Binge Drinking Associations with Patrons’ Risk Behaviors and Alcohol Effects after Leaving a Nightclub: Sex Differences in the "Balada com Ciência" Portal Survey Study in Brazil

Zila M. Sanchez, Karen J. Ribeiro, Gabriela A. Wagner
Plos One
Journal article


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the potential associations of binge drinking detected at the exit of nightclubs and risk behaviors and alcohol effects just after leaving the venue in a representative sample of Brazilian nightclub patrons according to sex. For this purpose, a portal survey study called Balada com Ciência was conducted in 2013 in the megacity of São Paulo, Brazil, using a two-stage cluster sampling survey design. Individual-level data were collected in 2422 subjects at the entrance and 1822 subjects at the exit of 31 nightclubs, and breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) was measured using a breathalyzer. The following day, 1222 patrons answered an online follow-up survey that included questions about risk behaviors and alcohol effects practiced just after leaving the nightclub. Weighted logistic regressions were used to analyze binge drinking associated with risk behaviors by sex. For both sexes, the most prevalent risk behaviors practiced after leaving a nightclub were drinking and driving (men=27.9%; women=20.4%), the use of illicit drugs (men=15.8%; women=9.4%) and risky sexual behavior (men=11.4%; women=6.8%). The practice of binge drinking increased the behavior of illicit drug use after leaving the nightclub by 2.54 times [95% CI: 1.26-5.09] among men who drank and increased the risk of an episode of new alcohol use by 5.80 times [95% CI: 1.50-22.44] among women who drank. Alcoholic blackouts were more prevalent among men [OR=8.92; 95% CI: 3.83-20.80] and women [OR= 5.31; 95% CI: 1.68-16.84] whose BrAC was equivalent to binge drinking compared with patrons with a lower BrAC. Public policies aiming to reduce patrons’ BrAC at the exit of nightclubs, such as staff training in responsible beverage service and legislation to prevent alcohol sales to drunk individuals, would be useful to protect patrons from the risk behaviors associated with binge drinking in nightclubs.