Alcohol addiction has caused many families, relationships, and marriages to break apart, but on a broader scale – what are the effects of alcohol on society?

Alcohol also has a profound socio-economic effect, which is why here we will be looking at the effect of alcohol abuse in society and how alcohol addiction in particular, can spill into our societies and impact more lives than just 1.

Whether it is a small community or the world economy – alcoholism has a significant effect on all of us; here is why.


Alcohol Addiction and the Economy

The economy takes significant hits every year, solely through alcohol abuse, but how?

It is reported that in total, every year, there is £25 billion lost on alcohol and alcohol-related illnesses. While alcohol is, of course, legal for those of age, the dangers that come along with consistent intake shouldn’t be overlooked, just some of the alcohol-related illnesses that could be costing the NHS millions.

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum

Of course, some of these may not all be alcohol-related, but many can be a result of alcohol abuse. Alcoholism requires treatment before it turns into something more sinister, such as the aforementioned diseases.


Social Effects of Alcohol: Future Generations

Alcoholism can directly impact the family of the person suffering from addiction.

When parenting children, alcohol addiction has the potential to become dangerous for the children and, in some cases, can result in the parents losing their children if they’re unable to be looked after properly and are at a young age.

That being said, it is essential to understand how we can help those who may be suffering from alcohol addiction, especially if they have children. This is to help avoid the impacts of alcoholism spilling into society further and to help bring peace and sobriety to the user.

Without this kind of help, there is a risk of the user having trouble with bringing up their children and the children then being at risk of psychological issues and even physical if they’re lacking the care they need.

Below are some of the issues that could affect the children of those who suffer from alcoholism if they don’t get help to fight the addiction.


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trust issues
  • Anger


  • Signs of neglect: malnutrition, poor hygiene etc.
  • Exposure to danger: Violence (becoming caught up in dangerous situations due to financial difficulty as a result of alcoholism)


  • Self-isolation: Children could recluse from social activities to avoid judgement around their parent’s addiction or to look after their parents
  • Poor academic performance due to being a young carer
  • High risk of substance use themself to find an escape from their difficult life

All in all, children of alcoholics tend to lead less happy and fulfilling lives. They may seek to cause trouble, which can impact society, and this can be down to the fact they aren’t yet old enough to control their emotions and don’t quite yet understand how to cope with the burden alone.

This is precisely how alcoholism can trickle down into society and make for people who are impacted by addiction indirectly and affect everyday society.


Alcohol Addiction and The Workplace

Addiction affects people all over the world, and given that the majority of people with a drug or alcohol problem are in full-time employment, it’s known that drinking in the workplace is a real issue.

More than 25 million adults in England regularly drink alcohol. Statistically, drinkers are more likely to be employed than non-drinkers; in fact, it’s reported that 40% of employers mention alcohol as a significant cause of low productivity, and 27% of people drink more due to the stress of the workplace.

The occupations most affected by alcohol use and are more likely than average to die from alcohol-related deaths are:

  • Bartenders – 2.33 times
  • Roofers – 1.87 times more likely
  • Painters – 1.85 times more likely
  • Cooks – 1.77 times more likely
  • Construction labourers – 1.72 times more likely


How You Can Help

How can alcohol impact the individual, and how does it affect society – both questions work hand in hand – there is rarely one without without the other.

If you are addicted to alcohol and think that you’re addiction does not impact anyone but you, you are incorrect. Your family, partner and children suffer from your addiction to alcohol – not only now but in the future as well, and so does wider society.

It is essential to know, however, that the primary motivation to get clean should be about yourself first. We can help you; we offer alcohol rehab at our treatment centres all over the UK – to gain freedom from alcohol addiction.

Get in touch with Ocean Recovery Centre today for more information.



What Kind of Problems Does Alcohol Cause in Society?

Drinking alcohol can cause a lot of health problems, including mental and behavioural problems, including major noncommunicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Drinking alcohol can have a long-term and short-term effect, which can have an impact on hospital emissions and health services in general.

What Is the Cost of Alcohol Abuse on Society?

Approximately 13.9% of people in the United States will meet the criteria for severe alcohol use disorder in their lifetimes, and alcohol is involved in more than 88,000 deaths per year. The real-world impact of alcohol abuse reaches far beyond the financial costs. When a loved one has a problem with alcohol, it can affect their marriage and their extended family.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: November 2, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.