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What Is Second-Hand Drinking?

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 04/07/2019 Darwin Malicdem
© ejwhite/Getty

Second-hand drinking is another health issue facing people in the U.S. Just like second-hand smoking, it happens when someone shares or gets the worse effect of the alcohol with the person who had the direct exposure. 

A recent analysis, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, shows that nearly 21 percent of women and 23 percent of men in the U.S. population experienced second-hand drinking in the last 12 months. The figures combined cover 53 million adults, Hindustan Times reported Tuesday

In second-hand smoking, people suffer as they inhale the smoke from its original source. But in drinking, people experience its second-hand effect in the hands of the person under the influence of alcohol. 

It can be threats, physical aggression, damaged property, vandalism or car accidents due to drunk driving, among other cases. In the latest study, threats or harassment was found as the most common effect of second-hand drinking. 

a group of people in a kitchen: A woman opens a beer at a bar during a power outage in Caracas on March 9, 2019.

It is not always bad take a bottle or a glass with a number of studies showing that light to moderate drinkers tend to enjoy not just the good times with friends but also the health benefits of drinking alcohol.
© Cristian Hernandez/AFP/Getty Images A woman opens a beer at a bar during a power outage in Caracas on March 9, 2019. It is not always bad take a bottle or a glass with a number of studies showing that light to moderate drinkers tend to enjoy not just the good times with friends but also the health benefits of drinking alcohol.

For the origins of second-hand drinking, researchers said that women have a higher risk of financial and family problems, while men commonly face charges due to ruined property, vandalism and physical aggression. 

The study shows “considerable risk for women from heavy, often male, drinkers in the household and, for men, from drinkers outside their family,” the researchers said. 

The team also looked at the cases of victims. People younger than age 25 were at higher risk of experiencing harm from someone else’s drinking. 

Heavy drinkers can also be victims of second-hand drinking. Nearly 50 percent of male and female drinkers in the study said they also experienced being harmed by someone else’s drinking.

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More on this story:

Radio host gave up drinking and it changed her life (MamaMia)

The problem with calling sobriety a wellness trend (Refinery29)

Sobriety didn't fix everything but it gave me a do-over (Chatelaine)

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“Control policies, such as alcohol pricing, taxation, reduced availability and restricting advertising, may be the most effective ways to reduce not only alcohol consumption but also alcohol’s harm to persons other than the drinker,” Madhabika Nayak, a researcher from the Alcohol Research Group of the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism considers alcohol as the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. NIAAA estimates that up to 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year across the country. 

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