Population Health

July 26, 2017

Neighborhood poverty may impact how much you drink

AlcoholNew research from the University of Washington’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and School of Social Work suggests that improving a neighborhood’s quality of life can play a greater role in reducing problem drinking than does access to bars and stores that sell hard liquor.

UW researchers found that residents of neighborhoods primarily characterized by high poverty and disorganization tended to drink twice as much in a typical week as those in other types of neighborhoods. Binge-drinking occurred in these communities about four times as frequently as in other types of neighborhoods.

This research suggests that implementing programs, services or clean-up efforts to improve a neighborhood could thereby help attain another goal: reducing problem drinking.

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