Living Alone Increases Chances of Alcohol-Related Deaths

Because mental health experts have long known the value of people establishing and maintaining social and emotional connections with others, people seeking therapy are often encouraged to actively stay involved with others whether they live alone or not. It goes without saying that people seeking mental health services who have alcohol-related struggles will be referred for assessments for treatment and other programs focusing on sobriety.

But have you ever thought it dangerous to live alone due to a lack of social contact and a propensity to drink? Maybe you’ve already recognized being by yourself increases the likelihood you’ll drink more beer, wine and/or hard liquor. Now, there’s some actual research that supports these two premises.

The Study Results

Researchers in Finland who studied over 18,000 people over a 7-year period determined that people living alone are 67% more likely to die from causes related to alcohol use (Mail Online website). It’s theorized that because people are marrying less often and choosing to remain single and live alone, their social networks are lacking. Thus, they drink more. In essence, having few social relationships can actually be hazardous to your health.

In general, men and women showed an increased incidence of alcohol-related deaths when living alone. Also, it appears your socioeconomic status doesn’t matter when it comes to living alone, drinking and suffering alcohol-related deaths, according to the Finnish study. Apparently, those living on their own with or without financial security show increased death rates from alcohol-related causes. Are they driven to drink excessively out of a simmering addiction, sheer boredom and loneliness?

In particular, statistics from 2000-2003 indicated men who lived by themselves had nearly 4 times the death rate from liver disease than those who lived with someone. As if that figure isn’t scary enough, this statistic increased to over 5 times the death rate from 2004-2007.

This study done by Kimmo Herttua from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that people who live on their own were two-thirds more likely to die from various alcohol-related causes, including alcohol-related accidents, alcohol poisoning, liver problems, and even violent episodes connected to alcohol use.

Do These Results Apply to the United States?

Since this study was done in Finland, it’s possible that if similar research was conducted in the United States, it would be met with different results due to cultural, social and economic differences between the countries. Still, this information brings our attentions to the possible struggles that could beleaguer a loner the longer he or she remains alone if alcohol is also an issue.

For more information about alcohol use issues and recovery, see these links for Alcoholics Anonymous, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Faces and Voices of Recovery.


Alcoholics Anonymous website

Faces and Voices of Recovery website

Mail Online website

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website

Professional experience

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *