Alcohol consumption is associated with a wide range of negative consequences not just for the consumer personally but for other people and society as a whole. The project focuses on four types of negative consequence which can often affect others both in the form of human suffering and of economic cost. • violence • drink driving • sick leave, reduced work capacity, weak workplace affiliation, and exclusion • negative consequences for children's health and welfare 1. Violence. The objective here is to assess whether there is a causal connection between drinking and violence, and whether the connection is affected by repressed anger. 2. Drink driving. (A) Drinking is obviously a cause of drink-driving, but only a minority of the public drives after consuming alcohol. Accordingly, the connections between alcohol use and drink driving would appear to be modified by different personality-related factors. Since drink driving is a serious offence in Norway, it would be reasonable to assume that involvement in anti-social behaviour to commit an offence of this nature would require a certain disposition or proclivity. This assumption finds support in the fact that a large proportion of drink drivers have also committed other serious offences which are not related to driving. Impulsiveness, or low self-control, is another potentially modifying factor of the connection. (B) A population-level analysis of the relations between alcohol consumption and drink driving based on a time series data analysis is also planned. It should help identify the effect, if any, of a 1-litre increase in the alcohol consumption per head of population on the prevalence of drink-driving. Analyses such as these have been conducted on a number of outcome variables, including accidents, suicide, violent behaviour etc. Data from both Norway and Sweden will be used to widen the empirical basis. 3. Sickness absence. (A) A recently initiated PhD project aims to provide more reliable estimates of the connections between drinking and sickness-related absence, and assess the prevalence of alcohol-related sick leave in Norway and sub-groups of the population. Social disparity and gender differences are important themes. The project will also shed light on the significance of different drinking patterns and the inclination to engage in anti-social behaviour during adolescence for sickness-related absence among young adults. (B) Working in conjunction with the National Institute of Public Health (Nasjonalt Folkehelseinstitutt - FHI), SIRUS has conducted a pilot study of workers in Norwegian working life to assess the prevalence of alcohol consumption (as well as illegal and prescription drugs). After being expanded, the project aims to recruit a sufficient number participants to allow for a study of gender and occupational differences along with social disparities in drug use and sickness absence attributable to drug use. 4. Impact on children's health and well-being. High alcohol intake increases the risk of harming oneself and others. Despite this fact, few studies have examined the significance of parents who drink heavily on the psycho-social problems of adolescents (such as depressive symptoms, anti-social behaviour, suicidal thoughts). Does the prevalence of these problems increase with exposure to drunk parents, i.e. is there a dose-response relationship? And are children who frequently observe one parent or both parents drunk more likely to develop psycho-social problems?
See the full project description at Cristin for more information about results, researchers, contact information etc.
Ingunn Olea Lund, Avdeling for rusmidler og tobakk, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Elisabet Esbjerg Storvoll, Avdeling for rusmidler og tobakk, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Janne Scheffels, Avdeling for rusmidler og tobakk, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Ingeborg Margrete Rossow, Avdeling for rusmidler og tobakk, Norwegian Institute of Public Health