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Communities Containing More Alcohol Outlets Show Increased Underage Alcohol Access
Date:5/21/2009

ent assaults and injuries related to accidents and assaults.

"If you think about how young people drink - typically with groups of friends - a small number of risk-takers can buy the alcohol at a store and supply it to many underage drinkers," Dr. Gruenewald said.

Youth who reported drinking in the past 12 months were asked how often they acquired alcohol through various sources. Consistent with previous research, the study found only a small proportion of respondents reported buying alcohol themselves. Instead they obtained alcohol primarily through social contacts such as parents, other family members or friends. Despite this fact, after controlling for individual characteristics and median household income for that ZIP code, all types of alcohol access - direct purchase, shoulder tapping, home/family members, and underage acquaintances - were higher in ZIP codes with greater alcohol outlet densities. This association was not significant for getting alcohol from of-age acquaintances.

"These findings show that high alcohol outlet densities in the community allow underage youth to get alcohol from various sources - not just by buying it themselves," said Dr. Meng-Jinn Chen, lead author of the study. Dr. Gruenewald and Dr. Chen emphasized the important message from this study is that having many alcohol outlets in a community creates an environment where alcohol is easy to obtain - whether buying it from friends or family.

About The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation:

The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) is one of the nation's preeminent independent, nonprofit organizations merging scientific knowledge and proven practice to improve the health and safety of communities around the world. PIRE conducts research and evaluation and provides training and technical assistance on a wide range of public health and safety issues.


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SOURCE The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
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