Pre-Drinking' Dangers

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Story Updated: Nov 12, 2012

Having a few drinks -before- going out has become common especially among young people. But a brand new study highlights why this so-called "pre-partying" is such a dangerous problem.

Researchers in Switzerland used the internet and cell phones to follow the drinking habits of 183 adults-all around 23-years-old, Participants were tracked Thursday through Sunday for 5 consecutive weeks.

Nearly 60% reported pre-drinking at least once.

The results, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, showed that pre-drinking did not replace on-site drinking, it just added to it. When the party started early, participants averaged seven drinks over the course of a night. That's compared to 4 drinks during on-site only evenings.

While hangovers topped the list of adverse affects reported by pre-drinkers, the practice was also associated with an increase in several risky behaviors- including unplanned substance abuse, unintended or unprotected sex and blackouts. Researchers say these findings point to the need for educational intervention and prevention strategies.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading, health news for healthier living.

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