Millions of Americans Annually Harmed Due to Someone Else’s Drinking

alcohol abuse impacts more than the addicted

The negative psychological, biological, and physical effects of alcohol abuse are well documented. But the adverse effects of abusing alcohol don’t start and stop with the individual who’s doing the drinking.

On an annual basis in the U.S., over 20% of adults are negatively affected by someone else’s choice to drink. This translates to more than 50 million people, and a recent study called this trend, “a significant public health issue.”

The study from Rutgers University was backed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and analyzed information from nearly 9,000 subjects.

Over 15% of participants reported having a harmful experience as a result of another person’s drinking. In the study, “harm” was described as physical aggression, threats and/or harassment, financial or family problems, property damage, injuries related to driving and vandalism.

Threats or harassment were the most commonly reported type of harm overall. Additionally, men reported more instances of physical aggression, vandalism and damaged property, while women reported more monetary or family problems.

Female subjects were more likely to experience harm by a drinker within their household, while men had an increased risk of harm by drinkers from outside of their household.

Responsibility Over Privilege 

On the basis of these alarming findings, Dr. Timothy Naimi of the Boston Medical Center, stated, “The freedom to drink alcohol must be counter-balanced by the freedom from being afflicted by others’ drinking in ways manifested by homicide, alcohol-related sexual assault, car crashes, domestic abuse, lost household wages and child neglect.”

The study went on to find that overall, individuals younger than 25 were more likely to experience some form of harm due to someone else’s drunk actions. Significantly, almost half of the study’s participants reported being a heavy drinker as well as having been harmed by another person’s drinking.

Also of concern, it was revealed that casual drinkers have a two- to three-fold risk of experiencing driving-related harm or threats as compared to individuals who do not drink at all.

Recovery is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.