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Tag Archives: substance abuse

Drinking Increases Risk of Divorce

Addiction 1Alcohol addiction has often been called a family disease. Dependency takes a toll on relationships because symptoms don’t occur in isolation. Chronic alcohol use can inhibit functioning and make it hard for affected individuals to complete routine tasks. A new study shows that alcohol abuse is often the source of marital conflict and has also been linked with higher instances of divorce.

Researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have found that excess alcohol consumption is a public health issue for most Western countries. They also uncovered that alcohol has predictive value when it comes to foretelling whether or not a couple’s marriage will last – especially when one partner only drinks in moderation while the other consumes heavily.

Investigators re-examined data from nearly 20,000 married couples collected between 1984 and 1986 using regression analysis. Study author Fartein Ask Torvik says findings indicate that the more a person drinks, the higher his or risk of divorce will be.

Interestingly, women who drank heavily had a higher divorce rate than men who did the same. Torik believes this could be because heavy drinking in women is not as widely accepted by society. Other explanations include that alcohol consumption is biologically more impairing for females than males or that excess consumption can interfere with a woman’s role as wife or mother. In any case, marriages where the wife drank heavily and the husband only drank in moderation experienced divorce rates that were triple that of couples who only drank lightly.

The study, which is covered in an MNT article, also shows that two heavy drinkers have a higher likelihood of divorce.

Investigators suggest that in addition to divorce, alcohol may be responsible for other social issues or health problems. The effects of familial alcoholism can also be felt by children. Mental health professionals at the Family Guidance Center can provide support and addiction treatment services for families affected by alcoholism. For more information on local programs, contact the Family Guidance Center today.

Adolescent Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Intertwined, Study Says

Mental Illness 2Unresolved mental health issues can affect other areas of a person’s life such as relationships, ability to work and performance at school. Substance abuse, particularly in youth, can compound these issues and also cause problems later in life.

Research shows a connection between adolescent substance abuse and the development of problematic mental health. Likewise, teens with mental health problems have a higher association with alcohol and drug use. A new Australian study found that as many as one in ten adolescents with mental health diagnoses consume alcohol, smoke tobacco and use marijuana.

The study originating in Sydney analyzed the mental health records of more than 2000 individuals ranging in age from 12 to 30 years old. Many of those seeking treatment for mental health issues also provided data for weekly drug and alcohol use. According to an article presented by Medical News Today, 12 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 admitted to drinking alcohol a minimum of once a week.

Other study findings showed that drinking percentages increased with age among those with mental illness. For instance, 39 percent of teens aged 18 and 19 drank weekly but that number jumped to near 50 percent amongst the 20 to 30 year-old population. Young adolescents with mental diagnoses were at twice the risk of weekly drinking as their peers. Results for weekly marijuana use followed a similar trend as did reported daily use of tobacco, with older teens citing higher usage rates than younger teens.

Researchers uncovered that older males diagnosed as bipolar or who had other psychotic disorders were at greatest risk of substance abuse, and that mental illness was associated with a higher probability of other health issues as well as premature death.

Because of their comorbidity, study findings highlight the importance of examining mental health in conjunction with substance abuse. Family Guidance Center has mental health professionals to assist families in managing the symptoms and treatment for mental health disorders. Experts say addressing issues of mental health early provides the best prognosis for treatment and recovery. Talk to your Family Guidance Center to find out about area programs addressing both substance abuse and mental health.