Helping reduce harm from alcohol in the community
Community and Public Health has several important roles relating to the prevention of alcohol-related harm in our region. These include health promotion, regulation and licensing, and local policy development.
There are a wide range of effects on communities from alcohol-related harm. Alcohol-related harm contributes to health conditions, injuries and social problems – costing the health sector and other sectors significant time, money and resources.
Source: Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP) 2017–2021.
The figure above shows the vision and priorities of the Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP). The vision in the centre is for a safe vibrant and healthy Christchurch free from alcohol-related harm. Four circles in the top half of the diagram show the current activity towards this goal: Problem limitation strategies including Services and Treatment; alcohol licensing; Supply control strategies and advocacy; and Demand reduction strategies including education and social marketing. The three priorites of the CAAP are shown in the bottom half of the diagram:
- Collaborate, coordinate, communicate;
- Reduce exposure, accessibility and availability; and
- Create safer spaces.
Asian alcohol and drug survey shows more use than previously thought
NZ Drug Foundation media release: 16th November 2023
Asian Family Services and the New Zealand Drug Foundation | Te Puna Whakaiti Pāmamae Kai Whakapiri are calling for more services that cater to Asian New Zealanders, following the release of a new report showing higher levels of drug use and harm than previously thought in parts of the Asian community.
“When we think about who is affected by harmful alcohol or drug use, we don’t usually think of Asian New Zealanders,” says Asian Family Services CEO, Kelly Feng. “There is a bias that Asians are the ‘model minority’ and do not use drugs or are affected by alcohol. This report shows this to be untrue.”
The national survey was commissioned by Asian Family Services and the New Zealand Drug Foundation, and showed the prevalence of alcohol and drug use in some subgroups exceeded the national average.
Survey participants reported barriers to accessing services, resources and information were high, driven by social-cultural factors.
“Asian New Zealanders are not getting the services they need, and it is time to address that with targeted interventions designed by or with our community,” says Feng.
73% of respondents reported using alcohol in the last 12 months. Participants reported harms from alcohol that included the inability to remember the night before, unwanted sexual activity, and injuries.
Drug Foundation Executive Director, Sarah Helm says the research gives valuable and in-depth insights into Asian New Zealanders’ experiences of drug use.
“We now understand where there may be higher levels of use, and where additional support may be needed.”
The study also found that drug use and harms were experienced differently by other subgroups, including LGBTQ+ Asian New Zealanders.
“It is important to remember that not all alcohol or drug use causes harm, and many even reported benefits,” says Helm. “But now we have a better understanding and opportunity to investigate further and ideally improve services and messages to the Asian community.”
Alcohol regulation and licensing in the community
Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health works to:
- Ensure premises selling or wanting to sell alcohol meet licensing requirements by investigating and reporting on applications on behalf of the Medical Officer of Health; and
- Encourage the responsible sale, supply, consumption and promotion of alcohol in premises.
- Collaborate with other agencies to ensure regular monitoring of high risk licensed premises.
- Support the alcohol industry to be compliant with legislation through appropriate procedures and regular training and appraisal.
Community-based alcohol-related work
Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health works to:
- Ensure that key law and policy makers have appropriate information to consider when making decisions;
- Support community awareness of local alcohol license applications and options to get involved;
- Inform the public about the effects of alcohol use and misuse including targeted programmes for at risk groups;
- Promote host responsibility and alcohol related programmes in workplaces;
- Support sports clubs to develop alcohol policies; and
- Support supply control and reduction initiatives such as the Good One Party Register for youth.
- objecting to an alcohol licence;
- complaining about an alcohol advertisement;
- monitoring alcohol promotions in your community; and
- influencing your local alcohol policy.
Alcohol prevention is the name of the game
Bowls, cricket, rugby league and tennis are sports codes in Canterbury who have attended training workshops to reduce alcohol harm in their club rooms and sports grounds.
The workshops focus on improving club culture, reducing problematic drinking and providing a safe and supportive environment for families. The new Game Plan resources from the Health Promotion Agency are promoted at the workshops along with locally developed templates for club alcohol policies and club alcohol management plans, and ongoing support for clubs to help develop them.
