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In addition to the Alcohol Policy Conference, USAPA hosts a series of interactive dialogues with researchers and practitioners in the field. This series will connect new and existing researchers/advocates in the alcohol policy field to those who have been active a long time. Through facilitated discussions and audience engagement, members of the field will be able to hear about the work being done across the country and participate in discussions about next steps for the field as a whole.

Previous interactive dialogues

May 8, 2020

Interactive Dialogue #1: Alcohol & COVID-19: A Dangerous Mix

May 28, 2020

Interactive Dialogue #2: Alcohol & COVID-19: A Dangerous Mix (Repeat of Dialogue #1)

In early March, 2020, the U.S. was hit with the global pandemic of covid-19, which has affected the lives of millions of Americans.  States and local governments have issued a variety of “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders, nearly all of which ban on-premise food or alcohol consumption and the subsequent closure of bars and restaurants to patrons. These unforeseen and new challenges have led to new approaches to alcohol sales in many states, including the sale of to-go cocktails, direct shipping, and alcohol delivery through food service apps. At the corporate level, companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have pledged to engage in a range of “good will” efforts including helping to financially support employees who are out of work. 


This interactive dialogue will discuss some of the state and national changes in alcohol availability as a result of covid-19, and serve as a listening session for the other alcohol industry friendly measures occurring at the state and local level. Participants will hear from experts and will have ample time to share their own experiences. The key findings from this discussion will result in resources that can be shared with the broader alcohol policy and prevention field.

June 26, 2020

Interactive Dialogue #3: Case Studies: Responding to Local and State Changes in Alcohol Availability as a Result of Covid-19


This third Interactive Dialogue shifts the discussion from what alcohol industry friendly Covid-19 measures are occurring at the state and local levels to considering how we respond. Communities across the county are finding themselves confronted with emergency rules and regulations ostensibly put in place to decrease the economic impact on-premise and off-premise alcohol establishment due to Covid-19. The cumulative effects amount to an alcohol availability regulatory rollback of unprecedented scope and scale. This Interactive Dialogue will explore how some communities are responding.


Participants will hear two case studies and will have ample time to share their own experiences. The key findings from this discussion will result in resources that can be shared with the broader alcohol policy and prevention field.


August 21, 2020

Interactive Dialogue #4: The Power of Raising the Price of Alcohol to Reduce Alcohol Related Harms


Off-premise alcohol sales have skyrocketed and alcohol consumption has been rising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alcohol is our cheapest and most accessible drug. The real price of alcohol has been falling for decades, a key factor in the rising tide of alcohol consumption and problems that we are seeing nationwide. A significant factor in this price drop has been the steady erosion of alcohol taxes: from 1991 to 2015, excise taxes on alcohol lost close to 30 percent of their value. In the coming period, as states desperately seek out new revenue sources to offset the costs of the pandemic, alcohol deserves a closer look as a source of public health revenue.

This Interactive Dialogue will bring together a panel of experts and advocates to: (1) showcase the most recent research on why price is important and what has happened to alcohol prices, and (2) share diverse state-level experiences with raising alcohol prices through local or state action. The Dialogue will incorporate a panel discussion as well as smaller group breakout sessions to discuss opportunities for and barriers to increasing alcohol prices in the U.S.

January 25, 2021

Interactive Dialogue #5: Addressing Alcohol Outlet Density through a Race Equity Lens

The location and density of alcohol outlets vary by community, and research has found that harms associated with these outlets disproportionately affect lower income and Black and Latino populations. Greater alcohol outlet density is associated with more underage drinking, assault, and other harms including homicide, child abuse and neglect, and self-inflicted injury. In fact, alcohol outlet density is a significant predictor of violent crime in neighborhoods.
This interactive dialogue will bring together researchers and advocates who are working to better understand and combat racial inequities in alcohol availability and consequences in communities. The dialogue will (1) showcase research on race and place-based inequities and (2) share diverse experiences from two specific communities working to reduce alcohol outlet density through a racial equity lens.

November 10, 2021

Interactive Dialogue #6: High-Risk Alcoholic Beverages and the Exploitation of Communities of Color

High-risk alcohol beverages, including alcopops, malt liquor and flavored fortified wines, are frequently found in alcohol establishments located in low-income and/or communities of color. These especially dangerous products have disproportionately greater retail availability in impoverished areas and in communities of color. In addition, these products are inexpensive, sold in high-volume containers, and consumed disproportionately by some of the most high-risk and vulnerable populations. The alcohol industry intentionally targets these low-income and/or communities of color with high levels of advertising and promotion.
The consequences of high-risk alcohol beverage accessibility and consumption are devastating for communities and raise numerous concerns. For example, the consumption of malt liquor is correlated with crime around retail outlets as malt liquor is typically consumed directly outside of the outlets. These crimes include nuisance behaviors such as loitering, disorderly conduct, and litter, as well as more serious offenses as assaults and property damage. The impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and businesses are of significant concern.
This Interactive Dialogue will discuss the alcohol industry predatory marketing practices to low-income and/or communities of color, the need for unique regulation of high-risk alcoholic beverages compared to beer and distilled spirits, effective policies solutions and examples of successful local policy campaigns. 

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