Two in five adults in Scotland have been negatively affected by someone else’s drinking, research has found.
According to Drinkaware, the largest alcohol charity in the UK, 41% of adults in Scotland have been adversely affected by another person’s drinking in the past year.
Younger people are claimed to be most affected, with the nationwide proportion for 18 to 34-year-olds jumping to 57%.
In addition, 24% of persons between the ages of 18 and 34 reported feeling ignored or emotionally upset by others’ drinking, which is higher than the 14% national average for Scotland.
The annual ‘state of the nation’ survey conducted for Drinkaware by YouGov – The Drinkaware Monitor 2022 – provides an insight into the drinking habits of 6,318 adults in the UK.
This year’s research emphasised the negative effects drinking can have on other people.
The difficulties mentioned by those who responded to the study included feeling physically threatened, getting into a fight, feeling uneasy in social situations, and having someone in their lives let them down.
Up to 27% of adults expressed concern about people’s drinking this year, up from 17% during the pandemic in the summer of 2021.
According to the research, 25% of adults in Scotland had several negative consequences as a result of someone else’s drinking within the previous 12 months.
People who claim to be negatively effected by another person’s alcohol consumption mention experiencing a “tipping point” where behaviour shifts and individuals become disagreeable, confrontational, or emotional.
Examples ranged from some saying they were forced to leave a party early to take someone home while others reported life changing impacts such as having to give up work to care for an alcohol-dependent partner.
Drinkaware CEO Karen Tyrell said: “We all know alcohol can be harmful to individuals, but our research shines a light on the impact it has on wider society. Alcohol can cause serious upset to others around us, damaging relationships and careers, and it’s especially worrying that other people’s drinking is hitting younger people the hardest.
“Alcohol harm puts huge pressure on public services as well as employers, friends and family. The NHS is facing enormous, sustained pressure, and police officers across the country are becoming increasingly stretched.
“But we are pleased to see that Scottish Government’s framework for tackling alcohol harm considers the impact of drinking on others, particularly children. We look forward to contributing to the debate on restricting advertising and promotion of alcohol products and we encourage the SNP administration to bring their proposals forward soon.”
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