Half of people suffering due to alcohol

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More than half of people in the north east have suffered due to someone else drinking alcohol in the last 12 months, a new report has revealed.

The Balance report ‘The second hand harm of alcohol in the North East’ highlights the secondary impact that alcohol is having on people.

Balance surveyed 1,300 residents in the north east on how drinking behaviours impacted on them.

A total of 57 per cent have suffered at least once due to the drinking of others; 31 per cent have suffered at least one negative consequence as a result of the heavy drinking of someone known to them; 23 per cent have been verbally abused at work at least once by an unknown drinker and 18 per cent have been harassed on the street or in a public place at least once by an unknown drinker.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “There is an obvious awareness of the harm that alcohol can have on individuals but we also need to tackle the impact that drinking alcohol can have on others – the second hand harms. This is a real issue which we also need to address.

“I’m sure many of us can recall an instance when someone else’s drinking has affected us in some way.”

“We can’t just accept this as the ‘norm’ – no one should have to suffer the second hand harms of alcohol.

“To truly make a difference we need to see a package of measures put in place to tackle the problems caused by alcohol that is too cheap, too widely available and too heavily promoted.

“We need the Government to support a range of targeted, evidence-based measures such as increasing the price of the cheapest, strongest alcohol products, which has been shown to save lives, reduce hospital admissions, cut crime and lessen the financial burden alcohol places on frontline services.

“It will also reduce the impact of second hand harm.”