NYC Health Department launched a new ad campaign today to warn New Yorkers of the harms that excessive drinking can cause themselves and people around them. The ads caution that “Just one more drink can hurt,” and call on New Yorkers to think before ordering that “last drink” in order to prevent their friends from hurting themselves or others. The ads will run in subway cars through September and will be posted in the bathrooms of 97 bars across the city in August and September. The Health Department also issued a new report today outlining the harm from other people’s drinking. According to the new report, more than one in five adult New Yorkers report experiencing harm from someone else drinking in the past six months.
“Think twice before ordering one more round with your friends at the end of the night – that one last drink can hurt,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “Excessive drinking not only puts the drinker at risk, but can also affect people around them. Have the courage to step in when a friend has had too much to drink. Your fellow New Yorkers will thank you.”
According to the 2012 NYC Alcohol Survey, half (52%) of New Yorkers spent time with people who were drinking in the past 30 days, putting them in a position to cut off a friend before they have too much to drink. Twenty-two percent of adult New Yorkers reported being directly affected by someone else’s drinking at least once in the last six months. This can include arguments, assaults, “babysitting” or caring for someone who had too much to drink, and unwanted sexual advances. Among people who reported an unwanted sexual advance in the past six months, half reported that it happened on three or more occasions and 59% reported that it involved someone they knew, such as a family member or friend.
Among New York City adults who reported experiencing any harm related to someone else drinking, 49% were men and 48% were ages 18-34. Binge drinkers report experiencing the most harm from other people’s drinking. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in one sitting for women, five or more for men. Excessive drinking increases the risk of many health problems, such as injury, depression, insomnia, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hypertension.