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A new groundbreaking study found that marriages can help against developing drug and alcohol use and abuse disorder.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden have studied the link between marriage and alcoholism and drug use too. Apparently, it is a lot less likely to happen among one or more of the members of a married couple than it would with a single person.
The study, “The Effect of Marriage on Risk for Onset of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Longitudinal and Co-Relative Analysis in a Swedish National Sample,” suggests that marriage was part of a significant reduction in risk for developing an alcohol or drug use disorder. With all of the talk about marriages causing stress and unhappiness, it didn’t become clear until now that marriages prevented stress and upset within a marriage.
Marriage Reduces Risks of Alcohol Abuse and More
We know that addiction is a significant problem in the United States today. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction have become a serious aspect of American life indeed. From a health perspective, drug and alcohol abuse can almost always produce several different adverse reactions. For instance, it can cause:
- Weakened immune system, increased susceptibility to infections.
- Cardiovascular conditions ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injected drugs can also lead to collapsed veins and infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.
- Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- The liver has to work harder, possibly causing significant damage or liver failure.
- Seizures, stroke and widespread brain damage that can impact all aspects of daily life by causing problems with memory, attention, and decision-making, including sustained mental confusion and permanent brain damage.
- Global body changes such as breast development in men, dramatic fluctuations in appetite and increases in body temperature, which may impact a variety of health conditions.
Furthermore, the study shows the following:
- An alarming epidemic in the United States today is that of drug addiction and substance abuse. Before 2007, a relatively small percentage of Americans were abusing or addicted to drugs and alcohol. Now the numbers on this are far more dangerous and severe. Truthfully, the nation has rarely seen a substance abuse crisis of this order of magnitude, and some professionals have even labeled it the worst it has ever been. Roughly eight percent of the American population over the age of 12 are addicted to or abusing drugs and alcohol, which equates to about twenty-five million people all in all.
- People all across the nation who are not abusing substances are in some way affected by substance abuse. Easily the most severely affected are the children of drug or alcohol abusing parents. These individuals stand a much higher chance of becoming substance abusers themselves, and they always have a much lower quality of life than children of non-substance abusing parents.
- Opiate use and addiction are linked to at least 50 percent of the major crimes in the United States; at least half of all suspects arrested for violent crimes (homicide, assault, etc.) were under the influence of opiates when arrested.
We know that substance abuse is a big deal in the nation, so what is it about marriage that does such an excellent job at keeping it at arm’s length?
According to the research done in the above study, there was a 59 percent reduction in risks of alcoholism in males and a 73 percent drop in females, who were in their first marriage.
The study involved more than 3.2 million individuals born in Sweden between 1960 and 1990. The people chosen were definitively single at the beginning of the study and had no personal history of alcoholism of any kind at all.
What to Do if a Spouse is Addicted
Without a doubt, the findings of this study are good news. It is nice to know that drug and alcohol abuse diminishes somewhat when husband and wife are close. What then, does one do if a spouse or life partner is abusing drugs or alcohol and the other is not? The answer is and always has been rehabilitation. With rehab, it is possible that the person will have a chance at complete sobriety and recovery.
Stay calm and relax in the peaceful thought that your spouse is in rehab doing what is necessary to make functional changes in your lives. This might sound mundane, but it does work. Sit down and relax in a calm period of silence when overwhelmed with work-related issues on the weekend. Rest and relax for a few minutes, then you should be able to confront the issue.
The best thing you can do for your spouse or partner who is struggling with addiction is to convince him or her to enter professional inpatient treatment. Contact a licensed interventionist for tips on how to begin. If you would like more information on how marriage reduces risks of alcohol abuse or questions about our services, call our toll-free number today.