More individuals experience harm from the drinking of others, than from their own drinking

We all bear the costs from alcohol-related harm; some more than others. In many cases, the harm from someone else’s drinking is higher than the harms to the individual drinker. 

A study in 2012 found that the prevalence of self-reported harm from others’ drinking was higher than harm from own drinking (18% vs 12% in the past year) and was higher in women and young people.

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Violence and Police call outs

Alcohol is responsible for a third of all violence (33%), a third of all family violence (34%) half of all sexual assaults (54%) and homicides (49.5%).

Over 300 alcohol-related offences are committed every day.

Each day 52 individuals or groups of people are either driven home or detained in police because of intoxication.

In 2008/09, one in nine New Zealanders reported that they called the police at least once in the past year due to other people’s drinking.

Injuries to others

Between 2003 and 2007, half of all alcohol-related traffic injuries in the 15-19 year age group in New Zealand were due to someone else’s drinking; the highest proportion in comparison to other age groups.

Other harms

More than one quarter (28%) of respondents in a 2008/09 New Zealand survey indicated that they had at least one heavy drinker in their life; 85% indicated they had experienced a range of harms because of this person’s drinking. 17% of respondents with children reported that their children experienced harm because of the drinking of someone else. Seventy-one percent of those sampled reported experiencing at least one harm because of the drinking of a stranger.

A smaller study in New Zealand found that Emergency Department staff, in particular nurses, were commonly assaulted by alcohol-affected patients.