Neighborhood Affects Drinking Habits of Men But Not Women, Study Finds

By Staff Writer

It is well established that alcohol addiction is more common in low-income neighborhoods. However, a new study from a team of Canadian researchers suggests that it is the men in these neighborhoods who are doing most of the drinking and that they may have the greatest need for substance abuse help.

For the study, researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto surveyed a number of individuals from varying neighborhood demographics. The finding that alcohol consumption was more common in low-income neighborhoods was not surprising, but the results showing that a woman’s living situation did not affect her chances of drinking did surprise the researchers.

Women in low-income neighborhoods consumed an average of 2.6 drinks per week, while those in more affluent areas had 2.5 drinks per week. Comparatively, underprivileged men drank almost twice as much as their upper-income counterparts.

The researchers said that public health groups should consider these findings when they are designing substance abuse prevention and addiction treatment programs. The study may help these agencies target their efforts.