Drinking alcohol is largely accepted worldwide. In fact, it’s so accepted that even drinking too much of it has very much become normalised – and sometimes even encouraged. While some people manage to maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol, others can find it extremely difficult. Not only can it deeply affect your own life on a negative level, but it can also have an incredibly large impact on those around you.
What are the social effects of alcohol abuse?
When you think of those affected by abusive drinking habits, you might only consider those within the drinker’s immediate environment. However, a person’s alcohol abuse can even go as far as impacting the lives of strangers, as well as the stranger’s friends, family and loved ones. If someone is driving under the influence, for example, they could collide with another driver or knock over a pedestrian.
It also affects the healthcare system, as alcohol increases the chances of many illnesses and accidents in general. When these alcohol related accidents and illnesses could potentially be avoided, it’s unfair to those who may have delayed medical help as a result of your choices.
How can an abusive relationship with alcohol affect the partner, spouse or family?
Unfortunately, there are many ways in which an alcoholic’s habits can affect their partner, spouse and family. Often, alcoholics have difficulty keeping up with their household duties, like being a good role model and support system for their children, helping out with chores and bringing in money by holding down a job.
Sometimes, alcohol can also cause a person to become aggressive or abusive, and their loved ones are usually the ones who suffer this reality firsthand. Of course, this directly impacts the health of these relationships and puts those we care about in danger.
If one parent, spouse or partner isn’t pulling their weight, this also places a large amount of extra stress and pressure upon the other person. This can lead to further issues like poverty, divorce and even eviction. More time spent drinking might also mean less time spent with your family – from your children and partner, to your parents.
Unhappiness or instability within the home due to alcohol abuse can also cause long-lasting effects, like anxiety and depression, which will have their own further impact on the individual later on in life.
How can alcohol affect your work performance?
Depending on what you do for a living, drinking too much alcohol could cause work accidents, which could cost the company money or perhaps even cost the person their life. Alcohol affects how we operate as human beings, making us less productive and aware of ourselves and our surroundings.
Many people will also stay home and pretend to be sick when they are hungover or want to go drinking. These days can add up, which also affect your overall job performance negatively – not to mention that some people won’t be paid for these days off.
Missing too many days at work or not meeting deadlines also makes a person look untrustworthy and unreliable, which closes them off to any opportunity of progressing within the company or their career. If a person is fired because of their relationship with alcohol, it may also go in their records, which will make it very difficult to find a new job afterwards.
Of course, some people drink to deal with depression or life’s worries, meaning that losing their job will likely only fuel any existing habits. In truth, it isn’t uncommon for some people’s drinking expenses to outweigh their income, and yet, this is often not a good enough reason to stop drinking.
How do friends influence your good or bad drinking habits?
Friends can have a huge influence on your relationship with alcohol. Because it is seen as a way of relaxing, many people often associate it with one of the best ways to have a good time with friends. Sometimes, an outing without alcohol can even sound boring and uneventful, especially if you aren’t used to it.
Some people rely on alcohol as their way to cope with and gain confidence surrounding the anxieties of being social. There can also be an immense amount of peer pressure put on a person to drink to fit it.
This is why it’s extremely important to surround yourself with people that have your best interests at heart. Having friends who have healthy habits will directly influence yours, but the same goes for friends with abusive drinking habits. In this case, it’s best to seek out the help and support of a caring professional.
What are the long-term effects of alcohol abuse on your health?
As mentioned, long-term drinking in excess can lead to at least 60 different health issues. Some examples include cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, liver disease, anaemia, ulcers, nerve damage, mental disorders, brain damage and high blood pressure.
Often, it’s difficult to see alcoholism coming, as the habit tends to build slowly. Once the habit is formed, it can become extremely challenging to overcome – although it is never impossible. In this case, a specialist in the field of recovery can prove to be invaluable upon your journey back to happiness and good health.