The Impact of Alcoholism on Society

5 Effects Of Alcoholism On Family

The Impact of Alcoholism on Society

Alcohol causes more than just trouble for the person drinking, especially with prolonged alcohol misuse and abuse. Because addiction can negatively affect several areas of a person’s life, often alcoholism impacts family and friends as well.

Here is a closer look at five possible effects of alcoholism on families:

1. Damaged Family Relationships

One way in which alcoholism affects families is in damaged relationships. Families of people affected by alcohol abuse often struggle to create strong emotional bonds, even within their family unit. This starts with the parents.

In one study from the University at Buffalo, heavy drinking was connected to lower marital satisfaction. The study also found that alcoholism increased the risk of negative interactions, especially among couples.

In addition, people battling alcoholism tend to lie about their condition, minimizing its effect on the family. This destroys trust and makes it difficult for other family members to build strong relationships with the individual.

2. Developmental Issues In Neglected Children

Children of parents who struggle with alcoholism are at higher risk for cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems. Since an estimated 6.6 million children live in households where alcoholism is present, this is a significant concern.

Sadly, parents who are struggling with alcohol addiction are often neglectful of both the physical and emotional needs of their children. This leads to serious developmental issues for the kids.

Some of the problems children experience in homes where alcoholism is present include:

  • academic problems
  • anxiety and depression
  • poor emotional development
  • difficulty with intimate relationships as adults
  • a tendency to be dishonest

3. Domestic Abuse

One of the most sobering effects of alcoholism is an increased risk for domestic abuse within the family. Abuse tied to alcoholism can be either emotional or physical in nature.

People battling alcoholism may insult their family members, manipulate them, or humiliate them. These are all forms of emotional abuse.

Physical violence is also a serious issue. The World Health Organization reports that 55 percent of physical assault cases between intimate partners occurred when the perpetrator had been drinking.

Because alcohol use lowers their self-control levels by affecting cognitive and physical functioning, people who drink are more prone to acting violently when frustrated.

4. Drained Family Finances

The habit of consuming alcohol on a regular basis is expensive. While the total amount spent on alcohol will vary depending on the frequency and type chosen, the costs add up.

It is not uncommon for someone battling this addiction to spend over $1,000 a month on alcohol. That is money that the family could use in other ways, and this financial cost takes a toll on the family’s overall well-being.

5. Physical And Mental Health Issues

Finally, a battle with alcoholism affects the physical and mental health of most members of the family. The individual fighting addiction will deal with physical health issues because of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption.

Some common problems include liver disease, digestive system problems, damage to the brain, and risk for stroke.

Mental health problems are also a risk for these families. The anxiety and stress of alcoholism for a family will wear down the emotional health of all involved.

Family members of those fighting alcoholism may also struggle with guilt and feelings that they somehow are the cause of their loved one’s disorder.

Why So Many U.S. Families Are Affected By Alcoholism

Between 2002 and 2013, drinking rates among US adults rose substantially, with more people reaching problem drinking levels as a result. High-stress levels in modern society increase the demand for today’s adults, and as a result, more and more are turning to alcohol to self-medicate.

It doesn’t take long for occasional alcohol use to turn into binge drinking, and binge drinking to turn into an addiction. Unfortunately, when addiction develops, it’s the families that suffer.

Alcoholism Is A Family Disease, But Help Is Available For All

Alcoholism is a disease that affects all members of the family. When someone is battling alcoholism and is ready to get help, getting help for the entire family is crucial to bringing about full healing and lasting change.

At Vertava Health Mississippi, formerly Turning Point Rehab, we offer alcohol addiction treatment in Mississippi to help people overcome addiction, but we don’t stop there. Because addiction is a family disease, we also have a family support program that ensures everyone, not just the person suffering from addiction, gets the help they need.

This family addiction counseling can help the whole family heal, change, and begin rebuilding healthy relationships. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.



The Impact of Alcoholism on Society

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties that has been widely used in many cultures for centuries. The harmful use of alcohol causes a large disease, social and economic burden in societies.

