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One In 10 Kiwis Now Alcoholic


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Below is the article. In the '11 diagnostic criteria' I have added comments. This is an example of PC thinking changing the rules to suit it's agenda.

 

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One in 10 New Zealanders could now be considered "alcoholic" according to new diagnostic criteria - but the majority of those with a drinking problem are unlikely to recognise it because the issue is so common.

The new estimate of 400,000 "alcoholics" in New Zealand - around 10 per cent of our 4.4 million population - was tallied up by Professor Doug Sellman from the National Addiction Centre at the University of Otago.

It is significantly higher than the Ministry of Health's 2006 estimate which says 3 to 6 per cent of the population has an alcohol issue.

Sellman's figures are based on the new diagnostic criteria for "alcohol use disorder" recently published in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.

Alcohol use disorder combines two previously separate labels - "alcohol abuse" and "alcohol dependence" - and rates the disorder as mild, moderate or severe.

There are 11 criteria for a diagnosis and you need to meet just two of them to qualify for the diagnosis.

"We know there are about 800,000 heavy drinkers in NZ [based on Ministry of Health figures] and it could very well be higher," Sellman said.

"A majority of heavy drinkers already are likely to meet one of them, the acquired tolerance criterion, so that means they only need one more criterion to get there.

"So I'm suggesting that perhaps about a half of heavy drinkers are likely to have at least one more of the diagnostic criteria such as a recurrent problem associated with heavy drinking, which accounts for the 400,000 figure."

Sellman said two-thirds of those were unlikely to recognise they had a problem.

"People with alcohol problems in New Zealand are no different to people in other countries with an alcohol problem where those countries have a strongly ingrained and normalised heavy drinking culture," he said.

Issues such as alcohol in supermarkets, marketing and the relationship between sport and alcohol contributed to heavy drinking being considered harmless, normal and glamorous, he said.

Vanessa Caldwell, the co-chair of the National Committee of Addiction, said the high prevalence of drinking in New Zealand, particularly binge-drinking, was also a factor in recognition. "When everyone's doing it it's hard to know that you've got a problem," she said.

Caldwell said drinkers also waited a long time to seek help - on average 15 to 16 years - and her organisation was focused on early intervention.

Ross Bell from the Drug Foundation said while there was a constant moral panic about drugs like methamphetamine or "legal highs", alcohol has always been New Zealand's biggest problem.

"Because many of us are drinkers we don't like to acknowledge it's a problematic thing. We always see it as a moral or a personal failing . . . and that's why there's a stigma," he said. And that stigma was a huge barrier to people seeking help.

"We are prepared to wait until that time rather than invest early," Bell said.

TAKE THE TEST

Do you suffer alcohol use disorder – how many of these criteria do you meet?

1. Taking alcohol in larger amounts or for longer than you meant to

How do you measure this? Having another glass of wine at the wedding reception whilst your wife prattles on and on to someone, meets both points, more wine than I wanted and longer than I wanted...

2. Wanting to cut down or stop drinking but not managing to

A degree of quantity, one glass of sherry a week and wanting to cease this, but not wanting to refuse the Vicar?

3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from alcohol

Define a lot, 20 mins is a lot of time in some people's book...

4. Cravings and urges for alcohol

Hot day in the tropics, cold beer, does this qualify?

5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home or school, because of alcohol

Fair point this, one of very few.

6. Continuing to drink even when it causes problems in relationships

This is chicken and egg, what if one drinks, because of problems in a relationship?

7. Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of alcohol

A second fair point.

8. Using alcohol again and again, even when it puts you in danger

Again and again is three times, the 'even when it puts you in danger' is additional, so using it three or more times, even when it doesn't put you in danger is still a valid criterion. Three or more times? Open question this.....

9. Continuing to drink even when the you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by alcohol

'Could have been' ? Not very scientific, I was under the impression that diagnoses' are supposed to be subject to rigour...

10. Needing more alcohol to get the effect you want (tolerance)

A fair point, though listening to your maiden aunt drone on and on falls under this definition.....

11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more alcohol

Hot day in the tropics, cold beer, does this qualify?

 

Mild: Two or three symptoms Moderate: four or five symptoms Severe: six or more symptoms

 

This reminds me of the '1 in 4 NZ men are rapists' and '1 in 10 NZ men are Incestuous' reports and studies (now discredited) that surfaced in PC thinking's heydays.

 

These questions above are designed to elicit answers that the questioner favors. When a person is sat down and asked these questions, there is immense pressure, to not only answer the questions, but to get the answers right. They do not say to the victim, 'Get all the answers wrong, and there's nothing wrong with you, you're fit as a fiddle and a valued member of society".

 

Mind you, if you do get all the answers wrong, they'll wheel out the "He's in denial" ambulance cart.

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in the early days, whilst it is well known Australia was founded primarily (the european part of the history) by convicts, NZ was a haven for pirates, whalers, outcasts, missionaries and other such undesirables ...

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in the early days, whilst it is well known Australia was founded primarily (the european part of the history) by convicts, NZ was a haven for pirates, whalers, outcasts, missionaries and other such undesirables ...

 

I met a distant cousin on the internet whose family had sailed from England to Middle Earth in the 1870s. She discovered the ship took about 2 1/2 months to get there! Why would anyone in their right mind willingly make such a voyage? :p

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I met a distant cousin on the internet whose family had sailed from England to Middle Earth in the 1870s. She discovered the ship took about 2 1/2 months to get there! Why would anyone in their right mind willingly make such a voyage? :p

 

We forget what England and environs was like for ordinary folk back then, to escape to the other side of the world must have seemed like going to paradise.

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