June 28, 2021
The alarming rise in drug overdoses has been uneven in the U.S., with significant disparities across urban neighborhoods. In a new study, we examine whether the presence of alcohol outlets contributes to neighborhood disparities in drug overdoses, and whether alcohol outlets that sell drug paraphernalia are associated with neighborhood overdose rates.
The study, published in International Journal of Drug Policy, found that each additional off-premise alcohol outlet in a Baltimore City neighborhood was associated with a 16.6% increase in the neighborhood drug overdose rate. Off-premise settings include liquor and package stores and taverns that sell liquor, beer, and wine. In contrast, on-premise alcohol outlets (restaurants, bars, hotels, and entertainment venues) were not significantly associated with the neighborhood overdose rate when off-premise outlets were also present in a neighborhood.