The harmful use of alcohol can also result in harm to other people, such as family members, friends, co-workers and strangers. Moreover, the harmful use of alcohol results in a significant health, social and economic burden on society at large.

Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions.

Drinking alcohol is associated with a risk of developing health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major noncommunicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road clashes and collisions.

A significant proportion of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic crashes, violence, and suicides, and fatal alcohol-related injuries tend to occur in relatively younger age groups.

The latest causal relationships are those between harmful drinking and incidence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis as well as the incidence and course of HIV/AIDS. Alcohol consumption by an expectant mother may cause fetal alcohol syndrome and pre-term birth complications.

Factors affecting alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm

A variety of factors have been identified at the individual and the societal level, which affect the levels and patterns of alcohol consumption and the magnitude of alcohol-related problems in populations.

Environmental factors include economic development, culture, availability of alcohol, and the comprehensiveness and levels of implementation and enforcement of alcohol policies.

For a given level or pattern of drinking, vulnerabilities within a society are ly to have similar differential effects as those between societies.

Although there is no single risk factor that is dominant, the more vulnerabilities a person has, the more ly the person is to develop alcohol-related problems as a result of alcohol consumption.

Conceptual causal model of alcohol consumption and health outcomes

The impact of alcohol consumption on chronic and acute health outcomes in populations is largely determined by 2 separate but related dimensions of drinking:

  • the total volume of alcohol consumed, and
  • the pattern of drinking.

The context of drinking plays an important role in occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly associated with health effects of alcohol intoxication, and, on rare occasions, also the quality of alcohol consumed. Alcohol consumption can have an impact not only on the incidence of diseases, injuries and other health conditions, but also on the course of disorders and their outcomes in individuals.

There are gender differences in alcohol-related mortality and morbidity, as well as levels and patterns of alcohol consumption. The percentage of alcohol-attributable deaths among men amount to 7.

7 % of all global deaths compared to 2.6 % of all deaths among women. Total alcohol per capita consumption in 2010 among male and female drinkers worldwide was on average 19.4 litres for males and 7.

0 litres of pure alcohol for females.

Ways to reduce the burden from harmful use of alcohol

The health, safety and socioeconomic problems attributable to alcohol can be effectively reduced and requires actions on the levels, patterns and contexts of alcohol consumption and the wider social determinants of health.

Countries have a responsibility for formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating public policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. Substantial scientific knowledge exists for policy-makers on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the following strategies:

  • regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages (in particular to younger people);
  • regulating and restricting the availability of alcohol;
  • enacting appropriate drink-driving policies;
  • reducing demand through taxation and pricing mechanisms;
  • raising awareness of public health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol and ensuring support for effective alcohol policies;
  • providing accessible and affordable treatment for people with alcohol-use disorders; and
  • implementing screening and brief interventions programmes for hazardous and harmful drinking in health services.

WHO response

The harmful use of alcohol is one of the leading risk factors for population health worldwide and has a direct impact on many health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those for maternal and child health, infectious diseases (HIV, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis), noncommunicable diseases and mental health, injuries and poisonings. Alcohol is specifically mentioned under health target 3.5: “Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance use, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol” .

WHO aims to reduce the health burden caused by the harmful use of alcohol and, thereby, to save lives, prevent injuries and diseases and improve the well-being of individuals, communities and society at large.

WHO emphasizes the development, implementation and evaluation of cost-effective interventions for harmful use of alcohol as well as creating, compiling and disseminating scientific information on alcohol use and dependence, and related health and social consequences.

The “Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol”, negotiated and agreed by WHO Member States in 2010, represents international consensus that reducing the harmful use of alcohol and its associated health and social burden is a public health priority.

The strategy provides guidance for action at all levels, including 10 recommended target areas for policy options and interventions for national action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and the main components for global action to support and complement activities at country level.

The update of the evidence on cost-effectiveness of policy options and interventions undertaken in the context of an update of Appendix 3 of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of n Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020 resulted in a new set of enabling and focused recommended actions to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. The most cost-effective actions, or “best buys”, include increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages, enacting and enforcing bans or comprehensive restrictions on exposure to alcohol advertising across multiple types of media, and enacting and enforcing restrictions on the physical availability of retailed alcohol.

