Beyond the serious health consequences, the harmful use of alcohol brings significant social and economic losses to individuals and society at large in Ireland.
The burden of alcohol harm is often experienced by those around the drinker, such as a family member, friend, co-worker or innocent bystander. Alcohol’s harm to others undermines public safety and is experienced in every community, ranging from the nuisance factor, feeling unsafe in public places, drink-driving, to a violent attack by an intoxicated drinker.
Although not often visible in public, alcohol’s harm to others within the family can have very serious consequences for the safety and well-being of family members, with children the most vulnerable. Life-long damage, through foetal development disorders, can also be caused to the unborn child by alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Meanwhile, all taxpayers are responsible for paying for the cost of alcohol harm to the State, mainly driven by health and crime costs, while there is also a considerable loss of economic output due to alcohol.
Source: Alcohol Action Ireland, February 2016