What Does Alcohol Cause Besides Alcoholism? By Rita Malie
Alcohol causes more than alcoholism. If each alcoholic affects the lives of four or five others “spouse, children, employer, employee innocent victim of accident, or other” then our 12.1 million alcoholics have an impact on 40 to 50 million others for a total of about 60 million citizens
The president of a state association of judges stated that “90 to 95 percent of all the cases that come before my bench ” civil, criminal and family ” involve alcohol.” Alcohol may not be the sole cause, but is a part-cause in much juvenile delinquency, illegitimate pregnancy, truancy, and fights. Numerous reports indicate that about 73 percent of felonies are alcohol-related. A survey of the literature shows that in about 67 percent of child-beating cases, 41 percent of forcible rape cases, 80 percent of wife-battering, 72 percent of stabbings, and 83 percent of homicides, either the attacker or the victim or both had been drinking. Hard to research, incest is now coming out in the open; one report estimates as high as 90 percent of incest may be alcohol-related.
Alcohol accentuates depression, and reports indicate a range of 30 to 80 percent of suicides as alcohol-related (Murphy, 1992). As high as 45 percent of our social welfare aid in categories like Aid to Dependent Children, and 60 percent of “mental cruelty” divorce cases, have been estimated as associated with alcohol and other drugs, which is the primary complaint in one-third of all broken marriages (see Parker and Rebhun, 1995; Pernanen, 1991).