Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Liquorlining" is a Bad Idea

New research from the UK (where the drinking age is 18) shows that, as the number of off-premise alcohol outlets in an area increases, the number of people under 18 who end up in the hospital for alcohol-related reasons also increases.  This study adds to the substantial body of research in several countries (including the USA) that high outlet density increases alcohol-related problems (and crime) for all ages.  And there is really nothing at all surprising about this fact, as teen drinking behaviors closely track those of the adults in their families and communities more than anything else.

There is no sound reason to have liquor stores on every corner, and you would think that reducing outlet density (even marginally) would be a top priority at least for the more holier-than-thou members of the pro-21 crowd.  But apparently it is not, and again we are not surprised, as money is the roach of all evil and the hypocrisy of the pro-21 crowd is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

We do not have a "teen drinking problem", we have an American drinking problem which affects all ages.  And it demands real solutions based on real science, not cowardly age discrimination and scapegoating based on junk science.

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