Skip to main content

Deliberate induction of alcohol tolerance: empirical introduction to a novel health risk

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

ABSTRACT Aims 

Alcohol tolerance is a hallmark indicator of alcohol dependence. Even so, the allure of peers' admiration for having the ability to drink heavily may lead some adolescents and young adults to practice, or ‘train’, to increase their tolerance (particularly at US colleges, where heavy drinking is highly prevalent and central to the social culture). This is a potential health hazard that has not been documented empirically. Thus, we initiated a study of tolerance ‘training’ and its association to risky and heavy drinking. Design, setting and participants 

A cross-sectional online survey of 990 college student life-time drinkers at a large Midwestern US university. Findings 

Of the sample, 9.9% (n = 97) reported deliberately ‘training’ to increase tolerance. On average, they reported increasing from approximately seven to 10 US standard drinks in a night prior to ‘training’ to 12–15 drinks at the end of ‘training,’ over approximately 2–3 weeks' duration. Although the proportion of frequent binge drinking among ‘non-trainers’ (34.4%) was similar to national rates, ‘trainers’ were much more likely to be frequent bingers (76.3%; OR = 6.15). Conclusions 

A number of students report deliberately inducing alcohol tolerance, probably directly increasing the risk for alcohol poisoning and other acute harms and/or dependence. This phenomenon might additionally be applicable to other populations, and deserves further study and attention as a potential personal and public health risk. Prevention efforts might aim to reduce the perceived importance of heavy-drinking abilities.

Keywords: Alcohol dependence; heavy drinking; symptom; tolerance; training

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03042.x

Publication date: 2010-10-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more