Experience of harm from others’ drinking and support for stricter alcohol policies: analysis of the Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Previous research indicates that those who have experienced alcohol-related harm from others are more likely to support stricter alcohol control policies. This study investigates the association between types of harm experienced because of others' drinking and support for stricter alcohol control policies.Data from 20,570 Australians aged 18 and over who completed the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was used. Questions about experience of alcohol-related harm from others - being put in fear and abuse (verbal or physical) - were asked. Support for stricter alcohol control policies was quantified by a mean policy support score across 18 alcohol policy questions.Twenty seven percent of respondents reported harm from someone's drinking. Respondents who were put in fear had a higher level of support for stricter alcohol control policies than respondents who were not harmed (p<0.001), regardless of whether they were abused or not. Conversely, respondents who experienced abuse but were not put in fear did not significantly differ in their support for stricter policies from those who experienced no harm.It is the apprehension of harm (i.e. having been put in fear), and not the experience of harm itself (i.e. abuse), which is related to people's support for stricter alcohol policies. These findings suggest that perceiving others' intoxication as dangerous to oneself may motivate support for stricter alcohol policies.

publication date

  • 2017