Low response (LR) to alcohol is a risk factor that strongly predicts later problems. This study compares subjective measures of high tolerance (HT) to measures of LR, using the Self-Rating of Effects of Alcohol (SRE) form. First-year heavy drinking students (N = 250) at an all-male college completed a survey during a mandatory class that included the SRE, past month peak consumption, 2-week heavy episodic use, family history, self-reported high tolerance, and whether it takes more alcohol to become impaired compared to others. The SRE identified LR for 96.7% of those reporting HT and 100% of those reporting both HT and that it takes comparatively more alcohol to become impaired. The measure of HT correlated more with heavy drinking than did that of LR (peak of 14.5 drinks and 4.3 occasions of heavy episodic drinking vs. 12.6 and 3.7) whereas those identified as not LR drank less than those who reported no HT (peak of 6.1 drinks and 1.3 occasions of heavy episodic drinking vs. 9.6 and 2.4). Those reporting uncertainty about HT averaged peaks of 10 drinks and 3.13 occasions of heavy episodic drinking; 73.6% scored LR on the SRE. These data suggest that, at least in a heavy drinking group, the SRE may be most effective as a selected follow-up to an initial two-question screening. Self-reporting a high tolerance provides as much information as the 12-question SRE and is associated with heavier use. The SRE may provide corrective feedback to those who report uncertainty about HT or who give conflicting responses to the two screening questions.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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