Guide for measuring alcohol outlet density
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Guide for measuring alcohol outlet density

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      Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 88,000 deaths annually

      in the United States, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years, costing the United States $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink. Binge drinking, or four or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more drinks per occasion for men, is responsible for more than half the deaths and three-quarters of the costs caused by excessive drinking. Yet, 9 in 10 adult excessive drinkers are not alcohol-dependent.

      High alcohol outlet density, defined as a high concentration of retail alcohol outlets in a small area, is known to be an environmental risk factor for excessive drinking. To prevent excessive drinking, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends “limiting alcohol outlet density through the use of regulatory authority (e.g., licensing and zoning),” which is based on strong scientific evidence of intervention effectiveness.

      Alcohol outlet density varies widely among states and communities. Therefore, public health surveillance is needed to assess alcohol outlet density and to guide the development of public health interventions for reducing alcohol outlet density. For example, a liquor control agency could use information

      about alcohol outlet density to limit the issuance of new alcohol licenses, or to increase enforcement of liquor laws in a particular area. Information about alcohol outlet density could also be used by local governments to develop zoning regulations to regulate alcohol outlet density. In addition, public health surveillance of alcohol outlet density can be used to evaluate the relationship between exposure to retail alcohol outlets and various alcohol- attributable harms, such as property damage and interpersonal violence, as well as to evaluate the effects of reducing alcohol outlet density on these harmful outcomes.

      Suggested citaiton: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guide for Measuring Alcohol Outlet Density. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2017.



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