Current licensing practices may have contributed to an increase in “pre-loading” among young people
The policy implications of “pre-loading” are discussed in a recent issue of Addiction.
“Pre-loading”, also called “front-loading” or in America,
“pre-drinking”, involves planned heavy drinking, usually at someone’s
home, before setting out to a social event. The authors argue that the
banning of drink promotions such as having a “happy hour” and later
opening times may have contributed to what they claim is a “common and
celebrated practice among young adults around the world.”
To discourage or reduce pre-loading, authors Samantha Wells,
Kathryn Graham and John Purcell suggest a comprehensive strategy
Developing policies that reduce large imbalances between on
and off premise alcohol pricing. Attracting young people of legal drinking
age back to the bar for early drinking, where alcohol consumption is
monitored by serving staff and drinks are served in standard sizes
Addressing young people’s motivations for pre-drinking,
including being able to socialize with friends and saving money – for
example bars might expand their social function and create an attractive
atmosphere for more intimate socialising
Forming effective strategies to reduce planned intoxication –
for example policy and programming could be aimed at changing drinking
norms and promoting moderation.
The research paper can be found here.