1 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Sociology, Study Council, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Department of Sociology, Study Council, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet
A cross-national panel mobile survey of young people’s drinking in England and Denmark
Introduction and Aims Young people drinking heavily before going out to bars and clubs is associated with alcohol-related harm and therefore of great public concern. This study examines whether pre-drinkers consume more alcohol than non-pre-drinkers on an event-specific night out in England and Denmark—two European countries known for their excessive youth drinking. Design and Methods An event-specific survey of 1298 young people conducted in 50 bars, pubs and nightclubs in England and Denmark and follow-up interviews conducted via mobile surveys (n = 580). The questionnaire measured demographics, socioeconomic status, frequency of intoxication and alcohol unit intake before and during the young people's night out. Results A mixed linear model performed on the panel mobile survey shows that pre-drinkers in England and Denmark consume 9.185 (P < 0.001) and 7.554 (P < 0.001) units, respectively, more than the non-pre-drinkers. However, in both countries pre-drinkers consume 3.430 (P < 0.05) and 3.141 (P < 0.001) units less alcohol on-premises than the non-pre-drinkers. Discussion and Conclusion Pre-drinking is a widespread phenomenon in England and Denmark, with more than half of young people pre-drinking on an event-specific night out. Pre-drinking contributes significantly to high-intensity drinking, as it does not preclude further drinking in bars, clubs and pubs. Thus, pre-drinking is a major target for public measures seeking to reduce young people's intoxication-related drinking and alcohol-related harm.