(CBS Local) — While many studies have looked at personal and psychological issues for the possible cause of drinking problems, a new report says the basic root of most drinking problems boils down to the old saying, “location, location, location.”
Researchers at the University of Washington followed over 500 people in the Seattle area and found that residents in neighborhoods with high poverty and crime rates tended to drink twice as much in an average week than subjects in more stable neighborhoods.
“The connection between poverty and disorganization and alcohol use may not be all that surprising,” co-author Rick Kosterman said in a university release. “But when you find that this connection may be even more important than the location of bars and liquor stores, then it’s those characteristics of a neighborhood that we want to pay attention to.”
Kosterman and his team may have stumbled onto the cause for the results of another recent study released by detox.net. The substance abuse treatment website has published its finding about where the highest percentage of drinkers, heavy drinkers, and binge drinkers are by state.
According to the report, Washington DC is home to the highest percentage of heavy and binge drinkers in the entire country. The study found that over 25 percent of DC residents had gone binge drinking within the last month and 11 percent qualified as a heavy drinker. Only Wisconsin had a higher rate of drinkers overall, with 67 percent of adults saying they had at least one drink in the last month.
The nation’s capital may be able to pin its drinking problem on the fact that the District of Columbia has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. The Census Bureau says only Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Mexico had a higher poverty rate in 2016 than DC’s 18.6 percent.
While high-crime and poverty-stricken areas may see a high number heavy drinkers, detox.net added that Americans also drink more as their income grows. The study found that 54 percent of adults making between $35,000 and $50,000 drank. That number exploded to 70 percent among adults who made $75,000 or more.