Alcohol is a drug
Although legal when consumed according to law, alcohol is a drug. It is an integral part of Scottish life, used to socialise, celebrate and commiserate.
It’s also a toxic substance that can create dependence and causes serious health and social problems. Drinking too much, too often, increases the risk of cancer and liver disease, being involved in an accident, being a victim or perpetrator of crime, experiencing family breakdown, and losing employment.
Often it’s people other than the drinker who feel the effects the most: children, family, friends, colleagues and those working in front line services like the NHS and police.
An estimated 17 million working days are lost each year by people missing work due to the effects of alcohol.
In 2017 there were 1,235 alcohol related deaths in Scotland.
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Alcohol and public transport
You can drink and buy alcohol on national trains in the UK. However, operators can decide to run ‘dry’ trains where you can’t consume or carry alcohol on board, for example trains going to football matches or other sporting events. Where this happens, notices are put up in advance to warn passengers.
Even outside of these areas, the police can take away alcohol or move on under 18s if they have been drinking. The police can also fine or arrest under 18s drinking in public places
Alcohol in the family
Alcoholism is destructive to those closest to the alcoholic, and it affects families in several different ways. Many times, rehabilitating an alcoholic is only one part of the process of healing a home. Family members may also need support and counseling.
Alcoholic families suffer from a range of problems. Spouses can live in constant conflict. Children may develop low self-esteem, loneliness and fear of abandonment. Infants may even be born with lifelong birth defects. When support is not sought out, the results can be severe.
Alcohol abuse can lead to many family problems. These are a few of the most prominent:
- Conflict between spouses
- Domestic violence
- Economic hardships
- Isolation or divorce
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
Find out how to get help for a family member using drugs or alcohol [This will take you to a new website]