The Alcohol Harm Minimisation Co-ordinator’s work programme covers a range of alcohol related activity and is focused on those activities that international evidence has identified to have the highest impact. Stuart supports the 5+ solution for alcohol improvement and signed up to the development of an Alcohol Health Strategy for the region.
Measuring the Cost of Alcohol to the Canterbury Health System
Canterbury District Health Board commissioned the economic analysts at Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) in 2011 to produce an cost estimate of alcohol on the local health system. This lead to a conservative estimate that alcohol cost the health system in Canterbury $63 million per annum.
Read the BERL report on the costs of harmful alcohol use in Canterbury DHB [PDF].
More detailed estimates of cost of alcohol to the whole health system are being developed as part of the Alcohol Harm Minimisation Co-ordinator’s work programme.
Measuring the Impact of Alcohol in Canterbury
A number of developments have helped to shape our understanding of the extent of alcohol’s impact on the health and well-being of Canterbury Residents. Alcohol incidence data is now routinely collected and recent research suggested that at least 8000 Emergency Department admissions a year are associated with alcohol.
View the latest report on alcohol incidence in Christchurch Emergency Department [PDF].
A new reporting tool was developed that captures and monitors the tens of thousands of in-patient and out-patient admissions due to alcohol-related conditions. The tool can calculate how many admissions could be prevented if people drank at the recommended limits for any given population.
Improving the Detection of People with Alcohol Problems
One of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol-related harm is to screen the majority of drinkers for harmful alcohol use, and where people are drinking over the guideline amounts to give advice and support on how to cut down or to refer the person on to specialist alcohol services when the problem is more severe.
This approach is referred to as Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (or Brief Advice) and is largely promoted through the training of frontline staff to give them the confidence to engage people about their alcohol use.
Various online and printed tools exist to guide practitioners and patients to understand how their drinking impacts upon their health.
A Brief Advice Tool was developed to support primary care staff to engage people about their alcohol use [PPTX].
The Drinking Diary is a self-assessment tool that patients can use to look at their own drinking habits and risks [PDF].
Contributing to Local Alcohol Policies (LAPs) In Canterbury
The Medical Officer of Health for Canterbury and the District Health Board have responded and promoted are harm minimising agenda through their contributions to the Local Alcohol Policy proposals of the 6 Local Authorities in the Canterbury Region.
Find out more about Local Alcohol Policies in Canterbury.