This study aims (1) to describe the context of drinking among adolescents with acute alcohol intoxication (AAI) by gender, (2) to explore temporal changes in the context of drinking and (3) to analyse the association between the context of drinking and blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A retrospective chart review of 12- to 17-year-old inpatients with AAI (n = 1441) of the years 2000 to 2006 has been conducted in five participating hospitals in Germany. Gender differences in the context of drinking were tested with t test and chi2 test. Differences over time were analysed using logistic regressions. Multivariate linear regression was used to predict BAC. Girls and boys differed in admission time, drinking situation, drinking occasion and admission context. No temporal changes in drinking situation and in admission to hospital from public locations or places were found. Higher BAC coincided with male gender and age. Moreover, BAC was higher among patients admitted to hospital from public places and lower among patients who drank for coping.
Conclusion: The results suggest gender differences in the context of drinking. The context of drinking needs to be considered in the development and implementation of target group-specific prevention and intervention measures. What is known: • The context of drinking, e.g. when, where, why and with whom is associated with episodic heavy drinking among adolescents. What is new: • Male and female inpatients with acute alcohol intoxication differ with regards to the context of drinking, i.e. in admission time, drinking situation, drinking occasion and admission context. • Being admitted to hospital from public places is associated with higher blood alcohol concentration.
Keywords: Acute alcohol intoxication; Adolescence; Context of drinking; Episodic heavy drinking; Inpatient treatment.