A study of unintended consequences of increased minimum alcohol prices in a population of street involved alcohol dependent drinkers

Funding body: Victoria Foundation, $25,000

Background: Although there is strong evidence to support the effectiveness of pricing policies as a powerful way of reducing population level injury, illness and premature death attributable to alcohol, concern is often expressed that price increases will adversely affect low-income heavy drinkers. We had the opportunity to test this hypothesis when we learned that an increase in BC minimum alcohol prices was to be introduced in the first half of 2016. We recruited a small cohort of severely alcohol dependent street-involved drinkers from Victoria and Vancouver who were interviewed before and after the pricing intervention with a focus on their drinking behaviours, related harms and coping strategies when they could not access alcohol.

Progress to date: Data collection has been completed and a conference paper prepared.