Event-specific drinking in the general population

Vladyslav Kushnir*, John Alastair Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: It has been well established that college students engage in heavy drinking during specific social events; however, within the general population, evidence of event-specific drinking has been largely indirect. The present study therefore aimed to investigate the temporal variability in daily alcohol consumption in the winter holiday months among residents of a large metropolitan area.

    Method: A random-digit-dialing telephone survey was conducted of residents who drank alcohol at least once per month. During a 5-week period beginning December 1, 2009, the number of drinks consumed on each day within the past week was collected for 578 participants.

    Results: Weekly variation in alcohol consumption peaked on Fridays and Saturdays and was particularly high on Christmas and New Year's Eve. Mean drink consumption was significantly higher on Christmas and New Year's Eve compared with most weekends within the sampling period.

    Conclusions: The present findings provide the first direct evidence, with temporal specificity, that alcohol consumption within the general population is highly event specific. Targeted intervention strategies similar to those used within college student samples may be appropriate for reducing or preventing alcohol-related harmful events on a population level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)968-972
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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