Alcohol Outlets, Drug Paraphernalia Sales, and Neighborhood Drug Overdose

A recent study led by PISC Senior Scholar Elizabeth Nesoff, PhD, MPH, featuring former Trainee Christopher Morrison, PhD, and External Advisory Board Member Charles Branas, PhD, examines the impact alcohol outlet density has on neighborhood drug overdose rates. Moreover, the study examines whether the sale of drug paraphernalia in alcohol outlets exacerbates rates of drug overdose. From January 2015 to December 2015, census blocks in Baltimore city were analyzed for data collection. Results indicated that neighborhoods with off- premise alcohol outlets had a 16.6% increase in neighborhood drug overdose rates. Furthermore, alcohol outlets selling drug paraphernalia had a consistent negative impact on neighborhood overdose rates. Nesoff and the team concluded that it is essential to understand the significant impact alcohol outlets have in order to utilize alcohol outlets as “a potential community partner for harm reduction strategies such as naloxone distribution.”

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