Researchers at the University of Otago, Christchurch, have for the first time quantified exactly what damage alcohol abuse is inflicting on 20-somethings, and in turn society.
The Christchurch Health and Development Study research shows up to a quarter of New Zealanders aged 21 to 30 have a problem with alcohol (classified as a subclinical alcohol problem) which affects their daily life to some extent.
More than 5 per cent of this age group met the clinical criteria for alcohol addiction.
Researchers were able to account for factors such as family background or previous substance abuse issues to shine the spotlight on the exact role alcohol plays in creating multiple serious social and personal issues.
The study shows those with clinical alcohol addictions are:
Those who have some problem with alcohol, or a subclinical condition (typically those whose drinking has some negative effect on their job, family, friends or criminal behaviour but who have not been diagnosed as an addict) are:
Researcher Dr Joe Boden says much attention has been paid to the effects of the effects of problematic youth drinking but little on those aged in their 20s.
This study shows this group is still very much at risk, despite perceptions their drinking may be tapering off.
Dr Boden says the study showed the wide-ranging effect of alcohol misuse in 20-somethings on themselves and society.
"It seems that young people don't need to misuse alcohol for a long time before they experience some serious negative outcomes, and often multiple serious outcomes."
"There could be great benefits to society in addressing alcohol misuse in those aged in their 20s."
For example, the study showed that people aged in their 20s did not abuse alcohol violent crime committed by that age group would drop by almost half.
Dr Boden says becoming a parent has the biggest effect on minimising drinking. Many adults today however were having children later and experiencing an 'extended adolescence'. This may have some impact on the reasonably high number of people in their 20s with drinking problems.
(See Nzone Focus' interview with Professor Jennie Connor from Otago University on the effects of alcohol in this country below; and click here to see Dr Valerie McGinn interviewed on the subject of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Cameron Eagle presents today's top stories, including the Waitangi Tribunal's report on the Crown's Treaty of Waitangi obligations to te kohanga reo; Haier's higher price offer for Fisher and Paykel Appliances shares; the award-winning journalist who is to write a book about the Pike River tragedy; and tonight's vote for non-permanent members to the UN Security Council (full expert commentary from Dr Paul Buchanan on Nzone Focus). From the RBG News centre for Shine TV.
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Bike Wise month
February is “Bike Wise month”, and the AA is reminding motorists and cyclists they need to work together to safely share the roads.
This morning in several parts of the country today it’s also “Go-By-Bike Day!”
The AA wants to see more people to get out of their cars or public transport and onto a bicycle and this morning to encourage people they set up five free breakfast food stations in Auckland.
The food stations were located in Takapuna, central Auckland, Orewa, Mangere Bridge and New Lynn.
AA’s Motoring Affairs spokesman, Dylan Thomsen talked about the Go-By-Bike day, and let us in on how the free food stations went.
Listen below for more.
Online Foetal Alcohol Help Site
There’s a new online tool helping GPs inform expectant mothers about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant. It’s a welcome resource in a country that has a high rate of babies born with alcohol-related problems.
National Addiction Centre director Professor Doug Sellman discusses more below.
Sentencing and Sex Offenders
The director of child protection agency ECPAT Child ALERT, Allan Bell says the 3 year prison sentence given to the New Zealand man for organising child sex tourism to Asia, is seen as ground breaking, and hopes the “sentence” will deter others involved in or considering this illegal practise.
However, the Law Commission is seeking the public's view on criminal trials, which comes after the Government asked the commission to review the trial process, particularly cases involving sexual offending.
Gareth McVicar, national spokesman for the Sensible Sentencing Trust, shared his view on the issue.
Mojo Mather's Hearing
The Greens are asking Parliament's Speaker to bring forward a meeting to resolve the issue of who will pay for electronic note taking for deaf MP Mojo Mathers.
The meeting is scheduled for March the 7th but Greens co-leader Metiria Turei believes the issue needs to be sorted before then.
The equipment needed will cost $30,000 a year, and John Key says he thinks the party's grandstanding on the issue and it's not being harsh to argue the Greens should foot some of the bill for that.
Ms Mathers also delivers her maiden speech to Parliament this afternoon.
CEO of Deaf Aotearoa, Rachel Noble, discusses the issues of funding for Mojo Mathers needs in parliament.
Rachel is in Wellington to watch Mojo Mathers maiden speech to Parliament.
Listen below for the full story.
(Note to listener: The interview was done over the phone with a sign translator, hence the quality of the interview.)
Dan Wooding - Assist News
Dan discusses the situation in Iran where Christians, who hold meetings in house churches, are being arrested by the secret police.
Barry talks about government finance and the different treatment between consultants and public servants.
Darren Ward - CBM
Darren discusses Mojo Mathers and accomplishments she has made by getting into parliament. He also talks about the issues surrounding her note-taking and how new Zealand society is responding.