Background: Risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD) is a prevalent and potentially harmful alcohol use pattern associated with increased alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, RSOD is commonly associated with a higher level of alcohol intake, and most studies have not controlled for drinking volume (DV). Thus, it is unclear whether the findings provide information about RSOD or DV. This study sought to investigate the independent and combined effects of RSOD and DV on AUD. Methods: Data were collected in the longitudinal Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors (C-SURF) among 5598 young Swiss male alcohol users in their early twenties. Assessment included DV, RSOD, and AUD at two time points. Generalized linear models for binomial distributions provided evidence regarding associations of DV, RSOD, and their interaction. Results: DV, RSOD, and their interaction were significantly related to the number of AUD criteria. The slope of the interaction was steeper for non/rare RSOD than for frequent RSOD. Conclusions: RSOD appears to be a harmful pattern of drinking, associated with increased AUD and it moderated the relationship between DV and AUD. This study highlighted the importance of taking drinking patterns into account, for both research and public health planning, since RSO drinkers constitute a vulnerable subgroup for AUD.
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