You are catching up with some friends before heading out. It’s a good mood to drink alcohol and listen to music together. A ride share is parked in the driveway. Everyone quickly finishes their drinks, piles up in their cars, and heads to gigs where more alcohol is consumed.
This is a typical pre-drinking scenario. Drinking alcohol in one place (usually someone’s home) before drinking more in another place such as a pub, club, or event.
You may be accustomed to pre-drinking (colloquially known as pre-loading) and not giving it a second thought.
In fact, it’s a complex behavior that has attracted a great deal of attention from health psychologists and public health strategists for the past 15 years.
And as popular as it is, drinking before is not without risks.
Why do people drink beforehand?
Considerable public health efforts to reduce excessive drinking in licensed places have led some drinkers to abandon the traditional ‘pub to club’ model in favor of a ‘home to pub to club’ version. appears to support the
I can understand the appeal. Someone’s home may be less noisy, less cramped, and include no cover charge than a busier venue.
In Australia, a common reason people refer to before drinking is the relatively low cost of purchased alcohol compared to prices at licensed venues.
In fact, behavioral economists have observed that we tend to be very picky when it comes to finding the most cost-effective way to drink.
Add complex tax regimes and public health initiatives like granular pricing to the mix, and it’s no surprise people are looking for cheap ways to make headlines.
Outside of Australia, there is evidence that the price of alcohol is not a factor in pre-drinking. Other motivational themes have emerged from psychological research, primarily in North America and Europe.
These include the “enforcing” aspects of pre-drinking itself (as the opening scenario illustrates), controlling alcohol consumption on the fly (such as drinking only your preferred brand), or having less access to alcohol later. Including anticipation of what will happen (think long lines). Beer at Footy).
In general, pre-drinking purposes seem to be “drunk enough” before going out.
However, one motivation that men often mention is called “intimate pursuit”. It’s a place where you can hang out inside.
While these themes are generally championed by Australian predrinkers, cost is still an important factor for our predrinkers, especially among young Australians.
In our study, we asked participants about their low pre-drinking costs, along with these other motivations. It also predicted the experience of related harm.
Surprisingly, some people report not saving much money by drinking before drinking.
From a psychological point of view, this may be because alcohol affects our “inhibitory control”. It becomes difficult to hold back from buying another round.
Specific Harms Before Drinking
Unfortunately, research consistently shows that pre-drinking is uniquely associated with excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.
One reason might be that people drink faster before drinking than they do over a pint in a pub. This means that pre-drinkers may reach higher levels of addiction sooner.
This can greatly depend on various factors. For example, who are you drinking with before drinking or whether you are playing drinking games.
In addition to the risks, people tend to be pretty bad at estimating how much they’re drinking.
Sadly, the much-talked-about “sweet spot” can quickly increase your level of alcohol intoxication and increase your risk of alcohol-related harm.
How can I minimize my pre-drinking risk?
Research shows that pre-drinking provides important practical and social functions, such as meeting friends in a more relaxed environment or getting ready for a night out.
So while pre-drinking is unlikely to go away completely, you can try to reduce the risk a bit.
One of the pre-drinking challenges is that you may drink from surrounding containers (such as mugs), making it difficult to track your consumption.
Licensed establishments serve alcohol in standardized containers such as pints and schooners, or use metered spouts. So having a schooner or jigger handy before drinking is a good place to start.
Health psychologists often promote “protective behavioral strategies”—those that help curb alcohol consumption. For example, you can set a drink limit for yourself or set a timer between drinks to slow down your intake. Work in progress.
Ultimately, if you’re planning a pre-drinking session before your event, as with any party, it’s a good idea to have plenty of non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic options and food.
The most important thing a pre-drinker can do is keep an eye on each other, make sure everyone is at the event, has a good time, and gets home safely.
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Quote: Want a pre-drink before going out? You probably won’t save money and it can be risky to boot (16 Dec 2022) https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-12-pre-drink-wont-money-risky- From boot.html he gets on Dec 16, 2022
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