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The right place at the right time: The social contexts of combined alcohol and energy drink use


Droste, N and Pennay, AE and Lubman, DI and Zinkiewicz, L and Peacock, A and Miller, P, The right place at the right time: The social contexts of combined alcohol and energy drink use, Drugs, 23, (6) pp. 445-456. ISSN 0968-7637 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.3109/09687637.2016.1156650


Aims: Little is known about the social and functional aspects of alcohol mixed with energy drink (AmED) consumption. Using a functional substance use perspective and via the lens of social identity theory, this paper aims to explore the role of AmED consumption amongst the milieu of nightlife and party culture.

Methods: Twenty-five regular AmED consumers aged 1833 participated in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis of transcripts was undertaken, with a focus on the social contexts and perceived functions of AmED consumption, group dynamics and social identity.

Findings: Three main themes were identified: (i) AmED use was restricted to specific social contexts, (ii) AmED use performed a social function and (iii) AmED users identified with a coherent and consistent social identity. AmED use was almost exclusively reported to occur within group drinking scenarios at parties and licensed venues, particularly nightclubs. AmED users identified with a clear and consistent social identity that was distinct from other alcohol consumers, typified by gregarious and extroverted behaviour. AmED use was seen to facilitate these ideals and strengthen group cohesion in appropriate contexts.

Conclusions: Future efforts aiming to elicit changes in AmED consumption practices must account for the fundamental importance of social contexts to AmED use.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:alcohol, decision-making, energy drinks, identity
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Peacock, A (Miss Amy Peacock)
ID Code:114693
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-02-23
Last Modified:2018-03-23

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