Is someone you know suffering from Second Hand Drinking?

Is someone in your family suffering from Second Hand Drinking? Maybe it’s you!

“Secondhand Drinking” is an expression used to describe the impact of a person who is on the receiving end of someone’s drinking behaviours. Imagine the effect on a child or adult that has experienced a restless night of drunken arguments, and have to function at school or work the next day.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the theme for 2013 as deemed by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) is "Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow". The Cayman Islands National Drug Council’s (NDC) focus is to raise awareness about the misuse of alcohol and those affected by Second Hand Drinking (SHD).

Second-hand drinking is obviously a play on the term ‘second-hand smoking’. When the world became aware that second-hand smoke was damaging, smoking in public and in close proximity to others became socially unacceptable. Moreover, it was found that second-hand smoke was killing thousands of people.

In terms of the second-hand effects, emotional, social and psychological well-being seems to be regarded as the most damaging effect of alcohol abusers. Secondhand Drinking (SHD) is what happens to families and/or associates of an alcohol abuser. “

The brain experiences significant changes caused by alcohol consumption ranging from social drinking to alcoholism” stated Simon Miller, Prevention Officer. The abuser’s behaviours often manifest in the following ways:

  • verbal or emotional abuse
  • drunken arguments
  • domestic violence
  • neglect
  • broken promises
  • physical fights
  • driving under the influence (DUI)
  • unprotected, unwanted, unplanned sex, sexual assault
  • diminished work ethic

The consequences of Second Hand Drinking are not intentional; therefore help is needed to support individuals coping with these effects in unhealthy ways. “The Cayman Island is extremely fortunate to have an immense capacity to address Second Hand Drinking and related issues.

Stakeholders of the National Drug Council offer services with a cultural awareness and understanding of the ripple effects of substance abuse and how it can be devastating to families”, stated Joan West-Dacres, Executive Director.

For information of local events to commemorate Alcohol Awareness Month or information of where to get help, please contact us at 949-9000 or visit us at www.ndc.ky. Together, there is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow”.

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