The findings of a recent study has urged renewed efforts by neighborhood activists in Boston to keep alcohol out of the reach of minors and vulnerable groups of individuals. This according to a report by the Boston Globe.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota surveyed ten cities in the state including Boston and found that alcohol, particularly malt liquor, has become more accessible to minors and poor, black communities.
Another report published by the Medical Foundation called on activists to participate in efforts geared at promoting awareness about the increased availability of alcohol outlets as well as advertising campaigns that seem to target the youth and these vulnerable communities. The Medical Foundation is a research funding group based in Boston that has financed various health-related research to address various types of medical issues including drug and alcohol abuse.
The organization’s report “found 1,182 alcohol beverage licensees in Boston, with neighborhoods like Dorchester and Allston-Brighton topping the list with 104 and 80, respectively.”
Teen subjects from Dorchester found that 164 advertisements when they visited fifty of the 104 liquor stores. Commonly known as package stores or packys, these outlets, according to the foundation, have a high influence on the prevalence of underage drinking, youth alcohol abuse and youth violence.
According to Boston’s Licensing Board chairman Daniel Pokaski, his office has already denied licensing applications in areas that are already considered saturated. The state of Massachusetts has also provided an $80,000 budget per year for a period of three years to 31 communities so they can better determine the prevalence of underage drinking in their neighborhoods. The budget is also allocated for creating strategies that will resolve the issue.
“Clearly, the liquor stores are something that we need to address,” says Boston’s Project RIGHT community coordinator Michael Kozu. “they really impact… a lot of folks who are drunk, disorderly and cause disruption for people going to and from work and to school.”
In response to the complaints about how liquor stores affect youth alcohol abuse, Bob Selby of the Massachusetts Package Stores Association said, “The liquor stores take a lot of beating for a lot of underage drinking but most of it comes from the parents.”
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