By emphasizing the advantages of reducing the amount of alcohol consumed, awareness campaigns are more effective than traditional approaches that warn of the risks of excess drinking, says a study conducted at the University of Sussex.
The research was published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.
The research found that university students had a higher likelihood of reducing their overall drinking levels if they focused on the benefits, such as more money and better health.
Students also exhibited a low likelihood of binge drinking if they imagined strategies of achieving non-drinking status, such as being direct but polite when refusing a drink, of deciding to spend time with friends having the same goal.
Dr. Dominic Conroy said researchers focused on students because, in the UK, they are the group most likely to drink heavily compared to their non-student peers of the same age. Furthermore, people are more lenient towards students with regard to drinking.
“Our research contributes to existing health promotion advice, which seeks to encourage young people to consider taking ‘dry days’ yet does not always indicate the range of benefits nor suggest how non-drinking can be more successfully ‘managed’ in social situations,” Conroy added.