Evaluation of alcohol outlet Density and characteristics in a poor area of São Paulo- in search of an alcohol policy for the city
Ronaldo Laranjeira, M.D., Ph.D*, David Hinkly MsPsych**, Claudia Maciel
The current study set out to investigate alcohol availability in a densely populated, residential area of suburban São Paulo associated with high levels of social deprivation and violence. Gun-related deaths and a heavy concentration of alcohol outlets are notable features of the area surveyed. Given the strong evidence for a link between alcohol availability and a number of alcohol-related problems, including violent crime, measures designed to reduce accessibility have become a favoured choice for alcohol prevention programmes in recent years. By generating a profile of alcohol sales and selling points, it was hoped to gain a better understanding of alcohol access issues within the sample area. Methods: The interviewers were 24 residents of the area who were trainned for the study. It was selected na area of nineteen streets, covering a total distance of 3.7 km. Results: It was found 107 alcohol outlets were recorded. The number of other properties in the same area was counted at 1,202. Two measures of outlet density may thus be calculated: The number of outlets per kilometre of roadway (29outlets/km); and the proportion of all properties that sold alcohol (1 in 12). The main characteristics of the outlet were: 75% of them had no license; the mean number of days per week on which
outlets traded were 6.82; 82.6% of the outlet sold alcohol to customers on credit; the maind beverage sold was pinga and cost on average U$ 0.25. Conclusions: The results of this study are compared with others which are mainly from developed countries and the implications in terms of policies are discussed. Future alcohol prevention policy would be well served by such knowledge.