Many people think heavy drinking causes promiscuity, violence and anti-social behaviour. That’s not necessarily true, argues Kate Fox. I am a social anthropologist, but what I do is not the traditional intrepid sort of anthropology where you go and study strange tribes in places with mud huts and monsoons and malaria. I really don’t see [...]
It is well known that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for violence, and that young people are at risk of both perpetration and victimisation after drinking alcohol. To some extent this is due to the pharmacological properties of alcohol, but research also demonstrates that aggression can be prompted by the mere belief that one has drunk alcohol. This can be attributed to cultural scripts, or commonly-held beliefs concerning accepted behavioural patterns.
Alcohol is associated with a range of behaviours, including aggression, which seems to become more likely, at least in some people, following alcohol consumption. However, the mechanisms of this relationship are unclear. For example, certainly not all people become aggressive following alcohol consumption, and even those who do sometimes become aggressive do not do so all the time.
Although alcohol-related disorder in public space is a long-standing problem throughout the UK, in recent years this issue has become much more policy relevant. Whether or not current concerns about the ‘binge drinking’ phenomenon are fully justified, there is no doubt that alcohol-related problems in the night-time economy are widespread, bringing many negative consequences not only for those directly involved, but also for the taxpayer, the licence trade industry, the industry’s employees, the law-abiding patrons of licensed premises, the emergency services and the public at large.
Previous research has revealed that much binge drinking among young people takes place in outdoor/hidden locations. The unsupervised nature of these locations and the products typically preferred by these individuals, have been linked to immodest consumption and an increased risk of alcohol-related harm. This qualitative study, examined the street drinking behaviour of young adults (aged between 16 and 25).
Implementation of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) 10-14 in Barnsley: The Perspectives of Facilitators and Families
Numerous studies in Europe report high rates of alcohol use among young people. A recent European study on alcohol and drugs use by young people reported that the UK had among the highest rates of drunkenness and binge drinking and alcohol consumption in Europe. The reported effectiveness of the SFP10-14 as a primary prevention programme has led to its uptake in a number of therapeutic settings in the UK. For example, positive perceptions of the SFP 10-14 by both families and group leaders of an SFP 10-14 programme being run in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Barnsley have been reported. Similar findings in relation to the SFP10-14 run by the Kinara Family Resource Centre in Greenwich have also been noted. An exploratory trial of adapted SFP10-14 materials and approach in the UK context is currently being conducted in the School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University.
Bars, inns, taverns and hotels have been popular settings for recreational alcohol consumption for centuries. The bar is firmly established as an important adjunct of leisure in many societies. Alcohol consumption in bars is mainly convivial, restrained and problem-free. Even so it has long been apparent that heavy drinking in bars is associated with aggression, violence, public disorder and injuries. A review was conducted to identify factors associated with high and low levels of intoxication, aggression, public disorder, crime, under-age drinking and injuries in and near public bars and licensed clubs and to identify priorities for reducing the levels of problems associated with licensed premises.
A Randomised Controlled Trial of Brief Intervention Strategies in Patients with Alcohol Related Facial Injury
Despite the fact that most alcohol related facial injuries are successfully managed surgically, the underlying cause, which is often alcohol misuse, is not adequately addressed. A recent study has demonstrated that a nurse delivered brief intervention in a maxillofacial unit is more effective than no intervention in encouraging patients with facial injuries to reduce their alcohol consumption.
Alcohol and violent crime are certainly associated. People who have committed a violent crime are often intoxicated when they commit the crime, however, this relationship can be understood in two ways. Does alcohol intoxication causes aggression or do people with an aggressive predisposition tend to misuse alcohol?