Alcohol sales slowly declining in Michigan

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New study shows beer and liquor sales are dropping slowly but steadily

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Alcohol is $6 billion business in Michigan. In 2017, enough alcohol was sold in Michigan to supply every person in the state eight drinks per week.

New data from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission shows those numbers are inching down driven by drops in beer and liquor sales.

“I mean I don’t think that liquor is good for your health,” Micah Hales, a grad student living in East Lansing said.

Hales said he rarely drinks and thinks people are starting to realize that alcohol might not be the answer they’re looking for.

“There’s better options to…I don’t know. People chase a certain kind of release or relief when they drink liquor and there’s just better alternatives out there,” Hales said.

He thinks here in Michigan, people have better options.

“More meaningful things in life than just turning to liquor to kind of numb your pain. Being more active, some people do the weed thing. If you’re turning against [it] you’re probably being a little more healthy,” Hales said.

Lansing resident Julie Spencer agrees.

“I think it’s because of more of the awareness of people’s health,” Spencer said.

While some liquor store owners say they haven’t necessarily seen much of a drop in sales overall, they’re seeing more people turn to healthier alternatives like hard seltzers which have caused a shift in sales.

A CDC study estimated that excessive drinking cost the state $8.1 billion dollars in 2010. That includes costs associated with lost work productivity, health-care expenses, crime, and motor vehicle crashes.

In 2015, 19 percent of Michiganders were classified as binge drinkers.

“There’s been a lot of deaths due to addiction with alcohol and drug so I think people are becoming more aware of it and there’s more of a support on recovery programs,” Spencer said.

As for what people are turning to instead… Spencer said that just depends on what’s popular.

“People are always looking to try the next best thing or new thing and sometimes that’s good sometimes that’s not good.”

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