearinghouse, Australian Drug Foundation; 2009.
2. Better Health Channel. Alcohol. 2011. At: www.betterhealth.vic.
3. O'Connor PG. Alcohol. Merck; 2008. At: www.merckmanuals.
4. Cowan E, Su M. Ethanol intoxication in adults. Up To Date;
2012. At: www.uptodate.com/contents/ethanol-intoxication-
5. Australian Guidelines: to reduce health risks from drinking
alcohol. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research
6. Baldwin JN, Jungnickel PW. Alcoholism. In: Helms RA, Quan DJ,
eds. Textbook of Therapeutics. 8th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott
Williams and Wilkins; 2006;1514--36.
7. Gold MS, Aronson MD. Psychosocial treatment of alcohol
abuse and dependence. Up To Date; 2011. At: www.uptodate.
8. Gold MS, Aronson MD. Patient information: Alcohol use --
when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics). Up To Date;
2011. At: www.uptodate.com/contents/alcohol-use-when-is-
'At-risk' populations. The ICAP Blue Book: Practical guidelines
for alcohol policy and prevention approaches. Washington DC:
International Center for Alcohol Policies.
10. Hickie IB, Whitwell BG. Alcohol and the teenage brain: Safest to
keep them apart. BRMI Monograph 2009--2. Sydney: Brain and
Mind Research Institute; 2009.
11. Alcohol and other drugs: a handbook for health professionals.
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction
(NCETA) Consortium. Australian Government Department of
Health and Ageing; 2004.
12. Rossi S, ed. Australian Medicines Handbook. Adelaide: AMH;
13. Better Health Channel. Rural issues -- alcohol and depression.
2011. At: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/
14. Doghramji K. The effects of alcohol on sleep. Medscape; 2005.
15. Gilligan C, Kypri K, Lubman D. Changing parenteral behaviour
to reduce risky drinking among adolescents: current
evidence and future directions. Alcohol and Alcoholism
16. Cohagan A, Worthington R, Krause R. Alcohol and substance
abuse evaluation. Medscape 2011. At: http://emedicine.
17. Mukamal KJ. Overview of the risks and benefits of alcohol
consumption. Up To Date; 2012. At: www.uptodate.com/
18. Tapert SF, Caldwell S, Burke C. Alcohol and the adolescent
brain: human studies. Alcohol Research and Health
19. Ehlers CL, Criado JR. Adolescent alcohol exposure: does
it produce long-lasting electrophysical effects. Alcohol
20. 2De Bellis MD, Clark DB, Beers SR, et al. Hippocampal volume
in adolescent-onset alcohol use disorders. Am J Psychiatry
21. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
Standard drinks guide. 2010. At: www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/
22. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2010 National Drug
Strategy Household Survey report. Canberra: AIHW; 2011.
23. eMIMS: Drug Alert Interactions. St Leonards, NSW: MediMedia
24. Australian Drug Foundation. Ecstasy facts. 2012. At: www.
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26. Australian Drug Foundation. Cannabis facts. 2012. At: www.
1. Which of the following is LEAST
likely to occur at a blood alcohol
concentration of 0.05%?
b) Double vision.
d) Mild sedation.
2. Which of the following is NOT
a usual long-term effect of
chronic drinking in excess of
3. Which of the following conditions
is NOT adversely affected by binge
e) None of the above.
4. Select the INCORRECT statement.
a) Ecstasy in small doses can be safely
used with alcohol.
b) Drinking alcohol is common amongst
people with mental health conditions.
c) There is a low risk of alcohol-related
harm if drinking no more than two
drinks on most days of the week.
d) The brain is still developing during
adolescence and into early adulthood.
5. Which of the following is NOT
appropriate advice to give to
encourage people to drink in a safe
a) Set targets before drinking.
b) Drink on an empty stomach as this will
allow the alcohol to be metabolised
c) Drink non-alcoholic drinks between
d) If under 18 years of age, drink under
the supervision of a responsible adult.
Take home message
• Drinking alcohol in excess of
recommended limits increases the
risk of alcohol-related harm.
• Binge drinking is common in
Australian society, especially among
adolescents. It is important that
people of this age group understand
the potential consequences and
risks of excessive drinking and be
made aware that long-term and
permanent damage can occur.
• Adolescents who drink alcohol
should be encouraged and educated
to drink in a safe manner that
minimises the risk of both short-
term and long-term negative effects.
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