Young People and Alcohol

​Fredskild TU, Aggestrup AS. 

J. Addict Behav Ther 2:2. January 16, 2018. 


Young Danish people have higher alcohol consumption and an earlier onset of alcohol than young people in other European countries. The aim of this study was to examine how nurses act when they meet these young people in the Emergency admission/ emergency ward and to gain insight into how they deal with this group of patients. Patient involvement and prevention is standing out distinctly in the Danish healthcare system as methods to help for instance these patients gain control in relation to their health. Patient involvement and prevention was therefore the main issues in this study. The focus was to get insight into if patient involment is used as a method to help these young patients admitted to the hospitals with an alcohol related primary diagnose so that they gain competences to prevent and to act upon their drinking habits.

The study is designed with semi structured qualitative interviews.

A qualitative search method was conducted, and the study employs a Poul Ricoeur inspired analysis method.

The findings appear in the form of four themes:

- The Danish alcohol culture

- Two different categories: "overuse" versus "abuse"

- Acute medical and treatment-oriented perspective and

- Lack of knowledge and education.

In this paper, only the first two themes are presented. Bourdieu's habitus concept and capital concept is used to give understanding to nurse's conscious and unconscious behaviour patterns.

The study contributes new knowledge: Nurses do not focus on involvement and prevention of the alcohol overuse of adolescents because they grew up in a culture where a large alcohol intake is normal, and alcohol is therefore a part of their cultural habitus. Nurses only experience a problem,

when patients have an alcohol abuse. Thus, the patients are divided into two categories, and social capital plays an essential role in this categorization and is crucial regarding nursing intervention. 

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