The many Costs of Alcoholic Drinking

A man, who for the sake of anonymity we shall call Bob, was sitting in a room of Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time in his life. Half way through the meeting he was asked if he wanted to share something with the group about how he got to be where he is in his life. Moreover, why has he finally decided to do something about his out-of-control drinking?

Male alcoholicA Problem Shared is a Problem Halved

At first Bob declined the offer to speak, but after a few shares had gone around, he piped up the courage and asked if he could say a few words. Here’s what he said:

“Okay, if you really wanna know how much drink has cost ME, here goes:”

“The only reason I ever drank was to get drunk. When I wasn’t drinking I was thinking about drinking. And when I was drinking all I could think about was the one to follow.

More often than not I would wake up in the morning slumped in the armchair, feeling exhausted, depressed, and hung over. My start of day procedure usually began with a quick trot to the bathroom not knowing quite what to do first, sit down or kneel down!”.

My Lonely Existence

“I’ve never been married, mainly because relationships would end soon after they began. This was because of my priority to, and obsession with, booze. I’ve been drinking alcoholically for as long as a can remember.

It might not surprise you then to know that I have no education to speak off, no special skills, nor any occupational qualification of any real use.

What this means is that I’ve been a low income menial worker for all of my adult life. The restrictions and monotony that this has brought with it has fuelled my misery. A misery, that up until recent times, could only be dulled by intoxication.”

Alcoholics are Responsible for their Recovery, not their Condition.

The rather shy looking character then went on for some 20 minutes more explaining why he thinks he is the way he is. Like many men in his predicament, there was lots of blaming other people, situations, and runs bad luck.

If Bob sticks around long enough though, he should be able to find his way towards a bright and sober future. It’s not his fault that he’s an alcoholic. For this he has no control. But he is responsible for his recovery. To continue or to quit drinking after accepting his malady then becomes a lifestyle choice. We wish him the best of luck in his endeavours.

“If you want to change who you are, change what you do.” ~ AA Meeting Quote

The Cost of Drink on Society

Drinking to excess comes at a high cost to the individual and those closest to them, but it doesn’t stop there. Alcoholics have an uncanny knack for destroying most everything and everyone they come into direct contact with, and that includes whole societies too. Some say the fabric of modern society is on the verge of collapse, attributable directly to man’s obsession with alcohol.

In the UK, it is middle-aged drinkers that are a drain on the National Health Service (NHS). The treatment of alcoholics and the numerous alcohol related health issues, cost the NHS in excess of 100,000,000 in a single year, money which many would argue could be better spent elsewhere. You can read more here on the costs incurred by Britain’s drinking culture.

Hospital Admissions

A new study by a charity called Alcohol Concern found that in just 2 counties there were a total of 318,000 admissions to hospital in 2010/11 caused by drink.

According to Canadian experts on the subject, they say that 1 in 25 deaths globally are linked to alcohol consumption, or more specifically – over consumption. They go on to say that 5% of years lived with disability are directly attributable to drinking beyond safe limits.

Cancers caused by alcohol and which require costly treatments are: mouth, throat, colorectal, and breast cancer. Others health conditions include; liver disorders, stroke, and depression.

Still Dying for a Drink?

The Growing Curse of Antisocial Behaviour

And finally there’s the cost on antisocial behaviour ranging from general nuisance, to violent and non-violent crimes, and or course there’s that other menace of driving while intoxicated in which whole chapters have been written and discussions held.

So as we can see, the global impact of alcohol on both health and society is immense with no sign of a letup any time soon.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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Readers Comments

    Eddie Ale says:

    Lost 2 of my mates because of booze and fags these past 3 years. Cancer and multiple organ failure. Both drank and smoked a lot – as I still do. Crazy eh!

    – Eddie Ale

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