With growing awareness of the impact of alcohol consumption on global health and an increase in international frameworks for action, the demand for global information on alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable and alcohol-related harm, as well as related policy responses, has increased significantly. The Global Information System on Alcohol and Health (GISAH) has been developed by WHO to dynamically present data on levels and patterns of alcohol consumption, alcohol-attributable health and social consequences and policy responses at all levels.

Achieving reduction in the harmful use of alcohol in line with the targets included in the SDG 2030 agenda and the WHO Global Monitoring Framework for Noncommunicable Diseases requires concerted action by countries, effective global governance and appropriate engagement of all relevant stakeholders. By effectively working together, the negative health and social consequences of alcohol can be reduced.


  1. the Global status report on alcohol and health 2018.
  2. The Global strategy refers only to public-health effects of alcohol consumption, without prejudice to religious beliefs and cultural norms in any way. The concept of “harmful use of alcohol” in this context is different from “harmful use of alcohol” as a diagnostic category in the ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (WHO, 1992).
  3. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) extends the concept of potential years of life lost due to premature death to include equivalent years of «healthy» life lost by virtue of being in states of poor health or disability.


Social Effects of Alcoholism

The Impact of Alcoholism on Society

“Alcohol is a very patient drug. It will wait for the alcoholic to pick it up one more time.”

Mercedes McCambridge, 1916-2004, American actress

Alcoholism effects all facets of society from family relationships, to public health and safety, to the health and well-being of the alcoholic. Over 175 million persons aged 12 and older reported using alcohol in the past year, with over 66 million people participating in binge drinking in the past month.1

Sylvia Matthew Burwell, Secretary U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, “The effects of substance use are cumulative and costly for our society, placing burdens on workplaces, the healthcare system, families, states and communities.”1

Far Reaching Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism not only affects the alcoholic and their family, there are also ramifications for anyone they come across including neighbors, co-workers and classmates. Every year alcohol misuse results in increased criminal justice and law enforcement expenses, decreased work productivity and increased health care costs.

Alcoholism affects almost every aspect of society including:

  • Higher incidence of DUI related accidents
  • Increased traffic fatalities
  • Public and private property damage
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Decline in health and development of chronic health conditions
  • Increased medical claims
  • Decrease in workplace productivity
  • Increase in work related accidents
  • Domestic violence
  • Violent crimes

Many alcoholics start to withdraw from society, spending less time participating in activities they once enjoyed and less time interacting with friends and family. They may even develop a new social circle of friends preferring to spend time with other heavy drinkers or they may be solitary drinkers, further isolating themselves from society.

Alcoholism and Traffic Fatalities

A few of the more dangerous societal effects of alcoholism include increased injuries to self, aggression against others, violent crimes, child abuse, spouse abuse and traffic fatalities. Driving under the influence (DUI) has serious economic and societal impact in the form of motor vehicle crashes that often result in property damage and traffic fatalities.

A recent SAMHSA study reported a drop in the rate of DUI from 2002-2014.2 However; in 2015, there were still over 10,000 traffic fatalities involving drivers under the influence of alcohol. That works out to an average of over 1 DUI fatality every 51 minutes.3

Public education and community outreach goes a long way towards the prevention, recovery, relapse and treatment of alcoholism. Communities can implement plans and programs to help reduce the occurrence of alcohol misuse related incidents.

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Increasing Alcohol Awareness in the Community

There are many prevention programs now in place at the local, regional and national level to help reduce to occurrence of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented their Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, in cooperation with local and state law enforcement, to raise awareness about the danger of driving while impaired.4

Communities can advocate for change on a local level for better accessibility to services and to increase the availability of effective recovery resources.

Benefits of community outreach include sharing the message of hope with the greater community and getting them involved to help raise awareness about the consequences of alcohol addiction.

Integrated services, such as outpatient and intensive outpatient programs, lets treatment centers reach out to and build relationships with people seeking help with drug and alcohol addiction.

