About one-fifth of adults in the United States have experienced some form of harm due to someone else's behavior while drinking.
That's according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, which found that in 2015, an estimated 53 million adults – or nearly 1 in 5 – said they had experienced at least one harm attributable to someone else's drinking in the past year. That harm ranged from property damage to physical injury.
"One thing to think about with the one-in-five number is that it is only limited to a snapshot in time of about a year. So probably more people have actually been harmed by someone else's drinking at other times in their life," said Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, a senior scientist with the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute in Emeryville, California, who was an author of the study.
"So it might be an underestimate of the negative impacts of alcohol on people other than the drinker," she said.