Research and analysis

Alcohol’s harm to others

An evidence review of the harm caused by alcohol to the people around those who are drinking.

Documents

The range and magnitude of alcohol’s harm to others

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Alcohol's harm to others: accompanying tables

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Details

There’s a lot of evidence about the relationship between alcohol consumption and harm experienced by drinkers such as ill health, disability and death. But there is less evidence to bring together what we know about the detrimental effects alcohol has on people other than drinkers, such as being a victim alcohol-related crime, family breakdown, child abuse and needing support from the police and healthcare services.

This review aims to describe these harms to others from existing surveys published in countries which are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The surveys do not cover all harms to others, for example foetal alcohol syndrome, so this report is not a complete picture.

Alcohol’s harm to others was identified as an area of interest by the alcohol expert forum of the Five Nations Health Improvement Network (England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland).

The report is for professionals who work in areas like health, crime, and social services, where they will come across alcohol-related harm. It will help them get a better understanding about the extent of alcohol’s effect on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. It will also help them to decide how they can implement policies and interventions to reduce the harms to others.

Published 12 June 2019