- Funding: NIAAA R21 AA13532
- Principal Investigator: Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD
High alcohol content malt liquor and fortified wine are the least expensive way for Americans to consume ethanol and these are disproportionately drunk by inner-city ethnic populations, especially young African American and Hispanic males. Large-volume containers in coolers invite rapid, immediate consumption. Sales have expanded during the last decade with aggressive marketing to young ethnic populations. The roles of overall heavy drinking versus high alcohol content beverage use have not been distinguished. This research conducted a secondary analysis of a current national telephone survey of adults in 50 states and Washington D.C., the Year 2000 National Alcohol Survey (N10), for the Alcohol Research Group (n=8,000). It also used data collected from its Risk of AIDS San Francisco Bay Area Supplement (n=1,250). Using the combined data (n=9,100) we determined the national prevalence of use of high alcohol content products and identify demographic and drinking patterns associated with heavy use, particularly among African American, Hispanic and other ethnic subgroups. Additionally, studied contexts of use and model the relationship between high- content drinking and high-risk behaviors (drug use, risky sexual practices, and criminal justice involvement), DSM-IV dependence, family/relationship discord, work problems, aggression, and other health harms, including drinking when pregnant. We investigated the extent to which use of these products, rather than associated heavy consumption of beverage alcohol in general, leads to specific alcohol-related outcomes. We also studied key alcohol policy opinions and attitudes of those drinking malt liquor or fortified wine, how use of these beverages mediates risk curves, and treatment access and barriers to help seeking.