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Alcohol use and harm to other people

Researchers recently measured and described harms to other people related to alcohol use and alcohol related-risk factors. They surveyed thousands of U.S. adults and found that 20 percent had experienced harms because of someone else’s drinking. They found significant variation in those harms based on demographic factors, especially by drinking status, gender, and age. Women, especially if they were heavy drinkers, were more likely to be impacted by a family member or partner, while men were more likely to be impacted by a stranger; women also experienced more family or financial harms. Younger people were more likely to experience all of the different types of harm except for physical conflict.

The paper, “Alcohol’s secondhand harms in the United States: New data on prevalence and risk factors,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Research & Resources