Excessive alcohol consumption has consequences for the user and their relatives, friends, employers, and the country as a whole.
- Relations with relatives worsens, families break up. Studies show that 29% of men and 58% of women report alcoholism as a reason for divorce.
- Aggression increases – attacks on family members, street fights, child abuse, sexual assaults. A study conducted by the Latvian Ministry of Health confirms that in 61% of violent cases alcohol has been a contributing factor. In 26% of cases, both the perpetrator and the victim had used alcohol; in 21% of cases only the perpetrator; in 14% of cases alcohol was used only by the victim of the aggression.
- Relationships with friends are lost, your circle of acquaintances shifts, interests that are not connected with alcohol consumption disappear.
- Accidents under the influence of alcohol take place, like, fires. The annual publication on the prevalence of addictive substances usage in Latvia states that in 2008 approximately one third (31.3%) of fatalities in fires occurred when the individuals involved were under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- The mental and emotional aspect of your personality stops developing. In 2008, pertaining to individuals who had been registered with alcohol addiction for first time, the majority (64.8%) had secondary or secondary vocational education. 29.96% finished elementary school, while 1.04% – only had some elementary schooling. Only 4.2% of individuals registered for the first time with alcohol addiction had higher education.
- The quality and capacity of work decrease. Occupational accidents take place. For example, in 2008, 28 people suffered work-related accidents under the influence of alcohol in Latvia, 12 of them were seriously injured and five were killed. More than 80% of companies in the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, transport, communications, and storage sectors believe that the use of alcohol by employees increases the risk of a trauma. Employers are mostly concerned with a reduction in the quality of work, the emergence of mistakes and defects as a result of alcohol use by employees.
- Car accidents when a drunk driver endangers other drivers and pedestrians. In 2008, 9.6% of all vehicle accidents in Latvia were caused by driving under the influence of alcohol, while 6610 individuals had their driver’s licence taken from them for driving under the influence.
- Unreasonable use of different weapons occurs. According to British data, 75% of the time when a knife was used in an attack the perpetrator was drunk.
- Crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol. For example, in 2008, 10.2% of the total number of criminal offenses in Latvia was committed under the influence of alcohol.
- Avante, published by the Abstinence Club, No. 11 (161) / 07
- Health Economics Centre: Substance Abuse and the Consequences of Use in Latvia (PDF)
- Informative Report on the implementation of measures included in The Program for the Reduction of Domestic Violence 2008-2011 in years 2008 and 2009