Seeking help because of others' drinking

Authors

  • Janette Mugavin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point, Melbourne, Australia
    • Janette Mugavin BSocSc, GradDip App Stats, Research Fellow, Michael Livingston BAppSc, BInfTech, BA, PhD, Research Fellow, Anne-Marie Laslett BDSc, MDSc, MPH, Research Fellow. Correspondence to Ms Janette Mugavin, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point, 54-62 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Vic. 3065, Australia. Tel: +03 8413 8406; Fax: +03 9416 3420; E-mail: janettem@turningpoint.org.au

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Michael Livingston,

    1. Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point, Melbourne, Australia
    2. Drug Policy Modeling Program, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Anne-Marie Laslett

    1. Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point, Melbourne, Australia
    2. Centre for Health and Society, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Introduction and Aims

Many individuals contact and are assisted by community and emergency services because of someone else's drinking. Previous studies have focused on family members accessing services, such as Alcoholics Anonymous due to significant others' drinking; however, little is known about service use in the broad community. This paper aims to estimate the prevalence of contacting the police and seeking help from health services because of others' drinking and to compare the profiles of individuals seeking services with those who did not contact a service.

Design and Methods

A total of 2649 adult Australians were surveyed about their experience of harm from others' drinking, including use of emergency and community services.

Results

In the 12 months prior to the survey, 13% of respondents had contacted the police and 5% had sought help from a health-related service. Using logistic regression, being older and having a secondary school education were associated with a decreased likelihood of contacting police because of others' drinking, whereas residing in a non-metropolitan location was positively associated with using health-related services. Having a partner was negatively associated with use of health-related services. The extent of self-reported harm from others' drinking was the only factor associated with use of both police and health-related services.

Discussion and Conclusion

Results suggest differences in the profile of respondents who call the police and those who seek health-related services due to others' drinking. This supports the need for tailored services to support and address the needs of people experiencing harm from others' drinking. [Mugavin J, Livingston M, Laslett A-M. Seeking help because of others' drinking. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:161–168]

Ancillary