A new study says strong state alcohol laws can help prevent binge drinking and its related problems. Researchers scored states’ implementation of 29 different alcohol control policies. They found that states who scored higher in implementing the laws were less likely to have binge drinking rates in the top 25 percent of the states. States who scored in the bottom quarter for implementing the alcohol laws had higher binge drinking rates—33 percent higher than states who scored in the top quarter.
The study’s senior author, Dr. Tim Naimi, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University Schools of Medicine and attending physician at Boston Medical Center, said the study shows, “If alcohol policies were a newly discovered gene, pill or vaccine, we’d be investing billions of dollars to bring them to market. … Unfortunately, most states have not taken advantage of these policies to help drinkers consume responsibly, and to protect innocent citizens from the devastating secondhand effects and economic costs from excessive drinking.” Each year, binge drinking is responsible for half of the 80,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States.
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