Secondhand Drinking Injures Millions Each Year

Most people have heard of secondhand smoke and are familiar with its deadly effects. But what about secondhand drinking? The truth is, secondhand drinking can be just as devastating, and in some cases more devastating, than secondhand smoke. It injures approximately 53 million people — 1 in 5 adults — each year. It’s so prevalent, in fact, that most people will suffer the consequences of secondhand drinking in their lifetime.

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Each year, millions of people are injured by someone who is under the influence of alcohol, and the consequences can be devastating. The types of injuries sustained range from relationship and financial issues to physical/mental abuse and traffic accidents. Unfortunately, many have lost their lives to secondhand drinking. Many more suffer long-lasting effects. Early intervention and treatment is key. Learn more about secondhand drinking and what you should do if you’re a victim in the article below.

What Is Secondhand Drinking?

Secondhand drinking is a public health issue that affects nearly 21% of women and 23% of men, as reported by MSN. The term encompasses all negative effects felt by individuals because of another’s drinking, including harassment, property damage, physical violence and motor vehicle accidents.

Who Is Affected?

Just like secondhand smoke, secondhand drinking does not affect the person engaging in the activity. It affects those around them. Those most affected are those who are closest to a heavy drinker, such as a child or spouse. Those most at risk are adults under the age of 25 and women, says the NY Post. However, anyone, even strangers, can become the victim of secondhand drinking. This is especially true of motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk driving.

How Can You Deal with It?

Chronic exposure to secondhand drinking can pose many health risks. According to, ongoing exposure to drinking behaviors, such as physical and emotional abuse, can lead to stress and anxiety symptoms. Depression, anxiety attacks, gastrointestinal issues, sleep issues and headaches are common.

If you’re suffering from someone else’s alcohol abuse, there is help for you. The key is to take a stand against the drinker and minimize the exposure you have to their dangerous behaviors. You should also take care of your own mental health. Talking to a therapist and/or attending family counseling can help.

The types of injuries sustained from secondhand drinking are numerous and complex. What’s more, they have far-reaching consequences. Emotional trauma, for example, can affect your life years after the danger has subsided. For this reason, it’s vital that you seek help if you’ve been a victim of someone else’s drinking.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!

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