About Katherine McLachlan

View all posts by Katherine McLachlan
Katherine McLachlan

I have a legal practicing certificate, but am not a lawyer. I have a psych degree, but am not a psychologist. When my daughter was born, I wrote on her birth certificate that I was a criminologist. My low level drinking makes me a disappointment to my father and a boring potential HSMer.

A desolate picture: government-funded alcohol policy research

A desolate picture: government-funded alcohol policy research
Katherine McLachlan discusses the need for the Australian Government to adopt a strategic alcohol policy research agenda.

When it comes to coordinated alcohol policy research in Australia, the situation is pretty bleak. Unlike the United States, Australia has no national, government-funded Alcohol Policy Information System, nor any dedicated government funding for either alcohol policy research or small grants.

So, what Australian Government funding is available to support alcohol policy research?

Presenting at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) Conference in Melbourne last month, I took a closer look.

I found that between 2004 and 2012, 85 projects relating to alcohol were funded by the Australian Government through grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA). This represented approximately 0.01% of both NHMRC and ARC projects and funding during that time.

When looking at the 85 projects, ten themes emerged.

The majority of the 85 alcohol projects (n=48; 56.5%) focused on young people (n=22, 26%); treatment (n=14, 16.5%); and medical and biological issues (n=12, 14%).

I drilled down a little further to determine which of the alcohol projects focused specifically on alcohol policy – research that specifically examines actions or interventions that can reduce alcohol-related harms.

Effective alcohol policy includes strategies such as higher alcohol taxation; partial or complete bans on the advertising and promotion of alcohol; measures to reduce drink driving; and brief interventions by primary care physicians to reduce hazardous alcohol consumption (see: Babor, et al. Alcohol: no ordinary commodity – research and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010).

While most of the alcohol research being undertaken in Australia does have policy implications, rarely does a research publication include a discussion about how the research findings could influence policy or practice.

Only 17 of the 85 alcohol projects (20%) focused directly on alcohol policy research. Three examined taxation, eight focused on advertising, sponsorship, promotion or labelling; three explored brief interventions and three studies examined existing government regulation and policy.

Clearly the Australian Government funds a range of alcohol research projects.

However, this analysis demonstrates that much needs to be done to ensure that the scarce alcohol research dollars are dedicated to projects in a coordinated way that included targeted alcohol policy research.

Current Australian Government-funded alcohol research occurs in the absence of both a national strategic research agenda and a current National Alcohol Strategy. An Australian strategic alcohol policy research agenda would help to ensure that alcohol research is targeted to directly inform public policy and practice.

Get more information about effective alcohol policy

View Katherine’s award winning APSAD presentation

Tags: , , , , , ,

11 Responses to “A desolate picture: government-funded alcohol policy research” Subscribe

  1. laser therapy for hair growth reviews August 16, 2014 at 2:39 am #

    It is suitable for use even on those tender parts of the body.
    Choosing a good conditioner that is right for you can keep
    hair healthy in the long run. Warm water opens up the cuticle allowing you
    to clean the hair shaft, but if you use warm water to rinse your hair the cuticle will stay open allowing moisture in and the hair
    shaft to swell.

  2. boca raton phoenix wealth management August 12, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Check through the items listed below to be sure that
    you are not missing any of these deductions on your self-employment tax returns.
    The AICPA course is eleven hours long, obtained via correspondence or self-guided classes over the Internet.
    Does she have the license to practice in your state.

  3. best hair growth products for men August 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    The hair follicles are not receiving the right balance of nutrients they need to
    grow. Redheads and folks with course hair will typically be higher shedders than blondes or those with
    fine hair. The doctors and the physicians must be experienced and trained in handling the
    laser instruments.

  4. Michel September 9, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Incredible points. Souynd arguments. Keep upp the amazing work.

  5. harcellement moral August 13, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually
    come back at some point. I want to encourage you to
    definitely continue your great work, have a nice evening!

  6. weight loss programs August 6, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Superb website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover
    the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Many thanks!

  7. ルイヴィトン コピー May 23, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    it so good

  8. polo ralph lauren April 11, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Au rayon des mythes, le plus beau a été écrit par Ralph Lipschitz. Ses études secondaires achevées et tout en suivant assidûment des cours de commerce du soir à Manhattan, il trouve une place de vendeur dans une boutique de gants puis chez Rivetz Co, un fabricant new-yorkais de cravates. Le Male se tatoue chez JPG et arbore fièrement son corps pour l’été 2011. Dix-sept ans après la naissance de Tartine et Chocolat, Catherine Painvin récidive d’ailleurs avec Everwood, sa nouvelle marque, lancée discrètement en 1992 et qui se décline déjà en meubles (de bois) et accessoires pour la maison.

  9. cheap defiance gold April 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Hi to every one, as I am in fact eager of reading this webpage抯 post to be updated regularly. It contains pleasant stuff.

  10. Anonyomous December 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Come on Australia let’s get our act together!


  1. QualitPro Canada » Blog Archive » Alcohol Strategy to L . a . Citizens in Ca Habit System - April 23, 2013

    [...] About Alcohol Strategy to L A Citizens:       alcohol policy research Reduce Density of Alcohol Outlets Commons Health Select [...]

Leave a Reply

Our entrenched culture of heavy drinking

Dr Stephen Parnis examines the driving factors of Australia’s drinking culture and the effects of alcohol advertising on young Australians.

Stemming the Tide of Alcohol

A new book released today examines Liquor Licensing and the public interest

No action on dangerous alcohol promotions

Even under a new minister, the alcohol industry still calls the shots in NSW

Alcohol harms. Alcohol kills.

Michael Thorn says “There’s no comfort here for the alcohol industry.”

Alcohol‘s burden of disease in Australia

Dr Belinda Lloyd talks about the significance of the study, the global context and the rigorous methods behind the findings.

Alcohol and the Festival Culture

With the biggest music festival in Australia, Splendour in the Grass this weekend, Adrienne Carey reflects on her first festival experience and the festival culture.