Second-hand drinking genuine issue, says NDC

| 02/04/2013

alcholprobs.jpg(CNS): As the general election campaign moves into full swing, Caymanians may be considering if ever there was a time when they needed to drink alcohol it’s now, but the National Drug Council is taking the issue seriously this month as booze remains Cayman’s most problematic drug, which has a far wider impact than problems suffered just by those who drink. April is alcohol awareness month and the local organisation said it is raising the genuine and worrying issue of second hand drinking and the negative impact alcohol can have even on those that abstain. “Second-hand drinking is an expression used to describe the impact of a person who is on the receiving end of someone’s drinking behaviour,” the NDC said.

“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,” the local experts noted in a release as part of its campaign to address Cayman’s continued excessive alcohol use.

“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,” the NDC explained about its campaign.

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.  Second-hand drinking (SHD) is what happens to families and other 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.

Alcohol abusers’ behaviour often manifest in different ways, from verbal or emotional abuse and domestic violence to neglect or broken promises, he explained. Fights, driving under the influence (DUI), unprotected, unwanted or unplanned sex, sexual assault and a diminished work ethic that can surround some drinkers also impact others. However, the consequences of Second Hand Drinking are rarely intentional and as a result help is needed to support individuals coping with these effects in unhealthy ways, the NDC said.

“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,” Joan West-Dacres, Executive Director of the council added.

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 Together, there is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow”.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The NDC are fear mongerers and need to have better founded facts. Educate, don't inspire falsehoods.

  2. Will Ya Listen says:

    The Police were recently polled on whether they thought Apathy was the main problem in respect of them carrying out their duties (or failing to do so).

    The results showed  4% answered "Yes" 5% answered "No" and 91% didn't bother to reply.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Read "Codependent No More" if you have a close one who has a drinking problem. It has a way bigger effect on you than most people would realise.


  4. Anonymous says:


    "Second Hand Drinking" literally makes no sense. What they are describing in this article are the effects and consequences of living with someone who may be abusing alcohol; which are well known issues that many people face. But the attempt to play on second hand smoke from cigarette users suggests that by being in the proximity of someone who is drinking, you as a non-drinker will also suffer the same effects. Come up with a new term!

  5. Anonymous says:

    As the child of an alcoholic father, I can tell you that the effects of second hand drinking are extremely traumatic.  First of all there was the fact that I could not sleep at night because I was afraid of when my father would come home as I knew there would be at the very least a terrible argument, sometimes followed by physical fights which carried on most of the night.  I would then have to go to school, totally traumatised by the fact that my mother had been physically and mentally abused and I had to pretend that everything was fine. Although, it was never discussed, I somehow understood that this was to be kept secret.  It was shameful and therefore should never be discussed.  This has effected all my relationships during my childhood and adulthood.  I have had some counselling but feel that I spent many years in toxic relatiionships because of my experiences growing up.  It is extremely traumatic for a child and because I was an only child, I had no one else to"share" the experience with.  This led to serious depression and other issues.  It is no laughing matter. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I Drink and my children waits on me to come home but they dont have to worry about arguements they wait up for the jokes so not all people are the same..

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like a mixture of denial, selfishness and poor parenting.

        • Anonymous says:

          Or they are reminding themselves of what not to do when they become of age.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe they wait up cuz they’re afraid something has happened to you. Maybe they would still love you even if you weren’t a joker.

        • Anonymous says:

          Often they pretend to laugh because of the fear of the reaction of the alcoholic in the family.  The poster who goes out drinking in preference to spending time with his family sounds a ghastly parent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep up the good work. There are some very good people who understand your issues and many, many that don’t and are afraid to face it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You really need to come up with a new term for this. "Second hand drinking…" really?? It makes it sound like the person is complicit.

    • Anonymous says:

      In a really warped way you end up feeling or being complicit. It's called enabling. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    what a bunch of nonsense… everything has an indirect consequence…what about second hand obesity?…

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not nonsense. Like you just said ‘everything has an indirect consequence’. Actually everything has direct consequences. That’s life and it’s time to live it better!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think second hand UDP is a more serious problem that affects everyone who has to come into any contact with a member of the UDP or UDP lite involved in any aspect of governance or board administration.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There were some seriously drunk drivers out on the road just as darkness fell, driving slowly, but still unable to keep a straight line or within their lane…and mostly cars full of people  with ..guess what? Blacked out windows….RCIPS you could have made a fortune for the budget last night.. If you wanted to. I dont get, how after the last crackdown these cars are still on the road…corruption? Incompetence?