Two in five Scots 'negatively impacted by alcohol intake of others'

A new study revealed a 10% rise in adults reporting concern for someone else's drinking compared to 2021.

Two in five Scots negatively impacted by someone else’s alcohol drinking, say Drinkaware iStock

Two in five adults in Scotland have been negatively affected by someone else’s drinking, research has found.

Drinkaware, the UK’s leading alcohol charity, revealed 41% of adults in Scotland have been negatively affected by the drinking of someone else in the last year.

Younger people are said to be particularly impacted, with the figure rising to 57% for 18 to 34-year-olds across the country.

Additionally, 24% of adults between 18 to 34 felt emotionally hurt or neglected by others drinking compared to the overall average across Scotland of 14%.

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.

The research focused this year on the harm alcohol can have on others.

Those surveyed highlighted issues including feeling physically threatened, involved in an argument, feeling uncomfortable at social occasions and being let down by someone in their life.

Concern about people’s drinking increased this year, with up to 27% of adults expressing concern compared to 17% during the pandemic in summer 2021.

The report also reveals 25% of adults in Scotland experienced multiple negative effects due to someone else’s drinking in the last 12 months.

Ways in which people say they are negatively impacted by someone else’s alcohol intake include experience of a ‘tipping point’ in which behaviour changes and people become unpleasant, aggressive 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.”

More on