Ideas for Community Outreach

There is an ongoing need to prevent, diagnosis and treat alcoholism in communities throughout the country. For example, bringing in educational campaigns to middle and high-school students help raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol misuse at an early age.

There are many ways civic groups and community organizations can develop programs and services to promote long-term recovery to bring about a change in policy to increase education and awareness of alcohol misuse. Health fairs, rallies, festivals, running races, prevention campaigns and other wellness events are all great ways to help raise awareness and limit the social impact of alcohol use.

Actions items that can put into place at the local level include:

  • Limiting the days and hours alcohol can be sold
  • Enforcing laws prohibiting sale to minors
  • Offering free or low-cost life skills training
  • Creating school educational programs
  • Planning community events and festivals
  • Hosting or sponsoring health and wellness events

Walking and running events that help benefit a local or national recovery organization can be sponsored by a local addiction treatment center. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The behavioral health facility helps raise much needed funds to sponsor more people in recovery while the local community has an opportunity to show their support while participating in a fun and healthy activity.

The key to implementing a successful program is the willingness to change as the needs of the community can vary on a weekly, monthly, seasonal and yearly basis. It’s important to remain flexible by listening to feedback from program participants and taking steps to refine the plan to meet the ever-changing needs of the community.

Help for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Transformations Treatment Center is where you can begin your journey of recovery. Highly trained counselors are ready to help you understand the underlying cause of the addiction.  Reach out to us today if you are looking for the best treatment options for drug or alcohol addiction.


The Social Effects Of Alcoholism – Consequences and Issues

The Impact of Alcoholism on Society

Alcoholism can be considered an issue in a few regards. One of the main issues with it are the social consequences.

For all the social benefits of alcohol, such as helping people to relax, there are problems too.

Alcoholism generally leads to an increase in joblessness, assaults and mental health issues. But what are alcoholism’s worst effects and can the problem be combated?

Alcoholism Statistics – Social Effects

According to The National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, around 27% of people in the US admitted to binge drinking in the past month, with a further 7% admitting they drank heavily. This staggering statistic often leads to unfortunate social consequences.

One of which is family, with more than 10% of children in the United States, living in a household where at least one parent abuses alcohol. In addition to that, there are other social effects.

For example 1 in 4 college students admits to feeling that alcohol leads to lowering their exam performance, missing class or leaving college altogether. Almost 700,000 students a year also experience assault, with nearly 100,000 of those students being victims of sexual assault.

Social consequences don’t end there, however, with an estimated 88,000 people dying from consuming too much of the substance annually. These statistics highlight the dangers and social effects of alcohol abuse.

Effects of Alcoholism on Society at Large

Alcoholism effects on an individual are generally there for all to see. Although alcohol’s social effects are often less visible, the effects on society, in general, aren’t. From an increased chance of being involved in crime, to drink driving or to be sexually irresponsible, alcoholism creates dangers.

Drink Driving as the Biggest Social Concern

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, drink drivers accounted for over 31% of all driving fatalities in the US.

The consequences of drink driving incidents are that on many occasions several families are affected by one person’s actions.

It creates a spiral of anguish well beyond the person affected by alcoholism and effects society in general.

Increasing Crime Rates Due to Alcohol Abuse

Crime also rises with the intake of alcohol. Assault and sexual assault rise due to the substance. Alcohol and violence have a clear correlation, with many disagreements rapidly spiraling control and affecting many. Between 1997 and 2008, alcohol was responsible for up to 37% of crime. It is believed this is because many people do not think about the consequences when intoxicated.

Alcohol-Induced Diseases Spreading

Alcohol’s effects on society also come from the lack of inhibition people have when under the influence. A regular abuser may have no memory of who they slept with, where they went or what they did.

This can easily lead to the spreading of diseases or the loss of life. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, 19% of young people drink before having sex, with 46% not using a condom.

This action could easily lead to the spread of STDs.

