Pre-drinking: “Chugging cheap alcoholic drinks before heading out to a bar, club, or sporting event.” – “ ‘Pre-drinking’ or ‘Pre-funking’ Common Among Young Alcohol Users,” Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2012. Also called pre-gaming, pre-partying, pre-loading, or frontloading.
Young drinkers’ reasons for pre-drinking include saving money, “getting in the mood,” and “facilitating contacts with potential sexual partners,” according to a new Swiss study to be published in the February 2013 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. It’s risky business, the L.A. Times reports:
Researchers found that when students drank prior to going to a bar or club, they drank more than they would otherwise. On average, pre-drinking students consumed seven drinks, and students who drank only at a bar or event consumed just over four drinks.
The researchers surveyed 183 Swiss adults, with a median age of 23, over five consecutive weeks. They used a recently developed cellphone assessment technique to collect reports. The legal drinking age in Switzerland is 16.
Florian Labhart, one of the study’s authors, was quoted by Science Daily as saying that “pre-drinking has been found in about one third of all on-premise drinking, which is a very high rate.” Pre-drinking rates in the United States may be even higher than that, according to Shannon R. Kenney, a sociology professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles who did not participate in the study. Kenney told Science Daily:
“In fact, due to U.S. legal drinking age requirements, pre-drinking may be most prevalent among underage drinkers in the U.S. … Research shows that underage drinkers may be motivated to pre-drink to achieve a ‘buzz’ or become intoxicated before going to a licensed premise where they cannot legally consume alcohol, such as a bar, club, concert, or sporting event.”
Happy new year! And if you pre-drink, please don’t pre-drive.