Thursday, January 29, 2009

More alcohol outlets bad for prevention efforts

This week, there have been many reports in local media about the Governor's proposal to increase the number of state-run alcohol outlets in our state as a way to generate state revenue during these hard economic times. (Here is one from the Post Intelligencer.)

What never gets discussed is how this would impact underage drinking prevention. For instance, research shows that:
  • outlet density is correlated with heavy drinking particularly among underage students and students who pick up drinking in college;
  • the amount of law enforcement against underage purchases and the number of outlets where youth can buy alcohol are the biggest determinants of underage drinking.
State policy does affect prevention efforts locally. Would more liquor stores in our community be a good thing?

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