Deconstructing alcohol use on a night out in England: Promotions, preloading and consumption

Authors

  • Kirstie McClatchley,

    1. Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
    2. Highland Council Psychological Service, Inverness, UK
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  • Gillian W. Shorter,

    Corresponding author
    1. Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Ulster, Londonderry, UK
    2. Medical Research Council All-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research, University of Ulster, Londonderry, UK
    • Kirstie McClatchley BSc, Research Assistant, Gillian W. Shorter PhD, Lecturer in Mental Health Sciences, Jenny Chalmers PhD, Senior Research Fellow. Correspondence to Dr Gillian W. Shorter, Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Ulster, Northland Road, Londonderry BT48 7JL, UK. Tel: 00447811118522; E-mail: gillianwshorter@gmail.com

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  • Jenny Chalmers

    1. Drug Policy Modelling Program, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Australia, Sydney, Australia
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Abstract

Introduction and Aims

To examine alcohol consumed during a drinking event (a single drinking occasion) by those attending public house/on-trade establishments on nights with standard pricing and nights with promotional prices.

Design and Methods

Data (n = 425) were collected in an ecological momentary assessment over eight nights in two locations (Midlands and London) on both promotional and standard (Saturday) nights. Multiple regression was used to predict event alcohol consumption by sex, age, type of night, alcohol preloading behaviour, marital and employment status, education, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test alcohol consumption questions separately or total AUDIT-C and social group size.

Results

Mean (UK) units consumed were 11.8 (London) and 14.4 (Midlands). In London, consumption was similar on promotional and standard nights, but in the Midlands, standard night consumption was three units higher. Preloading was reported by 30%; more common on standard nights. Regression analyses revealed being male, preloading and past-year total AUDIT-C were associated with higher event consumption. However, when AUDIT-C questions were added separately, being a standard night was associated with increased event consumption and different AUDIT-C questions were significantly associated with event consumption in each location.

Discussion and Conclusions

Event consumption reflected heavy episodic drinking and was influenced by price. Promotional night consumption either matched standard Saturday night consumption or was slightly lower. In London, there was a significant preference for drinking at least one promotional beverage on promotional nights. On standard nights, consumption was over a wider range of venues, and preloading with off-trade alcohol was more likely. [McClatchley K, Shorter GW, Chalmers J. Deconstructing alcohol use on a night out in England: Promotions, preloading and consumption. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:367–375]

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