Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CDC provides recommendations about preventing binge drinking

Do you want to know more about the important role public policy, including strongly enforced regulations, play in preventing binge drinking?  Check out this video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are a few slides from the presentation.

As this chart shows, binge drinking is more of a problem associated with affluence than poverty.  In fact, one of the CDC experts in the video stated that poverty is a protective factor when it comes to binge drinking.  This is especially relevant for the community that Prevention WINS serves (NE Seattle) which has an average household income higher than the City average.

Half of high school students who binge drink consume liquor (spirits, hard alcohol) -- this is of particular concern in Washington State since liquor is about to become much more available now that voters approved the privatization of liquor sales.  In NE Seattle, liquor will now be sold in about 25 stores that youth regularly visit.  Previously, 3 stores in NE Seattle sold liquor -- stores that very few youth visited.  

When people hear the phrase "underage drinking prevention", what often comes to mind first are school-based prevention classes and/or after-school activities.  However, underage drinking prevention is also about creating communities in which alcohol is difficult for teenagers to obtain, there are few alcohol advertisements, strict regulations are enforced and people openly acknowledge that underage drinking is not acceptable.  These are examples of "environmental" strategies for prevention.  

I will blog about the environmental strategies, specifically policies, discussed during this CDC presentation in another post later this week.  

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