The True Cost Of Alcohol

This week (3-9th July) is Alcohol Awareness Week, an annual campaign organised by Alcohol Change UK to highlight issues around alcohol. The theme this year is ‘The true cost of Alcohol’.

We all know that people can spend huge amounts of money on alcohol, but the true cost of alcohol that we come across every day at Carers Leeds is the impact to the families, friends and loved ones of those who are drinking.

The impact

The ripple effect from someone’s problematic alcohol use can spread far and wide. It’s having to help someone up the stairs who are so drunk you worry they’ll fall. It’s not being able to rely on someone to help out with the children. It’s finding empty bottles hidden in the wardrobe. It’s worrying what someone will do if you leave them on their own for an afternoon. It’s the sadness of seeing someone you care about drinking themselves to death in front of your eyes. It’s the hope that change will happen and then the frustration, anger and despair of a relapse. It’s the breakdown in communication and walking on eggshells. It’s the impact on our mental health, and the mental health of the person who is drinking. It’s wanting to throw the remote at the TV every time another advert for alcohol comes on the screen.

All these things and many, many, many more are the true costs of alcohol, and these costs affect way more than just the person who is drinking.

Financial cost

The financial cost of caring for someone is also having a huge impact on unpaid carers across Leeds. In our recent annual survey, 23% of unpaid carers told us they have cut back on essentials like food and heating and 17% have used bank overdrafts, loans and credit cards to get by day to day. With the cost of living being a top 3 concern for unpaid carers in the city, the true cost of alcohol becomes a lot more expensive in our current economic climate.

How we can help

Carers Leeds offer one to one and group support for people who are affected by the alcohol and/or drug use of someone they know. This could be a family member, a loved one or a friend.

If you would like to access support, please call the Carers Leeds Advice Line on 0113 380 4300 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). You can also email and a member of staff will call you back.