In Sweden, alcohol abstention has increased over the last 20 years and consumption has recently decreased after a peak in 2004. To understand the dynamics of these trends the present study aims at estimating age, period and cohort (APC) effects on trends in alcohol use prevalence as well as overall and beverage-specific volume of drinking over the last three decades.
APC analysis of seven cross-sectional surveys from 1979 to 2011 was conducted using cross-classified random effects models (CCREMs) by gender. The nationally representative samples comprised 77,598 respondents aged 16-80 years. Outcome measures were 30-day prevalence of alcohol use and overall as well as beverage-specific alcohol volume.
Trends in prevalence, overall and beverage-specific volume were significantly affected by APC. The period effects of prevalence and overall volume show a small decline after an increase up to the year 2005. Mean beer and wine volume levelled off after a peak in 2005 and volume of spirits drinking decreased constantly. Predicted alcohol prevalence rates in male cohorts (1945-1985) remained generally at the same level, while they declined in post-World War II female generations. Results point to high overall and beverage-specific consumption among cohorts born in the 1940s, 1950s and 1980s.
High consuming cohorts of the 1940-1950s were key in rising consumption up to 2005. Progression through the life course of these cohorts, a decrease in prevalence and drinking volume in successive cohorts seem to have contributed to the recent downward trend in alcohol use in Sweden.
In a municipality in Sweden there was a concern about the high alcohol consumption among its residents. An alcohol education program was provided to all those employed by the municipality.
To investigate whether a day-long alcohol education program provided to all employed by a Swedish municipality had an effect on alcohol consumption among employees and specifically among employees with low and higher levels of consumption respectively.
A quasi-experimental evaluation using pre-test and post-test questionnaires was performed. The municipality's employees were divided in one intervention group (n: 124) and one control group (n: 139). ANOVA with repeated measures was performed on AUDIT-score and on three separate AUDIT-items: frequency of drinking, frequency of binge drinking, and typical amount consumed per drinking occasion.
No significant effect on alcohol consumption was identified for the intervention group as a whole. Stratified analyses showed the intervention had a significant effect on reducing the frequency of binge drinking among those with the highest consumption.
Compared to many other studies on alcohol education, some results on behaviour were found when performing stratified analyses. The employees with the highest alcohol consumption, although not labelled high consumers, reduced the frequency of binge drinking. It is difficult to speculate whether these results can be generalized to other working populations. The results have to be compared with more direct methods of reaching risk consumers, such as screening and brief interventions. Knowledge about alcohol and the associated risks of alcohol consumption might facilitate the willingness to seek help sooner.
Like any other discourse, drug policy is imagined and articulated through metaphors. In this article, we explore the metaphors and meanings at work in the current national drug policies of Australia and Sweden. Australia's approach to welfare is usually characterised as liberal-welfarist, emphasising individual difference and 'freedom'. Sweden's approach is usually characterised as social-democratic, universalistic and paternalistic, with an emphasis on social rights, equity and sameness. How do these models of citizenship--difference versus sameness--play out in national drug policies? What are the risks and benefits of these models and the claims they allow? In the textual analysis presented here, we focus on metaphors and meanings relating to the themes of addiction, social exclusion and gender. We choose metaphor as our major analytical tool because we think that the risks and benefits of adopting different models of citizenship in drug policy need to be understood to operate at many levels and with a high degree of subtlety and abstraction. In the cases of addiction and social exclusion, a complicated picture emerges. In Australia, drug users are offered two options: sameness (and reintegration into society) or difference (and re-connection). In Sweden, drug users are excluded from society but not because they are fundamentally different from non-users. Because drug users are understood to be suffering from a temporary and curable personal affliction, the goal is to return them to sameness through care and treatment. With respect to gender, although differently expressed in the two national contexts and differently shaped by national imaginaries, both national policies adopt similar approaches: the unequal treatment of women transcends differences in national setting. Accounts of drug policy usually focus on the degree to which drug policy is, or should be, 'evidence-based', or on the complex political negotiations involving diverse stakeholders and interests. We suggest here another, complementary, perspective: that national imaginaries (i.e. culturally specific metaphors, symbols and beliefs, and national ideologies) shape drug policy in subtle but crucial ways.
The workplace is repeatedly being referred to as an appropriate arena for alcohol prevention and dissemination of information. Whether the pressure on employers to work with prevention is realistic or if these kinds of measures have any potential in real life is however rarely discussed. An alcohol education at a company in Sweden was to be evaluated in terms of effectiveness and this study reports the findings.
The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether an alcohol education program provided to all employees at a company in Stockholm, Sweden had any effect on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related knowledge. The increasing pressure on employers to work with alcohol prevention and on the concurrent problems of implementing and evaluating these types of interventions in real life is reviewed.
Pre- and post-test questionnaires were employed in a quasi-experimental design using a sample of convenience from two companies: one intervention and one control. Data was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA-tests focused on the participants' AUDIT-scores, frequency of binge drinking and alcohol-related knowledge.
Significant improvement in the employees' alcohol-related knowledge was shown, but there were no significant effects on alcohol consumption.
Results of this study confirms most previous findings, but also raises the importance of considering the value of educating all employees and the willingness of employers to initiate preventive measures. Evaluating interventions of this kind is complicated, and it is also difficult to find results showing behavioural change in populations whose alcohol consumption is moderate.