If you have a heavy drinker in your life, your own health and well-being could suffer as a result, according to a New Zealand study.
The survey of around 3,000 people, reported in the journal Addiction, showed that people with a family member, friend or colleague who drank heavily generally gave lower ratings to their own health and well-being. Compared with people who didn’t have heavy drinkers in their lives, they also did less well on standard measures of general health such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression symptoms, and were, overall, less satisfied with life.
The average effect was similar to what’s been seen in studies of people caring for somebody with a disability, said lead researcher Sally Casswell, at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand.
“Exposure to heavy drinkers may have negative impacts for others.” Casswell said this should be considered in debates about policies aimed at heavy drinking, such as raising the price of alcohol or stricter enforcement of drunk driving laws.