Alcohol sales and drugs

Chatting with my friend Bc I mentioned our neighborhood woes regarding the liquor stores in Truxton. Bc works for a nonprofit (in the sense that they lose money) that works with health data and apparently one of his co-workers has a couple of papers on the relationship between alcohol sales and drug activity.
So if you happen to be in or near a university or medical library check out the following:

Freisthler, B.; LaScala, E.A.; Gruenewald, P.J.; Treno, A.J., An examination of drug activity: Effects of neighborhood social organization on the development of drug distribution systems. Substance Use & Misuse, 40(5):671-686, 2005. [with P.J. Gruenewald and A.J. Treno of PRC].

Abstract: Objective: The ability to determine the geographic locations of illicit drug markets is central to the development of preventive interventions that address access to drugs and associated problems, such as violence and crime. Method: The current study examined individual self-reports of drug activities and demographic information obtained from two waves of a telephone survey of 1,704 individuals aged 15 to 29 conducted in 1999 and 2001 across 95 census tracts in a Northern California city and measures of neighborhood characteristics derived from Census 2000 measures. Results: The results of the study showed that, at the individual level, younger people and male respondents reported most drug activities. At the aggregate level, neighborhood poverty was directly related to higher rates of drug activity. Residential stability was found to moderate reports of drug activity observed by African-Americans and young people. Conclusion: Social processes reflected in neighborhood characteristics of census tracts influence rates of self-reports of individuals’ exposures to drug activities.


Freisthler, B.; Gruenewald, P.J.; Johnson, F.W.; Treno, A.J.; and LaScala, E.A. “An exploratory study examining the spatial dynamics of illicit drug availability and rates of drug use,” Journal of Drug Education, 35(1):15-27, 2005. [with P.J. Gruenewald, F.W. Johnson, and A.J. Treno of PRC/Berkeley]

This study examines the spatial relationship between drug availability and rates of drug use in neighborhood areas. Responses from 16,083 individuals were analyzed at the zip code level (n = 158) and analyses were conducted separately for youth and adults using spatial regression techniques. The dependent variable is the percentage of respondents using drugs in the past year. Neighborhood drug availability (the major independent variable) was measured by the percentage of non-drug users who had been approached to purchase drugs. Data were obtained as part of the Fighting Back community evaluation. For youth (aged 12 to 18), drug sales in adjacent and surrounding areas were positively associated with self-reported drug use in areas where youth were residents. For adults, drug sales within the neighborhood were negatively associated with drug use, while drug sales in immediately adjacent neighborhoods were positively related to self-reports of drug use. Findings suggest that the areas where rates of drug users are greatest are not necessarily the same area where drugs are sold. Designing strategies to reduce the supply of drugs should receive input from city and regional planners and developers, as well as law enforcement and public health professionals.

One thought on “Alcohol sales and drugs”

  1. On the surface, alcohol only harms the individual, and thus is not subject to prohibition. However, drinking and driving does cause harm to others, so alcohol is subject to regulation. Also, giving the overwhelming danger of this activity, it certainly should be banned.
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