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N Z Med J. 2017 May 12;130(1455):102-110.

Increased use of police and health-related services among those with heavy drinkers in their lives in New Zealand.

Author information

1
Senior Researcher, SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, College of Health, Massey University, Auckland.
2
Biostatistician, Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, Wellington.
3
Statistician, SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, College of Health, Massey University, Auckland.
4
Director, SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, College of Health, Massey University, Auckland.

Abstract

AIMS:

To report population estimates of service use because of someone else's drinking in New Zealand, investigate whether greater exposure to heavy drinkers relates to greater service use and examine demographic predictors of such service use.

METHODS:

A general population survey of respondents aged 12-80 years was conducted in New Zealand. The sample size was 3,068 and response rate 64%. Respondents' use of police and health-related services because of someone else's drinking were measured along with self-reports of heavy drinkers in their lives, demographic variables and own drinking.

RESULTS:

Ten percent of New Zealanders reported having called the police at least once in the past 12 months because of someone else's drinking-corresponding to 378,843 New Zealanders making at least one call to police. Almost 7% of the sample, representing 257,613 New Zealanders, reported requiring health-related services at least once for the same reason.

CONCLUSIONS:

There are considerable numbers of New Zealanders requiring intervention from police or health-related services due to the effects of someone else's drinking. Further, increased exposure to heavy drinkers among respondents predicted increased service use. Heavy drinkers place increased burden on police and health-related services, not only because of directly attributable effects but because they impact others.

PMID:
28494482
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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