In 2016, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety surveyed some two-thousand South Koreans aged between twenty and forty who drink alcohol and said about seventy-percent of them have drunk alone in the last six months.
And about thirty-percent of those said they drank alone more often in the last six months than in the six months before.
This rise in the number of people drinking alone is due to the increase of single-person households in the country, which took up only nine-percent of all households in 1990 but now makes up almost thirty-percent of households.
"While many people prefer to drink alone these days, some experts warn that this could lead to some negative health effects such as alcohol addiction."
"If you drink alone, you are more likely to drink more and more on a regular basis than when you drink with others. And there is no one around you who can check on your heavy drinking, which could lead to alcohol addiction."
The addiction is serious because it could develop into alcohol-related dementia.
Dementia usually happens to elderly people, but alcohol-related dementia occurs in younger people.
The expert recommends paying attention to some warning signs.
Drinking more and more on a regular basis and drinking to get to sleep are notable signs.
Seeking liquors with high alcohol volumes and experiencing blackouts and withdrawal symptoms such as tremors also show an addiction to alcohol.
Fortunately, there is a way to drink alone while minimizing health risks.
"When you drink alcohol, don't forget to drink lots of water to help your body slowly absorb but quickly break down alcohol. Eating fruit while drinking also prevents brain damage from alcohol."
Health professionals say that deciding on how much and how long to drink further reduces the adverse health effects of drinking alone.
Choi Si-young, Arirang News.