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NCJ Number: 204147 Find in a Library
Title: Intoxicated Weekends: Young Adults' Work Hard-Play Hard Lifestyles, Public Health and Public Disorder
Journal: Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:November 2003  Pages:345-367
Author(s): Howard Parker; Lisa Williams
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 23
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The British Government has promoted a policy of interagency government and private-sector cooperation in addressing complex social problems; this paper examines how this strategy has been applied in the management of young adults who give priority to binge drinking at public places on the weekends.
Abstract: This analysis of weekend binge drinkers is based on a longitudinal study (North West Longitudinal Study, 1991-2001) of a cohort of subjects who were young adults at the time of the current study. The focus of the study was on their motives and experiences of being variously involved in intoxicated weekends. The cohort cannot claim to be representative of British young adults. Instead, it uniquely offers representations of the changing lifestyles of a group (n=465) of generally conforming, educated, and employed "drug wise" English children of the 1990's who were in their period of young adulthood (22-years-old). The study found that over the years, their psycho-active consumption patterns apparently reflected national trends regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, "recreational" drug use, and specific drug choices. "Going out" on the weekends was found to be directly related to the fact that this cohort was productively employed during the week. Over half of the sample were regular heavy drinkers and occasional recreational drug users. They often mixed alcohol and illicit drugs on "nights out." Their motives for engaging in intoxicated weekends related to maintaining successful work-hard/play-hard lifestyles. Most nights out were perceived by the subjects as functional and enjoyable, but they were sometimes accompanied by arguments, fights and assaults, impaired judgment, illness, and accidents. During the 1990's, the management of community safety and the weekend "going-out" scene became more sophisticated. Interagency partnerships with targeted enforcement programs and the use of performance indicators linked with funding became part of a corporate managerial approach. Still, the response has been inadequate to the scale of the problem. England is still without a published alcohol strategy. There needs to be an integrated, holistic approach to managing weekend nightlife. The unwillingness of policymakers to recognize this is perhaps a product of departmentalization, competing political agendas, and an unwillingness to challenge the vested interests of the alcohol industry. 9 tables and 56 references
Main Term(s): Underage Drinking
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Alcoholic beverage consumption; Drug abuse in foreign countries; Interagency cooperation; Private sector-government cooperation; Public order offenses
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