Action guide for reducing alcohol outlet density

A new publication, Strategizer 55—Regulating Alcohol Outlet Density: An Action Guide, outlines available evidence-based community prevention strategies shown to decrease the consequences associated with alcohol outlet density, the concentration of bars, restaurants serving alcohol, and liquor and package stores in a given geographic area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Guide to Preventive Services has endorsed reducing alcohol outlet density as an effective strategy for reducing alcohol-related harms.

Developed by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) in partnership with the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the guide provides public health departments, community coalitions and other organizations with information and tools for community action designed to regulate and limit the number of places that serve and sell alcohol.

“Excessive alcohol use is a major concern and limiting the physical availability of alcohol is one of the most effective ways to reduce excessive drinking and its many health and social problems,” said David Jernigan, PhD, the CAMY director and associate professor at the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society. “This action guide shows how people can transform their community so that excessive drinking is the exception, not the rule.”

“Communities with a large concentration of bars and liquor stores pose a risk to both young people and adults, increasing the likelihood for violence or alcohol-impaired driving. Fortunately, we know from research that by limiting the number of alcohol outlets and their proximity to each other we can reduce the many health and social consequences associated with excessive drinking. This new publication—and the corresponding training curricula we’ve built in partnership with CAMY—will give communities the tools they need to craft local strategies that reduce alcohol problems,” said CADCA Chairman and CEO General Arthur T. Dean.

Among the findings in Strategizer 55--Regulating Alcohol Density: An Action Guide are

• Higher concentrations of alcohol outlets in an area are associated with increased alcohol consumption and related harms, such as sexual assault, alcohol-impaired driving, violence, and other neighborhood disruptions.
causes approximately 79,000 deaths per year in the U.S., making it the third-leading cause of preventable death in the nation.
• About 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by underage youth is in the form of binge drinks, defined as five or more drinks in one sitting for men and four or more drinks for women.
• Underage youth who binge drink are at additional risk of poor school performance and interrupted brain development.

“Strategic partnerships between community coalitions and health departments can effectively reduce alcohol outlet density at the local level,” said Jernigan. “People have the power to make their neighborhoods healthier and safer.”

The new outlet density Strategizer and other resources are available on the CAMY website, http://www.camy.org/action/Outlet_Density , and on the CADCA website, at http://www.cadca.org/resources/series/Strategizer .   

Provided by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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