Drinking cultures and social occasions: alcohol harms in the context of major sporting events

Sport Social isolation Communities Multiculturalism Social issues Alcohol Australia

This report looks at the harms associated with alcohol consumption in the context of major sporting events which were explored in terms of general patterns, gender and age patterns.
A range of alcohol-related harms were considered, including acute intoxication requiring medical attention, assaults, and motor vehicle accidents. The use of time series analysis allows exploration of the levels of harms associated with specific events after controlling for the impact of seasonal and temporal variations in alcohol-related harms.
Across all populations examined, the peak months of the year for ambulance attendances, emergency department presentations, and hospital admissions attributed to acute alcohol intoxication were November and December, with February also being identified as a peak month among males. Consistent with the literature, Fridays and Saturdays were the days with the highest concentrations of alcohol intoxication related attendances, presentations and admissions.
Varying effects were noted for major sporting events. Significantly elevated numbers of cases of acute alcohol intoxication were evident for all groups examined on the day before the Melbourne Cup, whilst elevated cases were seen for all patients and for males on the day before the AFL Grand Final. For all groups examined, elevated cases of alcohol intoxication occurred on the day of the Melbourne Cup, and also for all groups except females on the day of the AFL Grand Final and the event of the Commonwealth Games. Numbers of ambulance attendances for acute intoxication were significantly lower than expected on the day following the Melbourne Cup for all patients, and this was driven by the trend among females.
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