01 February 2017 In Social and Cultural Aspects

AIMS: Alcohol intoxication is a source of significant illness and injury commonly resulting in emergency department (ED) visits. We characterize recent trends in alcohol-related visits to US EDs using nationally representative data.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of data on national ED visits among patients aged 18 years or older with alcohol intoxication between 2001 and 2011 using the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). Demographic and resource utilization trends in alcohol-related visits were examined. We also assessed ED length of stay (LOS) across the study period, as well as the total hours spent on ED care for alcohol-related complaints.

RESULTS: Between 2001-2002 and 2010-2011, alcohol-related visits increased from 2,459,748 to 3,856,346 (P = 0.049). Utilization of resources such as laboratory tests, medications and radiography increased, with the use of advanced imaging (i.e. computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) increasing 232.2% (P < 0.001) from 2001-2002 to 2010-2011. Overall LOS increased 16.1% (P = 0.028), while LOS among patients admitted to the hospital increased 24.9% (P = 0.076). Total alcohol-related hours spent in EDs nationwide increased from 5.6 million in 2001 to 11.6 million in 2011, an increase of 108.5% (P < 0.001) compared with an increase in overall ED hours of 54.0% (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Alcohol-related ED visits are increasing at a greater rate than overall ED visits and represent a growing burden on hospital resources.

BACKGROUND: Entertainment media exposure may predict teenager alcohol use, but few longitudinal studies have been reported.

METHODS: A longitudinal study was conducted of 2708 German adolescents aged 10 to 16 years who had never drunk alcohol. Each adolescent was surveyed at school about daily television use, whether they had a television in their bedroom, and their exposure to movie alcohol depictions. Adolescents were resurveyed 12 to 13 months later (retention rate: 85%) to determine onset of drinking alcohol without parental knowledge and binge drinking (>/=5 consecutive drinks).

RESULTS: Overall, 885 (33%) students initiated alcohol use without parental knowledge (17% in quartile 1 movie alcohol exposure), and 387 (14%) initiated binge drinking during follow-up. After controlling for baseline covariates, exposure to movie alcohol use significantly increased percent initiating alcohol use (to 24% in exposure quartile 2, 33% in quartile 3 and 34% in quartile 4) and percent initiating binge drinking (to 8.6% in exposure quartile 2, 12% in quartile 3 and 13% in quartile 4). Having a television in the bedroom also predicted both outcomes, but daily television use did not.

CONCLUSIONS: Movie exposure and having a television in the bedroom are both independent predictors of onset of problematic alcohol use among German teenagers. Media restrictions could play a role in prevention.

OBJECTIVE: To measure alcohol-related harms to the health of young people presenting to emergency departments (EDs) of Gold Coast public hospitals before and after the increase in the federal government "alcopops" tax in 2008.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Interrupted time series analysis over 5 years (28 April 2005 to 27 April 2010) of 15-29-year-olds presenting to EDs with alcohol-related harms compared with presentations of selected control groups.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of 15-29-year-olds presenting to EDs with alcohol-related harms compared with (i) 30-49-year-olds with alcohol-related harms, (ii)15-29-year-olds with asthma or appendicitis, and (iii) 15-29-year-olds with any non-alcohol and non-injury related ED presentation. RESULTS: Over a third of 15-29-year-olds presented to ED with alcohol-related conditions, as opposed to around a quarter for all other age groups. There was no significant decrease in alcohol-related ED presentations of 15-29-year-olds compared with any of the control groups after the increase in the tax. We found similar results for males and females, narrow and broad definitions of alcohol-related harms, under-19s, and visitors to and residents of the Gold Coast.

CONCLUSIONS: The increase in the tax on alcopops was not associated with any reduction in alcohol-related harms in this population in a unique tourist and holiday region. A more comprehensive approach to reducing alcohol harms in young people is needed.




Involvement in creating antialcohol advertisements generates enthusiasm among adolescents; however, little is known about the messages adolescents develop for these activities. In this article, we present a content analysis of 72 print alcohol counteradvertisements created by high school (age 14-17 years old) and college (18-25 years old) students. The posters were content analyzed for poster message content, persuasion strategies, and production components, and we compared high school and college student posters. All of the posters used a slogan to highlight the main point/message of the ad and counterarguments/consequences to support the slogans. The most frequently depicted consequences were negative consequences of alcohol use, followed by negative-positive consequence comparison. Persuasion strategies were sparingly used in advertisements and included having fun/one of the gang, humor/unexpected, glamour/sex appeal, and endorsement. Finally, posters displayed a number of production techniques including depicting people, clear setting, multiple colors, different font sizes, and object placement. College and high school student-constructed posters were similar on many features (e.g., posters displayed similar frequency of utilization of slogans, negative consequences, and positive-negative consequence comparisons), but were different on the use of positive consequences of not using alcohol and before-after comparisons. Implications for teaching media literacy and involving adolescents and youth in developing alcohol prevention messages are discussed.




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