The pilot intervention in Wrexham, United Kingdom will focus on reducing drinking by young people in private environments, specifically preloading drinking behaviour – the consumption of alcohol in the home prior to entering nightlife settings.
The needs assessment carried out in Wrexham involved an assessment of key local issues relating to alcohol consumption amongst young people in private settings by the local SiE pilot site multi-agency steering group. Studies from elsewhere in the UK have shown particularly high levels of preloading among young people in nightlife settings. In Wrexham, information on young people’s preloading drinking behaviour, including prevalence and the amount of alcohol consumed, is not currently available. However, anecdotal evidence from a range of partners involved in the steering group suggests that the prevalence is high and the behaviour is associated with a range of issues in Wrexham’s nightlife area. Local stakeholders reported that many young people enter Wrexham’s nightlife already excessively intoxicated (presumed to be a result of preloading) – a concern for both on-licensed retailers and partners tasked with managing the nightlife area and preventing alcohol-related harm.
Thus the pilot intervention currently being developed will have two primary aims: to reduce alcohol consumption in the home environment prior to entering Wrexham’s nightlife; and, to reduce alcohol-related harm in Wrexham’s nightlife. To achieve these aims the intervention will focus on raising awareness of the harms associated with preloading and excessive drinking behaviour amongst young people; reducing the acceptability of drunkenness in nightlife; increasing nightlife user and bar staff awareness of the UK laws around the sale of alcohol to, and the purchasing of alcohol for, drunks; and, reducing the propensity of bar staff to sell alcohol to intoxicated individuals in Wrexham’s nightlife. The intervention will be modelled on the STAD programme and similar programmes implemented in other parts of England and Wales (Drink Less Enjoy More; Quigg et al, 2015; 2016). The pilot intervention implementation is due to commence in 2017.