That alcohol regularly injures and kills people is obvious. But it's worth pointing out the fine-scale of damage it can cause. These alcohol-related deaths ranged from vehicle accidents and overtreatments to terminal cases of liver cancer and other incurable diseases.
That's according to new research from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, which the authors hope will shine a light on alcohol's status as a "significant public health issue".
There is "considerable risk for women from heavy, often male, drinkers in the household and, for men, from drinkers outside their family", the authors write.
To conduct the study, researchers led by Madhabika B. Nayak, Ph.D., of the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute in Oakland, Calif., analyzed data from two telephone surveys conducted in 2015 - the National Alcohol's Harm to Others Survey and the National Alcohol Survey.
According to the study, which has been compiled using United States national survey data, approximately 23% of me and 21% of women experienced harm over the past 12 months as result of someone else's drinking. Specifically, participants were asked if, in the last 12 months, they had experienced harms from a drinker including "being harassed", "feeling threatened or afraid", "having clothing or belongings ruined", having "property vandalized", and "being pushed, hit or assaulted".
She noted the study found that younger adults were more likely to experience a broad range of secondhand harms due to someone else's drinking compared to older adults. Further, nearly half of men and women who themselves were heavy drinkers said they had been harmed by someone else's drinking, the study stated.
Considering that researchers only tracked people for a year "and that other points in life are not being captured in this study, this suggests it is a serious problem that needs attention", she added. But those under the age of 24 were also more likely to experience these indirect harms in the study.
When it comes to harms other than harassment, "for women, the most prevalent are family and marital problems or financial problems due to someone else's drinking and a close third runner-up would be driving-related harms - so riding with a drunk driver or actually having a crash caused by someone who had been drinking", Karriker-Jaffe said.
The study is the latest to make the case that our alcohol habits could stand to be tempered a bit.
Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, who had worked with the Alcohol Research Group in the study, told CNN that the results consider only a small window of time.