Significant Harm By Alcohol Causing to those other than the drinker

The study analysing survey data some 21% of women and 23% of men; by estimating 53 million adults; experiencing harm because of someone else’s drinking alcohol in the last 12 months. These harms could be threating or harassment; ruined property or vandalism, physical aggression, harms relating to driving, or financial or family problems.

But the most common harm was threats or harassment reporting by 16% of survey respondents. There is considerable risk for women from heavy; often male, drinkers in the household and; for men, from drinkers outside their family; People younger than age 25 had a higher risk of experiencing harm from someone else’s drinking. Further, almost half of men and women who themselves were heavy drinkers said they had been harmed by someone else’s drinking.

Harm by alcohol consumption

Even people who drank but not heavily were at two to three times the risk of harassment, threats, and driving related harm compared with abstainers. Heavy drinking was defining as drinking five or more drinks at a time for men or four or more drinks for women at least monthly.

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; looking at data from 8,750 respondents; age 18 and older and providing support for alcohol control policies; such as taxation and pricing to reducing alcohol’s harm to persons other than the drinker. There is now a growing literature on the effects of national alcohol policies to reduce not only consumption but also some of the secondhand harms from alcohol; notably the effects of price policies on all forms of violence assaults; sexual violence, partner violence; and violence toward children.

Effects of minimum pricing

Recent research on the effects of minimum pricing is particularly relevant in this context; but study in Canada finding reductions in violence after the introduction of minimum pricing. Control policies, such as alcohol pricing, taxation; reducing availability; and restricting advertising, may be the most effective ways to reducing not only alcohol consumption;  but also alcohol’s harm to persons other than the drinker.

Women were more likely to report harm due to drinking by a spouse/partner or family member; whereas men were more likely to reporting harm due to a stranger’s drinking. Being female also predicting family/financial harms. Younger age increasing risk for all AHTO types; except physical aggression. Being of Black/other ethnicity; being widowing/divorcing; and having a college education without a degree each predicting physical aggression harm. The harmed individual’s own heavy drinking and having a heavy drinker in the household increased risk for all AHTO types. The risk for physical aggression due to someone else’s drinking was particularly elevated for heavy drinking women.