Living Near a Bar Makes You Drink More, Research Says

A new study shows the proximity between you and your nearest watering hole can increase your risky drinking

For New Yorkers and the big-city-living type, a quality watering hole nearby comes on an apartment-hunting checklist. But now, new research shows that the closer you live to a bar, the more likely you are to partake in some risky drinking. 

The study, published in the journal Addiction, followed more than 50,000 Finnish people for seven years. The researchers found that those who lived closer to a bar were more likely to drink more often — and have more drinks. Those who lived closer to a bar were 17 percent more likely to become a heavy drinker, according to RedOrbit and Reuters. Nine percent of those who lived within 400 meters of a bar were classified as heavy drinkers; and the stats didn't change based on socioeconomic levels, either. 


However, it's not to say that living near a bar will make you an alcoholic. Still, it's enough of a jump to make the researchers concerned. "The increased risk was modest... But at the population level, even a modest association between access to bars and heavy drinking becomes ‘notable," lead reseracher Jaana L. Halonen told Reuters.