Alcohol Misuse Raises Risk of Unsafe Firearm Storage

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Pondering a firearm" by Dan Foy is licensed under CC BY 2.0Erin Morgan
PhD Student | Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Going into this study we were interested in looking at youth exposure to unsafely stored firearms. Unsafely stored firearms in the household, especially those that are stored unlocked, are a known risk factor for adolescent suicide. We were also interested in looking into a population of children and teens who are at particularly heightened risk for suicide and unintentional injury—those living with an adult who misuses alcohol.

Overall, we found that about 30% of those under the age of 18 live in a firearm owning home and among those youth, around 55% lived with a firearm stored in a way other than locked and unloaded. Among those in firearm owning household, we also found that when compared to youth living with a survey respondent that did not report alcohol misuse, those living with an adult that did misuse alcohol were 20% more likely to reside in a home where the firearm was stored unsafely; children were 27% more likely to live in a home reporting unlocked storage, specifically. Continue reading