Social Effects of Alcohol on the Family

The social effect of alcohol is often felt most harshly in the home. As earlier stated, over 10% of children grow up with at least one parent in their home abusing the substance. So what effects can alcoholism have on a family?

Domestic Abuse

Having an alcoholic in the home often puts a strain on relationships. Alcohol takes away a person’s inhibitions and makes them more liable to be unpredictable. Many alcoholics become prone to violence.

Alcohol-related domestic abuse may not even be physical, but often abusers look to place blame outside themselves and become psychologically abusive.

This can have a negative impact on children as well as a partner.

Negative Impact On Children

Children growing up in a home where one parent is suffering from alcoholism are regularly exposed to negative behavior. It may be violent, psychological or simply a lack of parenting at all. However, there is no question that the social effects of alcoholism can lead to a number of problems, and highlight the danger of an alcohol abuse social problem.

Finance and Family Strain

Heavy drinking can also lead to money problems in the family. Many who abuse the substance struggle to maintain relationships, alcohol at work is no exception. Alcoholics often struggle to continue with their jobs to the full extent, and possibly even stop attending.

Many abusers of the substance lose their jobs and create financial issues for their families. This is one of the most challenging social consequences of alcohol, as it is often difficult to regain employment and to lose a job creates a downward spiral for both the alcoholic and the family.

For this reason, there are arguments for social security disability for alcohol abuse.

Alcohol’s Impact on Youth – the Future of Society Endangered

The social effects of alcohol use are also heavily felt by younger people. As earlier stated, college goers are regular drinkers. However, many people start drinking at a much younger age, despite the illegalities.

One of the dangers of underage drinking is that teenagers may have already developed an addiction to the substance before they even reach the freedoms of college. Alcohol and social behavior go hand in hand in college, with many young adults also drinking for the first time.

This is arguably just as dangerous, as they may also take the freedom one step too far, and those who have been drinking longer, can also develop an addiction.

Those who do heavily drink and abuse the substance during youth and college tend to see their grades suffer. Many have admitted to missing classes, dropping out and losing friendships because of their drinking-related issues.

They’re also more liable to getting into violent and dangerous situations or contracting STD’s. In addition to those consequences, heavy drinking can have effects on the world around young people.

It often leads to antisocial behavior, such as violence and aggression.

The social effects of alcoholism on youth are some of the most prevalent. Many colleges now focus on highlighting and educating their students about the dangers of heavy drinking. Some even have their rehab programs to help guide students back on to a better path. This is the hope of avoiding social consequences, such as youth being more liable to become alcoholics later in life.

Dealing With The Social Effects Of Alcoholism

The social effect of alcoholism isn’t one that is easy for anyone to deal with. The social effects of alcohol abuse make people unpredictable and often unreliable.

They are liable to lose their jobs, become violent or simply lose interest in relationships. In addition to that, the mental alcohol effects can leave even former drinkers struggling.

With all that considered, can the effects of heavy drinking be a cause for treatment for mental illness? Is alcoholism a disability for social security?

Social security disability for alcoholism isn’t currently available for those simply suffering from just alcoholism. However, those who do suffer mental health issues because of the drug can get help.

This, in turn, will give families and former abusers a little more support when they so desperately need it and therefore benefit society.

Despite this support, there are many other, even more effective ways to deal with the social effects of alcohol abuse and curbing alcohol cravings.

Stopping driving under the influence is a hugely important factor when it comes to dealing with social effects. This can be done by offering alternate ways home to people with public transport. However, in more remote areas this can be challenging. Therefore, schemes such as introducing sober drinking buddies could be put into place.

Violent crime could also be heavily deterred by simply giving people a better wage to deal with alcoholism and rage. Community guidance programs may help this, as well as deterrents such as regular police patrols or cameras.

Disease can also be significantly lowered, even when under the influence. In countries that provide free medical care, including condoms, disease rates are much lower. If the US provided similar care, then there is the possibility that rates would similarly lower.

The treatment for alcohol addicts is available in all the US states. If you regularly abuse alcohol or know someone who does, seek immediate medical assistance from a doctor. They will guide you towards the best alcohol rehab centers in your area.


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