A large number of grocery stores, barbershops, fast-food restaurants, libraries and other traditional alcohol-free places in California plan to start offering alcohol to the patrons in an effort to boost sales and synchronously cater to the public’s growing demand for alcohol. This development comes after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that empowered nail salons and barbershops to serve complimentary drinks to customers — 12 ounces of beer or six ounces of wine — without a special license or permit.
As such, the new law that took effect from Jan. 1, 2017 has been both shunned and welcomed by many. On the one hand, business owners trying their hands at serving alcohol, such as craft beer, wine, etc., along with titbits believe that such a measure will assist them in growing their business by garnering more attraction. On the other hand, the public health researchers caution that the promotion of alcohol can systemize drinking patterns that could ramify in a manner that is unhealthy for the public.
Mushrooming of in-store bars pose a threat to public safety
The public health officials are concerned that as more places that offer alcohol sprout up, more people are likely to start consuming alcohol. Due to the increased acceptance of drinking, especially during special occasions, by many, people often fail to notice when their drinking patterns lead to negative health consequences.
In addition, some supermarket chains have already started serving alcohol in stores located in Southern California. Even coffee chains like Starbucks serve beer and wine at 70 outlets in the state. Barnes & Noble, a bookstore chain, has incorporated alcoholic drinks in the inventory of goods offered to the shoppers.
According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the number of alcohol licenses increased by 19 percent in the past decade compared to the 9 percent increase in the state’s population. Although it is difficult to ascertain how these new in-store bars will pan out over time, the incidents of violent crimes, motor vehicle accidents and emergency room visits are more common in the places that sell alcohol. A report by L.A. County had emphasized that the cities with a large number of bars and places serving alcohol were twice as likely to incur higher rates of alcohol-related hospitalization.
Risk factor for those recovering from alcoholism
The health researchers believe that an increase in the number of in-store bars will lead to a decrease in the prices of alcoholic drinks due to the competition between various bars to attract more customers. In such a scenario, people are more likely to barhop and become inebriated due to the easy availability of alcohol in the neighborhood.
Many experts also worry that it is going to be exceedingly difficult for the people going through the phase of recovery from alcohol abuse to stay away from alcohol. This eventually increases the risk of a relapse. Being exposed to an environment where alcohol is advertised at every corner, one can witness problems in staying firm upon their resolve to stay sober.
Business owners proclaim that most patrons do not consume more than one drink in the establishment, as well as choosing to drink is an option and not a necessity. Other owners predict that businesses that serve drinks will continue to increase in the future.
However, some cities in California, for instance, San Francisco, have issued a moratorium in specific neighborhoods on acquiring new liquor licenses. Similarly, the residents from Burbank and Montrose rallied against Starbucks when it decided to apply for alcohol licenses in those areas.
Stop falling for temporary fun with permanent consequences
Despite the differences in the views of the people on this trend, there is no doubt about the fact that drinking has dangerous implication for both mental and physical health of the people. By overindulging in drinking, people are likely to witness life-disruptive problems on a daily basis. Therefore, it is essential to undergo a comprehensive treatment program to ensure recovery from alcoholism.
If you or a loved one is battling with alcohol addiction, it is imperative to seek professional help from the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to get assistance in connecting to the best alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California that specialize in evidence-based treatment plans. Treatment for alcohol abuse involves biopsychosocial assessment, detoxification, medication, experiential therapies and recovery management. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online with our medical advisors to know more about alcohol rehab centers in California.Continue reading