Finns most often use alcohol at home with their families or alone

Finns are most likely to drink alcohol at home without outside company – either as a family or alone. These situations account for 54% of all alcohol consumption.

Alcohol consumption with family was the most common situation for both men and women, but alcohol consumption alone at home was significantly more common for men than for women (23% and 8% respectively).

“The good news is that the amount of alcohol consumed on these occasions was on average quite small. But overall, the amount still accounts for 40% of all alcohol consumed by Finns, and is therefore central to the long-term effects of alcohol,” says Tomi Lintonen, Research Director at the Alcohol Research Foundation (Alkoholitutkimussäätiö).

Alcohol consumption data are available from the Drinking Patterns Survey, which was conducted in 2000, 2008 and 2016. A total of 21 100 Finnish drinking occasions have been included in the analyses, of which 6 700 from 2016.

Older and middle-aged people are much more likely than young people to drink alcohol at home without outside company

Heavy drinking and partying late into the night were more clearly associated with age compared to other drinking situations: 25% of drinking occasions were of this nature among young adults, compared with less than half a per cent among the elderly. Older and middle-aged people, on the other hand, were much more likely than young people to drink alcohol at home without outside company.

Party drinking accounted for only 7% of all alcohol consumption, but 30% of all binge drinking. They accounted for 19% of all alcohol consumed. For those who drank frequently, partying and drinking with a group of men or women were more common.

Alcohol consumption in the home among families increased in the early 2000s

Alcohol consumption increased sharply in Finland in the early 2000s. The main explanation for this change is that alcohol consumption in the home without outside family company became more common. For men, alcohol consumption alone at home increased. After 2008, the decline in alcohol consumption and harm is explained by a decrease in the number of parties.

“To prevent alcohol-related harm, it is essential that people drink more moderately at parties and replace some alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. In terms of disease and alcoholism risks, however, frequent and repeated consumption of alcohol at home is essential, even if the amounts consumed per occasion are small,” says Pia Mäkelä, Research Professor at THL.

Source: THL