Strategies associated with low-risk drinking: a population-based study

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the relative frequency of use of seven strategies to moderate drinking (SMD) among low-risk and risky drinkers.

Methods:

Cross-sectional data from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was used. The analytical sample included 11,462 Australians aged 18–64 who had consumed alcohol in the previous year. Logistic regression was used.

Results:

Analyses indicated a curvilinear relationship between use of SMD and alcohol consumption. Across the seven SMD, constant use of a strategy, compared with never using a strategy, was associated with low-risk drinking. Never using a strategy, compared with using one rarely, was also associated with low-risk drinking. When used occasionally, strategies that implied less alcohol consumed per hour (e.g. refuse unwanted drinks) increased the likelihood of low-risk drinking, whereas less direct strategies (e.g. counting drinks) increased the likelihood of risky drinking.

Conclusions:

Adult Australians who drink at low levels use a range of strategies to moderate their alcohol consumption. Overall, consistent use of one or more SMD was associated with low-risk drinking patterns.

Implications:

Public health responses to risky drinking may be enhanced by promoting the consistent use of SMD as a way to reduce overall alcohol consumption.

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