Rugby league sports fields were included in alcohol ban areas in early 2019, after Canterbury Rugby League made a submission to the Christchurch City Council. League games are now being effectively monitored by club members with back-up from the NZ Police.
These workshops are a partnership between the local sporting organisation, Community and Public Health, Christchurch City Council (CCC), Sport Canterbury and Healthy Families Christchurch.
Contact Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health if you are interested in participating in future workshops to manage alcohol in your sports club.
Developing regional policies and strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm
Community and Public Health has worked alongside contributing partners across the Canterbury Clinical Network to develop a Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy. This strategy was launched in May 2019 and work to implement it will continue to be facilitated by the Canterbury Clinical Network.
Source: Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy 2018-2023.
The figure above shows the framework of the Canterbury Health System Alcohol-related Harm Reduction Strategy. The central vision of Reduced harm from alcohol is surrounded by six values or way of working (equity, best use of resources, evidence, life-course approach, collaboration, and rangatiratanga with Māori communities). Four focus areas bubbles provide direction for the Strategy:
- Influence behaviour change and social norms;
- Promote healthy environments;
- Coordinate prevention, identifications, treatment and support; and
- Measure harm and monitor performance.
Community and Public Health worked closely with the Christchurch City Council and NZ Police on the Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP). The plan was developed in response to community concern and sets out a vision for “a safe, vibrant, healthy Christchurch free from alcohol-related harm”.
Impacts of and Attitudes towards Alcohol
Impacts of and Attitudes towards Alcohol on Youth
Alcohol in the Community
Contact your local office for further information:
CANTERBURY, MID CANTERBURY AND CHATHAM ISLANDS
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
For additional information, contact:
Alcohol and Drug Helpline
0800 787 797 (10am -10pm)
Alcohol and Drug Youth Helpline
0800 787 984 (10am -10pm)
Text adh to 234
Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS – CDHB)
Ph: +64 3 335 4350
Ashburton Community Alcohol and Drug Service (ACADS)
Ph: +64 3 308 1270
Alcohol and Other Drug Service (SCDHB)
Ph: +64 3 687 2188
Rata Alcohol and Drug Services – Adult (WCDHB)
Ph: +64 3 788 9234 in Buller
Ph: +64 3 769 7805 in Greymouth
Ph: +64 3 756 9700 in Hokitika
Youth Alcohol and Drug Service (CAMHS – WCDHB)
Ph: +64 3 769 7670
Ngā Kaupapa Here: School Alcohol Policies
A comprehensive school alcohol policy means everyone is clear about the use of alcohol on your premises or at school events, and how to respond to alcohol-related incidents.
This new guide offers all kura/ schools clear information for developing an alcohol policy. It includes reasons to develop a policy, the steps to take, consultation questions, topics to cover, legislation, and where to get support.
If you’re having a party, have a Good One!
The “Good One” campaign is a Canterbury party register designed for use by students. You can find out how to be a responsible party host and register your party with the Police.
The project aims to reduce alcohol related incidents and harm, increase access and distribution of information to enable people to self-manage parties, and reduce disorderly behaviour.
The Canterbury DHB has developed this initiative alongside partners such as NZ Police, Health Promotion Agency, University of Canterbury including UCSA, Lincoln University including LUSA and the Christchurch City Council.
Being alcohol free is best for you and pēpi. Do not drink alcohol if you are pregnant, might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is estimated to affect up to 3,000 babies born each year in New Zealand.
Two out of every five babies born each year in New Zealand are a result of an unplanned pregnancy. Approximately half of women drink alcohol in early pregnancy before they know they are pregnant – inadvertently exposing their developing baby to risk.
Your baby can be affected at any stage of a pregnancy – from before you know you are hapū, till the very end when pēpi is born. Drinking any alcohol while pregnant increases the risk of miscarriage, still births, preterm birth, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy:
- All alcohol can harm pēpi, including low-alcoholic drinks; and
- Any amount of alcohol can harm your baby.
- Find out more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (Amohia Te Waiora).