Tag Archives: binge drinking

Study Shows Married Couples Tend to Drink Less

Journal of Family PsychologyLowered alcohol intake can be added to the list of the benefits that come from being married. According to a new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, married couples tend to drink less than people who are not in a committed relationship. In fact, the correlation is so strong that if a couple splits up, the protective factors of the relationship go away and alcohol consumption increases.

“Our data revealed an interesting pattern where, once you’re in a committed relationship, your drinking frequency declines permanently, whereas quantity goes back up if you exit that relationship. It seems that intimate relationships may provide a real benefit in terms of drinking behavior, maybe through mechanisms such as a monitoring effect that partners have on each other,” explained Diana Dinescu, lead author of the study.

In order to eliminate questions of genetic predispositions and upbringing, the researchers decided to use only twins as their study subjects. Once the 1,618 female pairs and 807 male pairs were gathered, they were asked to fill out a survey. The survey consisted of questions regarding their relationship status and their alcohol consumption. The researchers were especially interested in twins because previous studies have already shown that married couples tend to drink less, but Dinescu’s research team was interested in finding out of people sharing the same genetic and familial backgrounds were effected differently.

Further research would have to be completed to determine exactly why marriage decreases the amount of alcohol consumed, but speculations abound. For example, the need they are seeking to fulfill, such as companionship and reassurance, are then found with their spouse rather than seeking it in the form of a synthetic feeling from alcohol. There is also the matter of nightlife being involved in the dating scene, which generally includes more alcohol consumption, so there would be less of that when someone is already married.

Unfortunately many young adults are still very impressionable and the messages they receive through pop culture condone heavy drinking and partying. For adult alcohol abuse prevention, programs and activities that change social norms can go a long way to reduce alcohol consumption levels such as binge drinking.

Preventing Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Starts at Home

underage drinkingAs younger children grow into adolescence, parents have to be very concerned with peer pressure and the constant threat of underage drinking and other forms of substance abuse that they will likely be exposed to. In fact, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six children have consumed alcohol before they turned 13. Additionally, one in six high school children have binged on alcohol. The younger the age of substance abuse, the increased chances of addition in adulthood.

Parents are the front line defense for their children in helping them make better decisions about drinking and using drugs, and there are many ways they can help prevent substance abuse. Researchers at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont California developed a study that examined the relationship between adolescents and their parents when it came to alcohol consumption.

After analyzing data provided by 9,400 teens and their parents, they were able to find some helpful information, which was published in the journal Prevention Science. The research showed that children who grew up in environments where parents tended not to keep an eye on them or provide emotional support were more likely to engage in binge drinking. They also found that the corollary was true – parents who provided adequate supervision paired with adequate support and warmth were more successful in raising children who did not engage in underage binge drinking.

One important finding that came from this study was that parents who assumed their child was drinking were more likely to have a child experiment with alcohol. This assumption often prevented parents from stepping in and educating or disciplining their children, allowing the alcohol use to continue.

“In the short term, allowing children to try alcohol simply teaches them that parents don’t mind if they have alcohol. In the long term, allowing children to have alcohol increases their odds of underage drinking during adolescence,” explained Christine Jackson, a social ecologist at RTI International in Durham, North Carolina.

A positive outcome of the study that researchers pointed out was that parents were much more willing to be educated about underage drinking. This is encouraging because if parents can change their attitudes and approaches when it comes to alcohol, the children are much better off in the long run, and hopefully preventing situations later in life that would require treatment for a alcohol abuse or addiction problem.

Addressing Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses

college binge drinkingColleges and universities are notorious for being an incubator of substance abuse problems, especially when it comes to alcoholism. With roughly 80% of college students being current drinkers, and half of them binge drinkers, the amount of alcohol consumed is highly dangerous.

While some people might shrug this off as a rite of passage or part of the “college experience,” the problems associated with the heavy drinking on campus are numerous and extensive. For example, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 1,800 students die each year from alcohol-related injuries, with another 600,000 receiving non-fatal injuries. There are also close to 700,00 assaults and nearly 100,000 sexual assaults.

Clearly, the problem is much larger than many people want to admit, unless it’s happening to their loved ones. As one university newspaper pointed out, there is also the issue of students moving past the point of alcohol abuse to chronic heavy drinkers and eventually into alcoholism. There are different forms of alcohol use disorders, and it is often difficult to detect when there is so much drinking going on to find the ones who really need the most help.

Changing this behavior takes concerted efforts from multiple sources, not the least of which is the Colleges themselves. While most of them have rules for dorms, school-sponsored events and underage drinking, they’re not doing much else about the problem. Having campus-wide awareness programs and support systems in place could be a huge step in avoiding bigger problems for most students.

If you have a loved one who has developed a drinking problem and is in need of help, contact us today to find out more about our treatment program and how we can help.