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L.A. County Prevention Providers Launch Campaign to Emphasize Dangers of Excess Drinking

As more states implement incentives to get people vaccinated against COVID-19, public safety and health advocates are concerned about dangerous, unhealthy marketing gimmicks aimed to lure people in saying yes to getting the shot.

Anheuser-Busch has announced a beer giveaway when 70% of the U.S. population is vaccinated. Right now 52% of Americans are fully vaccinated. The beverage maker says once that 70% threshold is reached, people 21 and older can upload a selfie from their favorite place, and then get a $5.00 virtual debit card to purchase the Anheuser-Busch product of their choice. Three states have opted out of this promotion: Texas, Alabama and California.

Even though California will not participate, Los Angeles County Prevention Providers (LACPP) are still dismayed by at the casual linking of alcohol to such a pervasive and frightening disease, calling it an irresponsible predatory marketing gimmick by A-H.

“Coupling free beer with COVID-19 vaccinations only exacerbates pre-existing social and health problems, contributes to rising rates of alcohol consumption and related harms among the most vulnerable, and sends a dangerous message to youth that alcohol is an incentive to get things they want,” said (this quote came from Charles)

LACPP are at the forefront of community vaccination efforts, and as such, understands and appreciates the sense of urgency to get people vaccinated. However, an exchange of alcohol for healthcare is threat to overall public health, especially considering the sharp rise in alcohol use during the pandemic.

Among LA County residents ages 18 and older, one in 10 (13.3%) reported that they’ve started or increased substance use to cope with the stress and emotions related to COVID-19. Additionally, in in LA County from March to July 2020, alcohol was the 6th leading substance causing accidental overdoses. This rate is a 44% increase compared to the same time period in 2019.

LACPP stands in unity to reject irresponsible, predatory marketing practices being utilized by Budweiser as a gimmick and guise to promote public health. Increased alcohol consumption correlates to increased health and social problems and incentivizing alcohol consumption sets a deadly public health precedent which will result in a cascade of negative consequences threatening the youth and most vulnerable in our nation.

Los Angeles County Prevention Providers (LACPP) is a group Substance Use Disorder Prevention experts providing culturally responsive services throughout Los Angeles County with a goal to prevent and reduce youth and young adult use of alcohol and other illicit drugs.

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