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  • Heavy episodic drinking (Indicator 4)

Heavy episodic drinking (Indicator 4)

The indicator describes the following: The proportion of adolescents and adults who engage in heavy episodic drinking.

The indicator describes the following: The proportion of adolescents and adults who engage in heavy episodic drinking.


This indicator is part of Target (2): At least a 10 per cent reduction in harmful alcohol consumption.

Heavy episodic drinking is defined as drinking more than five units of alcohol within the same day at least once per month in the last 12 months.

Results

Figure 1 shows that the proportion engaging in heavy episodic drinking was stable at around 17 per cent from 2012 to 2022, except for a somewhat smaller proportion during the pandemic years 2020 and 2021.

Figure 1. The proportion of individuals aged 16-79 years who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months as %
Figure 1. The proportion of individuals aged 16-79 years who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months, as a percentage, age- and gender-standardised.  Dotted lines represent higher and lower uncertainty levels. Figure 1. The proportion of individuals aged 16-79 years who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months as %

Table accompanying figure 1 

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Population 16-79 years old

18

17

18

18

16

18

17

17

15

15

17

Data source: Norwegian Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs

The data source for this indicator is the Norwegian Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs.

A description and definitions follow below.

Description 

The Norwegian Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs is a telephone-based nationwide survey of alcohol, tobacco and drug use among individuals aged 16-79, and undertaken by Statistics Norway on behalf of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The survey is conducted on a representative sample of 3 700 people who are selected from the National Population Register and interviewed via telephone, after having received an information letter regarding the survey. The average response rate for the survey years 2012-2020 was 58 per cent.  The survey enables trends in alcohol use to be traced back to 2012.

Numerator

  • The proportion of individuals who drank more than five units of alcohol within the same day or several times per month during the last 12 months, as a percentage, age- and gender-standardised.

This percentage was estimated on the basis of a question from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). The question reads as follows: “How often have you drunk six units of alcohol or more on a single occasion in the last year?” The response options are: “Never”, “Less than monthly”, ”Monthly”, “Weekly” and “Daily or almost daily”. 

The fact that the age and gender distribution of the population may change over time is taken into account when calculating the figures. The age and gender distribution of the Norwegian population as at 01.01.2012 is used as a standard. 

Global indicator definition

Indicator 4. Age-standardised prevalence of heavy episodic drinking among adolescents and adults, as appropriate, within the national context.

History

18.11.2022: Updated figures

Authors and contacts

Text compiled by the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs and the Department of Chronic Diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Updates

15.10.2020: Updated definition of heavy episodic drinking

11.2019: Reviewed. Updated figures.