Young people who live in areas where there is a higher number of liquor stores are more vulnerable to incurring personal injuries. This is one of the findings of a study that will be published in the November 2008 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
The study is a joint venture between the University of California – LA and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. It is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and was conducted by Bridget Freisthler, an assistant professor at the UCLA Department of Social Welfare, and her colleagues.
According to Freisthler’s study , communities that have a lot of liquor stores are leaving their children open to the possibility of injury in many ways. “First, the greater densities of off-premise alcohol outlets may increase the frequency of drinking among parents at home, undermining their ability to adequately supervise their children’s activities. Second, greater densities may increase the number of people who travel in and out of the neighborhood to shop or dine at restaurants, making it more difficult for residents to know who lives in the area and who is just conducting business there. Thus, other adults in the area may be less likely to intervene when they see unsupervised children playing.”
To date, childhood injuries is one of the most prevalent issues that the United States has to contend with. Surveys record more than 12,000 deaths among children between the ages one and 14 in 2001. The studies found that injury was the leading cause of young deaths.
Freisthler further pointed out that disorganized neighborhoods are unable to address the issue of the prevalence of alcohol outlets and this poses a threat to their people. The area becomes more physically dangerous.
The researchers hope that their study will encourage people and communities to look at how liquor stores and commercial sources of alcohol can affect them and their children in particular. This is but one of the many studies that are being conducted to prove that alcohol accessibility has a great influence on a community’s health, safety and welfare.
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