5 Social Effects Of Alcohol Abuse
Regular consumption of alcohol or alcohol abuse is related to a large number of harmful results for the drinker as an individual, his immediate environment, and also the entire society. Social effects, such as workplace-related problems, interpersonal problems and domestic and family problems have been getting more research and public attention lately, which indicates an increasing interest in a wider concept of the consequences of alcohol abuse.
In many cases, the consumption of alcohol adversely affects the lives of other individuals who are related to the drinker, such as domestic violence, passengers who are included in traffic accidents.
All these incidents ultimately have a negative impact on the entire society as they adversely affect the economic productivity of the society.
Social Effects Of Alcohol Abuse
- Problems at the work sphere caused be alcohol abuse
There is a lot of evidence which shows that people who are dependent on alcohol are more often on sick leave than the other employees, which adversely affects the employer, the employees and the social security system. It has often been perceived that consumption of alcohol increases the possibilities of accidents at the work places. Around 40 percent of work accidents are proved to have been caused by alcohol abuse.
Heavy drinking at work places decreases productivity. Work performance is affected by both the pattern and the volume of drinking. The co-workers of alcohol abusers observe that regular and heavy drinkers of alcohol suffer from anxieties in personal relationships, have lower work performance and lack self-direction, although the drinkers of alcohol themselves perceive no effects on their performance at work. Alcohol abuse or heavy drinking also leads to unemployment, which in turn causes increased drinking.
- Problems within the family
Drinking affects a person’s performance as a parent and also how he or she manages the working of the household. It tends to throw off the total equilibrium of the family system and often invites unnecessary and sometimes dangerous consequences.It can have a lasting effect on the drinker’s spouse and children through violence and domestic accidents. Parental drinking causes child abuse and has innumerable other effects on the child’s psychological, economic and social environment.
Alcohol abuse in a family leads to mental and psychological health problems for the other members of the family, such as depression, fear and anxiety. Drinking outside the home means that a lesser amount of time is spent at home with the family. Moreover, the cost of purchasing alcohol, medical treatment and also the lost wages leaves the other members of the family destitute, which ultimately leads to the complete breakdown of the family as a unit.
- Economic problems caused by alcohol abuse
There are severe economic consequences of consuming alcohol on a daily basis, especially for the poor and needy people. Apart from the money which is spent in purchasing alcohol, heavy drinkers may suffer from other financial problems such as lost employment opportunities and lower wages, increased legal and medical expenses, and decreased eligibility for getting loans. A survey conducted in Sri Lanka showed that for 8 percent of men and women, the amount of money spent on alcoholic drinks exceeded their income.
- Violence between partners
Heavy drinking of alcohol plays a significant role in the large number of incidents of domestic violence, particularly when the husbands are the abusers. The connection between domestic violence and alcohol is complicated and the exact role of alcohol is still not clear.
Heavy drinking of alcohol has been ardently linked to domestic violence between partners and less of violence towards other people, perhaps because the opportunities for domestic violence gets increased with proximity. Studies conducted in South Africa, Nigeria, India, Colombia and Uganda found that a huge fraction of reported incidents of domestic violence is linked to use of alcohol by the male spouse.
For instance, 53 percent of women in Uganda who suffered from domestic violence reported their husbands to be under the influence of alcohol, whereas 32 percent of abusing husbands in India were using alcohol.
- Economic and social costs of the entire society
Alcohol abuse has a huge negative impact on the economic welfare of the entire society, and not the abuser alone. Both direct costs, that is, the monetary value of the goods and services that are delivered to tackle the harmful and adverse effects of alcoholic drinks and indirect costs, that is, the value of the personal productive services which are not provided as a direct consequence of alcohol consumption, comprise the negative impact alcohol abuse has on the society.
The estimates of economic and social costs of drinking alcohol in industrialized countries has been proven to have reached a certain percentage of the GDP or Gross Domestic Product of that country, for instance, 7 to 8 percent in Italy and 1.1 percent in Canada.