Predrinking Linked to Heavier Alcohol Consumption

Predrinking indirectly linked to more adverse outcomes via greater alcohol consumption

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Predrinking, drinking before going out, is linked to heavier alcohol consumption and increased adverse outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Florian Labhart, from Addiction Info Switzerland in Lausanne, and colleagues assessed alcohol consumption and drinking location at six time points (5 p.m. to the next morning) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays over five consecutive weeks using a recently developed Internet-based cell phone-optimized assessment technique. In total, 183 young adults (mean age, 23.1; 53 percent female) provided 7,828 assessments on 1,441 evenings.

The researchers found that higher alcohol consumption occurred on evenings with predrinking (7.1 drinks on average) compared to evenings with on-premise only (4.2 drinks) and off-premise only (4.3 drinks). Predrinking was also more often linked to adverse outcomes (23.8 percent of predrinking nights involving at least one outcome) than on-premise drinking only (13.9 percent) and off-premise drinking only (12.0 percent). The association between predrinking and adverse outcomes was indirect, medicated by consumption of larger amounts of alcohol.

"Given that predrinking is associated with heavier consumption and more adverse or risky outcomes from drinking, regardless of whether the intention was to get drunk, educational interventions that aim to inform young adults of the risks related to predrinking and heavy episodic drinking should be considered," the authors write.

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