Is alcohol affecting your behaviour?

Drinking heavily can have a significant impact on the way we behave and can cause some people to behave in ways they later regret. This is because when we drink, we gain confidence and lose some the natural inhibitions which control our behaviour. Some people find that drinking alcohol makes them feel relaxed and confident; others might feel low or depressed, and some people become more agitated.

Drinking heavily can also cause your perception of a situation to become distorted, igniting fears or jealousies that might otherwise not emerge. The way we understand our surroundings is also affected when we’ve been drinking.

  • We’re more likely to misinterpret  behaviour and misread social cues after drinking
  • Drinking to excess increases your likelihood of being involved in a confrontation, as well as being a victim.
  • If alcohol if affecting your relationship with your partner, it could be time to cut down.

Alcohol and domestic abuse

The link between alcohol and domestic abuse is complex. Although most people who drink alcohol are never violent, research suggests that drinking heavily can contribute to aggressive behaviour. In 2018, data from the National Crime Survey revealed that up to 39% of victims of violence believed the perpetrator to be under the influence of alcohol.[1]

Many people who have experienced domestic abuse may also use alcohol to help them cope. Whatever your situation, no-one should experience abuse. If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or are worried about someone else, contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline for women on 0808 2000 247.

Men who are experiencing domestic abuse and need support can contact:

[1] National Crime Survey, ONS, September 2017