The STAD in Europe (SiE) project aims to tackle heavy episodic drinking by restricting the availability of alcohol in four drinking environments: licensed premises in nightlife settings; festivals; public environments, such as streets, parks and beaches; and, home settings.
The SiE project involved the development and piloting of interventions designed to tackle heavy episodic drinking in young people, as part of the EU Health Programme, in seven pilot areas across seven countries: Czech Republic, Germany, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The final conference was held in Palma de Mallorca on April 3rd and 4th, 2019. The conference began with opening remarks by Azucena Martí (Delegate of the Government for the Spanish National Plan on Drugs), Francisca Bibiloni (Coordinator of the Balearic Islands Plan on Drugs), Mercè Borràs (Counciller of Social Rights and Welfare, Municipality of Palma) and Montse Juan (IREFREA). They highlighted the need to prevent minors’ access to alcohol and risky alcohol use among young people, by enhancing the need to implement evidence-based programmes and actively engage communities in their implementation.
Introduction to the STAD model and to the SiE project
The first presentation was an introduction to the STAD model. Johanna Gripenberg (STAD, Karolinska Institutet) described the STAD model and its results throughout its implementation since 1996 in Sweden. The STAD model aims to reduce violent crime in the nightlife setting and to decrease alcohol-related problems at licensed premises by reducing service of alcohol to intoxicated and underaged guests. Moreover, the model follows three components or prevention strategies: community mobilization, Responsible Beverage Service training (RBS) and control measures and enforcement.
The main results of the model are:
- 29% decrease of violent crimes in nightlife area
- Increased compliance of legal age limit for serving alcohol from 55% (1996) to 93% (2013) and increased compliance of denying intoxicated patrons from 5% (1996) to 80% (2016)
- Cost-saving ratio of 1:39
Lotte Voorham (TRIMBOS) presented the SiE project, which started in 2016, with the objective of translating the STAD approach to different settings at a European level. The pilot interventions took place in 7 cities (Kiel, Kranj, Wrexham, Valmez, Stockholm, Palma and Rotterdam) and were grouped in four settings: festivals, nightlife premises, home and public settings. Based on the results of all pilot experiences, an evaluation report and a manual have been produced, now available at the project’s website (http://stadineurope.eu/).
Presentation of the pilot experiences in the four-implementation settings
First, Ladislav Csémy (NIPH, pilot area: Valmez) and Matej Kosir (UTRIP, pilot area: Kranj) presented the results of the implementation of the STAD model in nightlife settings. In Valmez, the test purchases showed higher propensity to check ID in bars with trained staff than in bars without trained staff and student surveys reported an increase in ID check and alcohol purchase refusal in supermarkets and restaurants. In Kranj, the test purchases shown very small changes in refusal of alcohol to underage or pseudo-intoxicated patrons in venues that received full, partial or no intervention.
Second, Tobias Elgan (STAD, Karolinksa Institutet) and Laura Nijkamp (TRIMBOS) shared their experiences in football stadiums (Stockholm) and festivals (Rotterdam), respectively. In both cities, there was an increase of refusal to sell alcohol to pseudo-intoxicated guests inside the stadiums. In addition, the festival staff in Rotterdam reported a decrease in expected difficulties when not serving alcohol and when checking for IDs.
Third, Nadia Butler (LJMU) and Matthis Morgenstern (IFT-Nord) presented the implementation in home settings (Wrexham and Kiel). In Wrexham, the test purchases showed an increase of refusal rates to serve alcohol to pseudo-intoxicated guests and nightlife patron surveys pointed out improvements in awareness of alcohol legislation. In Kiel, the parent surveys shown an increase of parents following alcohol rules.
Lastly, Mariàngels Duch (IREFREA) presented the pilot intervention in public spaces of Palma. The propensity of supermarket staff to check ID and to refuse selling alcohol to minors was quite low and breathalyser tests reported high BrAC levels among botellón attendees. The data collated has facilitated the engagement of main supermarket chains and staff training and post-test data to evaluate changes will be undertaken in the following months.
Each pilot experience had been summarised in a poster format and presented during the conference and are available here.
Presentation of the SiE project evaluation
Presentation of the SiE manual
Zara Quigg (LJMU) explained the process and outcome evaluation of the pilot interventions. The presentation of the STAD in Europe Evaluation Report reported that the STAD model has the potential to be transferred across different alcohol drinking settings in Europe, particularly across commercial drinking settings. Moreover, the presence of supporting alcohol legislation, cultures that are supportive of preventing harmful alcohol use and related harms, and multi-agency working could facilitate the development, implementation and potential success of a STAD-based intervention.
Lotte Voorham (TRIMBOS) presented the STAD in Europe: A manual for communities preventing alcohol related harm, which offers an introduction on the STAD approach. It also includes practical guidelines on how to conduct a needs assessment, how to establish partnerships, how to develop a RBS training, how to assess type of enforcement strategy needed and how to monitor, evaluate and adapt the programme.
Discussion panels on community mobilisation, enforcement and RBS training
On the second day of the conference, Gregor Burkhart (EMCDDA) chaired the discussion panels focused on each component of the STAD model.
The first panel on Community mobilisation gathered representatives from Stockholm, Valmez, Rotterdam and Palma (Johanna Gripenberg, Alena Stritezska, Geert Bruinen and Catalina Trobat). It was said that partners’ existing relationships with key stakeholders and municipalities are beneficial in the set up and implementation of the intervention. Other partners who had to create multi-agency partnerships, the community mobilisation took longer. The importance of the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the intervention design was also highlighted to ensure community mobilisation.
The second panel had representatives from Stockholm, Rotterdam and Wrexham discussing RBS training (Johanna Gripenberg, Nassim Caspillo, Julien Geschiere and Alison Watkins). Engaging the target group in training was a common barrier across pilot interventions. For all intervention settings, training was not mandatory for the target group to attend as part of their profession or role. The panel discussed the experienced difficulties and the strategies used to overcome them.
The last panel on Enforcement had representatives from Stockholm, Kranj, Rotterdam and Wrexham (Patrick Widell, Tomislav Omejec, Julien Geshiere and Ann Williams). Barriers to implementation of an enforcement component differed across pilot sites. A lack of national legislation relevant to the drinking setting and aims of the intervention complicated the conceptualisation and implementation of enforcement.
Mark Bellis (Bangor University) summarised the conference. He described the effects of alcohol use in nightlife and related risk behaviours, how ways of entertainment are changing and the duty of care in nightlife, emphasizing that a drunk adult should not be an easy target for the industry. Mark pointed out the close link between alcohol consumption and violent incidents in nightlife, as well as the relation between alcohol use and perceived safety for patrons through their night out (going out, in a club and going home). He also remarked the shift from going out to home entertainment, signalling that offering a drunken night out is not enough to compete with online providers. Many people do not drink but still want to socialise. Safety and entertainment should be part of it.
Catalina Trobat (Coordinator of Social Rights and Welfare, Municipality of Palma) provided the closing remarks and acknowledgements, and stated the Municipality of Palma’s commitment to further develop the implementation of the STAD model.