New treatment guidelines on PTSD

New guidelines on the treatment of people affected by trauma are now available. Published in a ‘living guide­line’ format, allowing for updates as new evidence arises, Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Complex PTSD was developed by Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with trauma experts and people affected by trauma. According to Phoenix Australia, PTSD is the second most common mental health condition after depression, with 4.4% of Australians having PTSD at any one time. Read the guidelines at: www.phoenixaustralia.org/australian­-guidelines­-for-­ptsd.

Smoking, alcohol, illicit drug use data

Tobacco smoking rates have fallen to 11% while alcohol consumption has remained stable, according to the Australian Institute of Welfare’s 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. The three­-yearly survey of more than 22,000 people aged 14 years and above found that smoking rates more than halved since 1991, when 24% of Australians were smokers. The proportions of people consuming alcohol at risky levels on a single occasion at least monthly (25%) or at levels that put them at risk over their lifetime (16.8%) remained stable since 2016. Between 2016 and 2019, there was an increase in the proportion of ex-drinkers, from 7.6% to 8.9%. Read the survey, which includes illicit drug use data, via the AIHW website: www.aihw.gov.au.