According to a new research report, getting a divorce increases the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD) by more than sevenfold for women and almost sixfold for men, new research shows.
The same research project provided results that also predicted that the risk for AUD is elevated for an identical twin getting divorced, but to a much lesser degree, which further suggests that marriage itself – and not genetic or environmental traits - might protect against AUD.
According to an article in Medscape Medical News – Psychiatry, these results are designed to remind clinicians of the importance of social and psychological factors for alcoholism.
The study was published online January 20 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Research also shows that divorced and single people typically drink more than those who are married, but the reason for this is unclear. It also indicated that the association between divorce and the development of an AUD was much stronger in both men and women if the spouse did not have a lifetime history of AUD.
The bottom line. There is something about marriage that protects against alcoholism.