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Mapping Problematic Drinking Trends over Time in Urban, Semi-Urban, and Rural Populations

Version 2 2024-06-15, 07:02
Version 1 2023-02-28, 02:26
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-15, 07:02 authored by Stefan Bozic, Don Vicendese, Michael Livingston, Bircan Erbas
Current alcohol public health policy in Australia is not uniform but is generally focused on restricting access and early prevention of problematic alcohol use. Semi-urban and rural populations are at greater risk of disease and other poor health outcomes due to a variety of factors. Little is known about problematic drinking patterns over time in semi-urban and rural populations. This study aims to assess patterns of problematic drinking defined as both long-term risky and heavy episodic drinking over time by age, sex, and mental health status among urban, semi-urban and rural populations). Four waves (2004 to 2016) of the Australian NDSHS (National Drug Strategy Household Survey) were analyzed to assess problematic drinking of participants over 18 years of age. We used regression models and predictive margins to identify trends in problematic drinking over time based on age, sex, and mental health status. Our results show young adults across all regions, males, and mentally well individuals in urban areas have reductions in the risk of problematic drinking over time. Middle-aged adults across all regions, females, and those with varying mental health presentations in rural areas have some increases in risk of problematic drinking over time. The general conclusion is that targeted alcohol-related public health policy may need to change and focus on females, middle-aged individuals, and those living in rural areas. Programs to support problematic drinking in people with mental health disorders may also need to be a priority.

History

Journal

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Volume

19

Article number

ARTN 589

Location

Switzerland

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

English

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

MDPI