Strategies associated with low-risk drinking: a population-based study.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relative frequency of use of seven strategies to moderate drinking (SMD) among low-risk and risky drinkers.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey was used. The analytical sample included 11,462 Australians aged 18-64 who had consumed alcohol in the previous year. Logistic regression was used.
RESULTS: Analyses indicated a curvilinear relationship between use of SMD and alcohol consumption. Across the seven SMD, constant use of a strategy, compared with never using a strategy, was associated with low-risk drinking. Never using a strategy, compared with using one rarely, was also associated with low-risk drinking. When used occasionally, strategies that implied less alcohol consumed per hour (e.g. refuse unwanted drinks) increased the likelihood of low-risk drinking, whereas less direct strategies (e.g. counting drinks) increased the likelihood of risky drinking.
CONCLUSIONS: Adult Australians who drink at low levels use a range of strategies to moderate their alcohol consumption. Overall, consistent use of one or more SMD was associated with low-risk drinking patterns.
IMPLICATIONS: Public health responses to risky drinking may be enhanced by promoting the consistent use of SMD as a way to reduce overall alcohol consumption.