Underage Sources of Alcoholic Beverages

An in-depth interview study to identify the means whereby underage drinkers age 15-18 obtain alcohol discovered that theft from retail stores was a significant means of obtaining alcoholic beverages.

Nine percent of respondents reported stealing alcohol from commercial outlets themselves and 26% reported that their friends stole alcohol in the same manner. The researchers learned that teens typically draw upon a body of knowledge shared among many young people.

Common knowledge included such things as which aisles in a specific store have blind spots, methods for removing security tops on bottles, and store policies regarding those observed stealing.

Some researchers have noted that it is easier for young people to obtain marijuana than it is to obtain alcoholic beverages.


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