Risky Single-Occasion Drinking Appears to Be the Norm for Young Swiss Men
In Western countries, risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD)* is an important risk factor for mortality and morbidity among teenagers and young adults. To determine the prevalence of RSOD among Swiss men in this age group, researchers conducted a survey of 19-year-old French-speaking men taking part in a 2-day medical assessment as part of Switzerland’s mandatory army recruitment process. Over 25 weeks, 4116 attended the medical assessment, and 3536 agreed to complete the survey. Past-year alcohol consumption among participants was as follows:
- 7.2% had abstained from alcohol.
- 17.2% reported lower risk drinking (neither RSOD nor weekly risky drinking**).
- 63.4% reported at least 1 day with consumption of ≥10 drinks.
- 75.5% of those who drank alcohol reported RSOD at least once a month.
- 69.3% of the alcohol consumed among the entire sample was consumed during RSOD episodes, and 49.2% was consumed on drinking occasions including ≥10 drinks.
- steady weekly drinking was infrequent: 17.1% reported drinking >3 days per week in the past year, and 27.6% reported drinking >3 days per week in the past week. Most drinking occurred on weekends (daily average weekend consumption = 7 drinks).
**consumption of >21 drinks per week (15 US standard drinks per week).