Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: one out of every 12 adults struggle with alcohol abuse or dependence, along with many more that engage in binge drinking patterns.[i] Excessive alcohol consumption, increases the risk of serious health problems such as injuries, violence, liver diseases, and cancer.[ii] From a social perspective, alcohol abuse can damage emotional, financial, and professional stability and damage relationships with loved ones. Many factors impact the likelihood that an individual will develop a substance used disorder. These factors include: poverty, low attachment to the community, community disorganization, detachment from school or the workplace, substance abuse among friends and family, unstable family and social relationships, exposure to abuse, availability, exposure to advertising, and mental illness. [iii] The United States Community Preventative Services Task Forces recommends an environmental approach to preventing excessive alcohol used, including: regulating alcohol outlet density, increasing alcohol taxes, limiting hours that alcohol can be sold, and enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors.[iv]
The age-adjusted adult ER admission rates for alcohol abuse have historically been three to four times as high in 94102 compared to the city as a whole. Between the two time periods, 2009-2011 and 2012-2014, the rate increased in both 94102 and citywide. In 94102, there was a 44% increase, while citywide there was a 19% increase in the number of ER admissions for alcohol abuse.
California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, 2009-2014.
[i] National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. Facts About Alcohol. July 25, 2015. Retrieved here: https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol/facts-about-alcohol.
[iii] San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership. “San Francisco Community Health Needs Assessment 2016.” San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Department of Public Health, 2016.
[iv] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheets - Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use. October 17, 2016. Retrieved here: https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/prevention.htm.