Social Consequences

Social Consequences

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. Excessive alcohol consumption can impair the performance of parents, spouse, partner and household worker. There are other aspects of alcohol abuse that can prevent you from being a full member of your family. For example, in many communities, alcohol use often occurs primarily outside the family and at home. In this case, the time spent in this way often competes with the time needed to support family life.

  • Aggression increases – attacks on family members, street fights, child abuse, sexual assaults. A study conducted by the Latvian Ministry of Health in 2008 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.

  • 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 2009 approximately one third (29%) 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.

  • Crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol. In 2009, the number of persons who have committed crimes under the influence of alcohol makes up 27% of the total number of persons.

  • The quality and capacity of work decrease. Occupational accidents take place. For example, in 2017, 13 people suffered work-related accidents under the influence of alcohol in Latvia, 4 of them were seriously injured, 6 were slightly injured and 3 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 2017, 12 people died in road accidents caused by alcohol or intoxicating substances (17 in 2016), which is 8.8% (in 2016 – 10.8%) of all deaths in road traffic accidents. In Latvia, in 2017, a total of 3,680 drivers were detained while driving under the influence of alcohol (3,839 in 2016, respectively).

    Of the drivers detained under the influence of alcohol, 38% or 1,466 drivers were without a driving license. Of all drivers detained under the influence of alcohol, 19% or 701 drivers were detained in Riga. In 2017, 2335 drivers were deprived of the right to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants. The difference between the number of driving disqualifications and the number of drivers detained under the influence of alcohol, drugs and other intoxicating substances is due to the annulment or suspension of decisions due to complaints.