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Young Australians Alcohol Reporting System (YAARS)

image - YAARS Project
Tags:
Date Commenced:
09/2012
Expected Date of Completion:
Ongoing
Project Supporters:

The National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, with funding from the Australian Government under the Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvement Grants Fund.

Drug Type:
Project Members: 
image - Richard Mattick
Honorary Visiting Professor
Ph 02 9385 0333
image - Lucy Burns Square 0
Associate Professor Lucinda Burns
Honorary Associate Professor
image - IMG 0009 1
Senior Research Officer
Ph 02 93850111
Project Main Description: 

This project is being led by the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University.

There is ongoing public and political concern in relation to alcohol consumption among young people. The Australian Government has committed to preventing and intervening in intoxicated behaviour, especially among those under 18. In order to effectively respond to risky drinking among young people, we need enhanced information about the nature, patterns and contexts of use. By engaging with young people and ensuring their input, this can assist us to direct policy, prevention and treatment efforts.

This project will develop an approach that will be implemented nationally. It will combine information from existing data sources with annual data gathering, targeting at‐risk young people (14‐19 years old) to provide:

  • an early warning system on risky patterns of alcohol consumption, contexts of use and related harms that will also allow tracking of changes in use and harm over time; and,
  • timely information on patterns of use and related problems to inform policy, prevention and treatment initiatives.
Project Collaborators: External: 

WA (national coordinators): Prof. Steve Allsop, Dr Tina Lam, Prof. Simon Lenton, Prof. Tanya Chikritzhs, Dr Wenbin Liang, Mr William Gilmore (National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University)

VIC: Prof. Dan Lubman, Assoc/Prof Belinda Lloyd (Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Monash University)

TAS: Assoc/Prof Raimondo Bruno (School of Psychology, University of Tasmania)

SA: Prof. Ann Roche (National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University)

ACT: Ms Helene Delany, Mr Philip Hull (ACT Health)

NT: Prof. Richard Midford (Charles Darwin University & the Menzies School of Health Research)

QLD: Prof. Rosa Alati (School of Public Health, University of QLD)

Rationale: 

There are currently two national surveys that collect data about drinking among young people, additional surveys at a more local/jurisdictional level (e.g. The Young Drug Reporting System in Victoria) as well as other sources that provide information on young people’s drinking, e.g. alcohol related hospital and emergency department data and police data.

However there are several limitations to these:

  • They are not conducted annually, limiting the ability to detect trends over time and act as an ‘early warning system’.
  • Much drinking by young people might be considered a “hidden behaviour” and as such is often excluded or under-represented in mainstream data collection.
  • The available data generally provide little insight into the nature/context of, location of and consequences of young people’s drinking; and,
  • There is little or no consolidation of the various sources of information about young people’s drinking and associated harm.

The establishment of a young Australians alcohol reporting system will overcome these limitations and enable effective responses to and analysis of efforts to tackle risky drinking.

Aims: 

To trial a young Australians alcohol reporting system in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales targeting young people (16‐19 years old) who are engaged in risky drinking. The project will combine information from existing data sources with annual data gathering to provide:

  • an early warning system on risky patterns of alcohol consumption, contexts of use and related harms that will also allow tracking of changes in use and harm over time; and,
  • timely information on patterns of use and related problems to inform policy, prevention and treatment initiatives.
Design and Method: 
  • Establishment of an advisory group, including young people

  • Review of all data sources on young people’s drinking, both within Australia and overseas
  • Development of reporting system. The program will collect information on such areas as
    • patterns of alcohol use
    • what they drink
    • where the alcohol is obtained/from whom
    • risks taking gaining alcohol and while drinking/intoxicated
    • influences on drinking and risk taking
    • parental influences on drinking behaviour
    • other drugs used while drinking alcohol; and
    • influences on low risk drinking as opposed to high risk drinking.

Round 1 (2013)

  • Recruitment: participants will be recruited using similar methods to the existing Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS). The aim is to target 16‐19 year old people with higher levels of risky drinking in the transition from ‘underage’ to legal alcohol‐purchase age. We aim to recruit 400 respondents: 100 each from NSW, VIC, WA, and 100 from a rural location. 20 of each 100 will be randomly selected for more detailed qualitative interviews. Data will also be gathered via an internet questionnaire using snowball approaches (in addition to the sample of 400).
  • Pilot of program: It is proposed the System be implemented using the network of staff involved in the IDRS/EDRS. We plan to gather data during the period October‐February, a potential high risk period of alcohol consumption for young people.
  • Refinement of System based on pilot.
  • Collate System information with existing data from other sources to produce final report.

Round 2 (2016)

  • Recruitment: participants will be recruited using similar methods to the existing Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS). The aim is to target 14‐19 year old people with higher levels of risky drinking in the transition from ‘underage’ to legal alcohol‐purchase age. We aim to recruit 100 respondents from each state and territory (NSW, VIC, WA, TAS, SA, NT, ACT and QLD) and 100 from a rural location (Bunbury, WA). Data will also be gathered via an internet questionnaire using snowball approaches (in addition to the sample of 400).
  • The research aims were to identify:
    • High risk drinking practices and alcohol-related harms not otherwise recorded in existing data;
    • Factors contributing to, or mitigating the experience of acute and chronic alcohol-related harms amongst  this  group  through  a  detailed  account  of  the most  recent  risky  drinking  session  (recognising the episodic nature of much drinking by young people);
    • Triangulation  of  project  findings  with  other  relevant  data  to  provide  a  summary  of  current  drinking patterns, factors that influence these patterns of drinking and related problems amongst young Australians; and,
    • Strategies  that  can  target  and  enhance  effective  prevention  and  other  responses  to  alcohol-related harm among young people.
Progress/Update: 

