Developing a profile of alcohol consumption patterns of police officers in a large scale sample of an Australian police service

Davey, Jeremy D., Obst, Patricia L., & Sheehan, Mary C. (2000) Developing a profile of alcohol consumption patterns of police officers in a large scale sample of an Australian police service. European Addiction Research, 6, pp. 205-212.

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The current study aimed to examine the prevalence of alcohol use within a large sample (n = 4193) of Australian police offers. Prevalence and at risk behaviour was measured through the use of a self report survey containing the AUDIT [1] and standard frequency and quantity questions. Results indicated that although police did not report drinking with high frequency when compared to the national statistics, they did drink in far greater quantities. Further both males and females in the police sample reported high rates of binge drinking. The 18 to 25 year old age group reported the highest levels of frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed. Twenty -five percent of officers reported having drunk whilst on duty. An alarming proportion of the sample (30%) scored in the "at risk of harmful consumption" category on the AUDIT while a further 3% scored in the "alcohol dependant" category. Examination of demographic variables revealed that males, 18 to 35 year olds, those divorced or separated, constables, operational personnel, and officers who have served between 4 to 10 years were the groups most likely to fall in the risk category on the AUDIT. This was similar for the alcohol dependant category except that males and females were equally likely to fall in this category. In conclusion a significant number of police officers displayed at risk alcohol consumption behaviour, in comparison to earlier studies this proportion is not decreasing. Interventions and education programs are needed within the police workplace, particularly in regards to the dangers of binge drinking for females and youth.

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23 citations in Scopus
16 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 4685
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Police, Alcohol Consumption, Demographic Influences
DOI: 10.1159/000052047
ISSN: 1022-6877
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Karger
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:33

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