Second-hand Effects of Alcohol Consumption

The second-hand effects of alcohol consumption are pervasive affecting, in principle, all major parts of society, e.g. fetal alcohol effects, lower grades in school, injuries, violence and cost for medical care.

What makes drinking unique in comparison to other risk factors is that the costs to society from these second-hand effects are by several estimates more extensive than the direct costs to the drinkers.

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The most effective ways to prevent second-hand effects and costs from alcohol are policies that reduce its affordability and ease of access; efforts to simply “treat” those with alcohol dependence can only prevent a small proportion of alcohol’s second-hand effects.