Date PostedJuly 6, 2014

RSA Update: Young People being hospitalised for Alcohol Withdrawal

One of the most important duties of RSA staff is ensuring that they do not serve alcohol to underage minors and another is that they do not serve alcohol to unduly intoxicated patrons. One of the reasons for these rules is to keep young people from harming themselves and others, something we’ve been seeing so much of in the news recently.

In fact according to an article on people in their early 20s are filling up emergency departments with alcohol withdrawal symptoms so severe they require hospitalisation, according to the doctors who have become so used to emergency room admissions of drunken young people.

According to doctors binge drinkers as well as regular alcohol consumers are showing up in hospital due to alcohol abuse. This is a testament to how entrenched this problematic drinking culture has become in Australia. Most Australians don’t realise how harmful their drinking habits are, doctors say.

The article goes on to explain that The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends women and men not drink more than 2 standard drinks a day in order to minimise the lifetime risk of disease and injury as well as avoiding alcohol altogether on 2 or 3 days a week.

Unfortunately doctors say Australians are starting to drink younger and younger and the quantities of alcohol being consumed has also grown which is giving rise to alcohol addictions early on.

According to one Melbourne based emergency doctor, Dr Stephen Parnis people in their early 20s are appearing in emergency rooms with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The article on goes on to quote the doctor,

“It’s incredibly dangerous. The body becomes tolerant to the effects of alcohol,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“Certainly to withdraw from that in many cases requires medical supervision in hospital and that itself can be life-threatening …”

Dr Parnis said people were often shocked when a doctor went through their drinking patterns with them.

“You see people who are hopelessly addicted to alcohol and to withdraw from alcohol gives them what is called delirium tremens,” he said.

“These people can have seizures … they can be hallucinating and require hospital-based care.

“So many Australians have no idea they are drinking in a harmful way.”

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The Australian Medical Association (AMA) also says that 20 per cent of people in Australian emergency departments at 2am are there due to the effects of alcohol which is one of the reasons they are calling for a national summit on alcohol misuse and harm following the recent crackdown on alcohol fuelled violence in NSW.

With the crackdown, authorities will also be coming down harder on licenced venues that fail to meet Responsible Service of Alcohol requirements. All licensees must ensure that everyone who works in their venue from the serving staff to the security have completed Responsible Service of Alcohol training and are in possession of an RSA certificate. In NSW the RSA course is available online and can be completed conveniently, at minimal cost. To learn more about the course visit our homepage today!

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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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