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Does Where you Live Affect Your Level of Alcohol Use?

Patricia Williams By Patricia Williams, PhD on January 16, 2013

Recent studies suggest that the proximity of your home to a bar may have an impact on your level of alcohol abuse.

A recent study that took place in Finland has found that adults who live close to a bar are more likely to indulge in drinking alcohol on a regular basis. The study found that when an individual moved just a single km close to a bar, their risk of becoming a heavy drinker increased by 17%. The study further defined a “heavy drinker” as a woman who drank 7 ounces of alcohol per week or a man who drank 10 ounces of alcohol per week.

This recent research suggests that alcohol consumption is likely to increase significantly for those who have bars close to their homes. Although this proximity is not the only factor that contributes to an individual’s alcohol abuse, and a bar alone will not “make” you become a heavy drinker, there is validity in the principle that living close to a bar will increase your risk.

Research does further suggest that there could be other factors that contribute to the heavy drinking but in general, those who like to drink and live close to a bar are more likely to drink. Those who live close to a few bars, or a few restaurants that have bars inside are also more likely to drink regularly. Heavy drinking is common among those who live in areas that are littered with bars and the open opportunity to drink more regularly.

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