By Bree-Anna Finlay
Drinking heavily before heading out on the town is now an accepted part of life for young Australians under 25.
A research paper by Samantha Wells, Kathryn Graham and John Purcell in the journal Addiction showed the motivations behind what’s called ‘pre-loading’ include avoiding the high prices of drinks while out, to achieve intoxicationan to socialise with friends and ease social anxiety
It also argues that by focusing on reducing drinking in licensed venues might actually be causing young people to drink before going out which could possibly result in more harm being done than good.
“It is so expensive to get a pint, so we always just head to a mate’s house for pre-drinks first. There is usually one that passes out before we even leave the house,” said 23-year-old boilermaker Kyle Moody, of Mandurah.
The research found that this fashion is causing all sorts of issues including crimes like assaults and violence, as well as hospitalisation or even death.
Venue manager Evie Lennon from the Brighton Hotel in Mandurah said it wouldn’t be a Saturday night if they didn’t have to turn people away for being intoxicated.
“It’s the same thing every single weekend. Even young girls rocking up early in the night are falling all over themselves, it is really worrying,” she said.
“We also find empty liquor bottles in the bathrooms at the end of the night that people have smuggled into the venue.”
Miss Lennon said it not only causes a substantial loss of income for them but it also puts a lot of pressure on their security and bar staff.
“If liquor licensing spots an intoxicated person on our premises, it’s us who cop the big fines.”
Miss Lennon said patrons sometimes drink in their cars before heading into the venue which makes it hard for door staff to detect intoxication.
The research concluded that policy and prevention planning needs to be guided by investigations of the younger generations drinking experiences and the way that alcohol policy may impact their drinking behaviors.