Secondhand Drinking | Secondhand Drugging (SHD)

Secondhand drinking, secondhand drugging – they’re as real as secondhand smoke. They are what happens to those who are on the receiving end of a person’s drinking or drug abuse behaviors.

What is Secondhand Drinking | Secondhand Drugging (SHD)

SHD refers to the negative impacts of a person’s drinking or drugging behaviors. It is what happens to the person who must cope with the arguments, the verbal/physical or emotional abuse, the physical assault, the sexual assault, the behaviors that occur in a blackout, the accident caused when driving while impaired. They occur when a person drinks or uses a drug in quantities that exceed that which the body can metabolize, which is what changes brain function, because the chemicals in drugs and alcohol interrupt the brain’s normal cell-to-cell communication system.


Secondhand Drinking | Secondhand Drugging – It’s as Real as Secondhand Smoke.
It’s what happens to those on the receiving end of a person’s drinking or drugging behaviors – like parental arguments rooted in excessive drinking.

I have had a great deal of interest, lately, about the concept of secondhand drinking, secondhand drugging (SHD), so I thought it might be helpful to pull together some previous blog post links on this subject. The term is meant to cause impressions similar to those people have when they hear “secondhand smoke,” a term that immediately brings to mind the impacts of a person’s smoking on others.

  1. Secondhand Drinking Prevention
  2. The Health Consequences of Secondhand Drinking | Drugging (SHD)
  3. Understanding the Secondhand Drinking | Drugging – Codependency Connection
  4. Protecting Yourself From Secondhand Drinking

Two other blog posts you may find helpful when trying to better understand and prevent SHDD are included below:

  1. An Unsent Letter to Dad: the Impact of Secondhand Drinking on Children
  2. Unfortunately Love is in the Brain, Not the Heart

Secondhand Drinking | Drugging and the Secondhand Smoke Connection

When, as a society, we took the focus off the smoker and instead focused on the new science that explained what a person’s cigarette smoke did to the health of others in its proximity, we had a sea change. Finally, people could understand another person’s cigarette smoke was the reason for their severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, heart disease or lung cancer. Just as things changed for people exposed to secondhand smoke when new scientific research became available, so too can things change for people exposed to SHD. Finally, people experiencing SHD-related stress can understand coping with a person’s drinking or drugging behaviors is the cause of their health conditions. These can include: sleep difficulties, migraines, anxiety, depression, stomach ailments, skin problems and many other health concerns. And like secondhand smoke, they can employ new [brain] science to prevent and/or reverse these impacts.

© 2011 Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Author | Speaker | Consultant | Founder at
Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!," "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," and "Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions." She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.
Lisa Frederiksen

Latest posts by Lisa Frederiksen (see all)

4 Responses to Secondhand Drinking | Secondhand Drugging (SHD)

  1. doug says:

    Great that you covering such topic. Its so important. Especially young adults in the UK are getting drunk and using drugs every day. its horrible. people should be more educated..

  2. Lisa, well written, but actually the secondhand drinking you point out is great deal more real than secondhand smoke. If you’d like to see a more direct comparison of the two, check out my analysis in the British Medical Journal at:

    – MJM

Leave a reply