BU study highlights the need for more state-level alcohol control laws

BU study highlights the need for more state-level alcohol control laws

Study highlights the prevalence of alcohol use among cancer survivors "Approximately 85% of alcohol-related death is attributable to causes other than impaired driving," Blanchette notes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other major causes include unintentional injuries, violence, liver disease, stroke, hypertension, and several types of cancer. All together, excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths annually. Laws that reduce excessive drinking also have an independent effect of reducing impaired driving." Jason Blanchette, study lead author The researchers developed the Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) in 2014, consulting with experts who nominated and rated the efficacy of 29 state-level alcohol policies with enough consistent data for study. For the new study, Blanchette and colleagues updated the APS and assigned scores to each state and the District of Columbia from 1999 to 2018. They found that 23 states and D.C. improved their rankings in this period (most notably Arizona, Nevada, and D.C., as well as Utah), while scores for 18 states worsened (most notably Delaware, Georgia, and Virginia). In their paper, the researchers provide examples for how Utah could strengthen its alcohol policy environment, including increasing its beer tax and its state-owned liquor store prices, and increasing the number of police officers assigned to alcohol enforcement. Source: Boston University School of Medicine Journal reference: Blanchette, J.G., et al. (2020) Alcohol Policies in U.S. States, 1999–2018. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs . doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2020.81.58 .



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