Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

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Vol 38 (6 Issues in 2014)
Print ISSN: 1326-0200 Online ISSN: 1753-6405
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Medicine & Healthcare

December 03, 2013

Young adults who drink before going out are putting themselves at increased risk

This is the finding from a study published in the December issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.  Pre-drinking (drinking alcohol before going out to venues such as bars, pubs or clubs) is increasingly recognised as part of young adults’ drinking culture, according to lead author Sarah MacLean, from University of Melbourne.

“When people pre-drink they increase the amount of alcohol consumed over the night, rather than just substituting cheaper off-premises alcohol for more expensive on-premises alcohol,” Dr MacLean said.

“Most young people said the reason for their pre-drinking was to save money. One participant had drunk a bottle of a wine-based drink and four cans of an energy drink before going to a club the week before she was interviewed. She said: ‘So by the time I’ve drank them I’m [extremely intoxicated]. So it’s a cheap night. Like it’s $20 plus whatever I buy at the club’.

“Another reason given for pre-drinking was to socialise with friends. However, participants who identified this as a primary reason for pre-drinking tended not to drink at the high-risk level.

“Other research shows that pre-drinkers experience greater alcohol-related harm than people who don’t pre-drink.

“Reducing the availability of cheap packaged alcohol has potential to limit both pre-drinking and high-risk drinking in young adults,” Dr MacLean said.

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