A new study shows that living in poor, “disorganized” neighborhoods matters more when looking at how much alcohol a person drinks than their proximity to bars or stores that sell booze.
The link between poverty and alcoholism is established. But the new research out of the University of Washington throws quality of life into the mix.
“Is there something about the neighborhood itself that can lead to problems?” posed Isaac Rhew, a co-author of the study, and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology . “As we learn more about those neighborhood factors that are relevant, then this might point to strategies to improve the environments where people live.”
The researchers believe that putting programs in place to fix this “disorganization,” which includes crime, drugs and graffiti, can deter lawbreaking, physically clean-up the streets and help a neighborhood afflicted with problem drinking.
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