Introduction and aims: This study identifies the correlates of caring for harmful drinkers and others, and examines how caring for that person impacts on respondents' well-being and use of services.
Design and methods: The study utilises the data from the 2008 Australian Alcohol Harm to Others Survey (n = 2649), in which 778 respondents reported they were harmed because of the drinking of someone they knew. Respondents were asked about the person they were most adversely affected by and whether they spent time caring for this person because of their drinking. Logistic regression models are developed to examine which factors were associated with the prevalence of caring for others.
Results: The study reveals that the respondents who cared for others because of the other's drinking reported lower quality of life than the respondents who did not have to do this. The results of the logistic regression suggest that respondents were more likely to care for the drinker if the drinker drank more (as the usual quantity of alcohol consumed increased), but less likely to care for the drinker if the drinker drank five or more drinks on more than four days per week.
Discussion and conclusions: The findings of the study suggest that the drinking of family and friends can be a substantial burden for their households, families, friends and others. Policy approaches that reduce the amount of heavy drinking, particularly heavy drinking in a single occasion, are likely to reduce the burden of caring for others because of other's drinking.
Keywords: alcohol; caring for others; family; friend; quality of life..
© 2014 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.