Round 1 (2013): Three hundred and seventy-six quantitative interviews and 70 qualitative interviews were completed across four jurisdictions (Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Bunbury, WA). To monitor trends in risky drinking amongst young people, the study aimed to collect data on the heaviest drinking 20-25% of 16-19 year olds. The young people interviewed regularly drank at high risk levels (more than 6 standard drinks per occasion at least twice a month for females and 16-17 year old males and more than 10 standard drinks per occasion at least twice a month for 18-19 year old males). A number of peer reviewed articles have been published based on this data.

 

  • Round 2 (2016-17): Face to face interviews were conducted with 596 participants and 2,869 online surveys completed from all jurisdictions. The data obtained from this young sample highlight how consumption  within  private  locations  is  the  norm,  and  how  quantities  are  consumed  at  levels  well  beyond what is considered risky for adults.  The  proposed  aims  and  outcomes  were  achieved  through  the  demonstration  of  an  effective  methodology for accessing an otherwise difficult to reach population, and in exploring key drinking issues specific to this group. Publication of this work is ongoing.
Output: 

Lam, T., Lenton, S., Chikritzhs, T., Gilmore, W., Liang, W., Pandzic, I., Ogeil, R., Faulkner, A., Lloyd, B., Lubman, D., Aiken, A., Burns, L., Mattick, R., ACT Health, Olsen, A., Bruno, R., De Angelis, O., Roche, A., Fischer, J., Trifonoff, A., Midford, R., Salom, C., Alati, R., Allsop, S. (2017) Young Australians’ Alcohol Reporting System (YAARS): National Report 2016/17. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

Lam T; Ogeil RP; Fischer J; Midford R; Lubman DI; Gilmore W; Chikritzhs TN; Liang W; Lenton SR; Aiken A; Allsop S, 2019, 'Alcohol supply as a favour for a friend: Scenarios of alcohol supply to younger friends and siblings', Health Promotion Journal of Australia, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hpja.264

Lam T; Ogeil RP; Allsop S; Chikritzhs T; Fischer J; Midford R; Gilmore W; Lenton S; Liang W; Lloyd B; Aiken A; Mattick R; Burns L; Lubman DI, 2018, 'Insomnia and regulation of sleep-wake cycle with drugs among adolescent risky drinkers', Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, vol. 14, pp. 1529 - 1537, http://dx.doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.7330

Aiken A; Lam T; Gilmore W; Burns L; Chikritzhs T; Lenton S; Lloyd B; Lubman D; Ogeil R; Allsop S, 2018, 'Youth perceptions of alcohol advertising: Are current advertising regulations working?', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 42, pp. 234 - 239, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12792

Wilson J; Ogeil RP; Lam T; Lenton S; Lloyd B; Burns L; Aiken A; Gilmore W; Chikritzhs T; Mattick R; Lubman DI; Allsop S, 2018, 'Re-thinking pre-drinking: Implications from a sample of teenagers who drink in private settings', International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 52, pp. 20 - 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.11.024

Lam T; Lenton S; Ogeil R; Burns L; Aiken A; Chikritzhs T; Gilmore W; Lloyd B; Wilson J; Lubman D; Mattick R; Allsop S, 2017, 'Most recent risky drinking session with Australian teenagers', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 41, pp. 105 - 110, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12598

Lam T; Ogeil R; Williams-Wyss O; Young J; Aiken A; Burns L; Chikritzhs T; Gilmore W; Lloyd B; Lubman DI; Mattick RP; Lenton S; Wilson J; Allsop S, 2016, 'SLEEP PROBLEMS AMONGST RISKY DRINKING AUSTRALIAN ADOLESCENTS', DRUG AND ALCOHOL REVIEW, vol. 35, pp. 47 - 47, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000398381500127&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a,

Ogeil RP; Lloyd B; Lam T; Lenton S; Burns L; Aiken A; Gilmore W; Chikritzhs T; Mattick R; Allsop S; Lubman DI, 2016, 'Pre-Drinking Behavior of Young Heavy Drinkers', Substance Use and Misuse, vol. 51, pp. 1297 - 1306, http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2016.1168443

Lam T; Lenton SR; Burns L; Aiken A; Ogeil R; Gilmore WT; Chikritzhs TN; Lloyd B; Lubman DI; Mattick R; Allsop SJ, 2015, 'Alcohol policy impact on young risky drinkers and their support for proposed measures', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 39, pp. 129 - 134, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12326

Benefits: 

This study successfully accessed an at risk sample of young Australian drinkers who were experiencing substantial levels of harm, which have not necessarily been identified in official statistics. Our findings complement existing general population surveys which usually underrepresent this high risk group.

The use of social-media driven recruitment and the mixed methods of both face-to-face interviewing and online surveying allowed for a timely, modest-cost data collection strategy of a typically hard to reach population. If conducted on a regular basis, this system will provide an ‘early warning system’ of current risks and changes in use and related problems that will inform prevention and other interventions targeting young at‐risk drinkers. The system will also contribute to evaluation of the impact of prevention and other interventions to reduce risky drinking among young people.

Project Research Area: 
Drug Type: 
Project Status: 
Completed