Alcohol use can come with severe costs. It can lead to legal problems, financial stress, unemployment, and cause serious health issues. It can also destroy a family and romantic relationships. Alcohol use is one of the leading reasons couples file for divorce in the United States. According to the National Institute of Health, alcoholism and divorce statistics indicate that one liter more of alcohol consumption per capita can increase divorce rates by as much as 20%.
Beyond the anxiety, stress, and worry that a sober spouse endures with daily drinking, they often experience traumatic events ranging from abuse, deceit, mental health issues like depression, and more.
Around 50% of marriages end in divorce. When alcohol abuse is present in a household, the chances of divorce nearly triple. Contact our alcohol addiction help online programs through AspenRidge Recovery at (855) 281-5588.
The Problems of Alcoholism and Divorce
Problems with alcohol extend beyond health concerns. It can permeate family settings, particularly having a powerful impact on spouses and children. Alcohol can account for a large number of cases involving domestic abuse, child protective services, and divorce. Alcoholism and divorce trends continue to increase. According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, ongoing and regular drinking among couples showed lower quality marriages. Marital issues involving continued drinking ultimately stem from the effects of alcohol abuse.
Alcohol addiction can be a progressive disease. In other words, in some individuals, casual use may morph into dependency for many different reasons. Some individuals are predisposed to alcohol problems due to genetics and socioeconomic factors. Others are battling underlying mental health issues and are choosing alcohol to self-medicate. Regardless, it’s one of the leading substances abused by nearly 15 million Americans in 2019.
Alcohol is one of the most prevalent and widely accepted substances in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, two-thirds of American adults ages 18 and older consumed alcohol in any given year. According to the 2019 NSDUH, 5.3% (or 15 million) people ages 12 and older had a diagnosable alcohol use disorder (AUD). Of those, only about 6.4% will receive alcohol abuse treatment.
Alcohol – although common in an everyday setting – also carries heavy consequences. For example, drinking regularly shows an increased risk of health complications and general wellbeing. Diseases more prevalent among habitual drinkers, according to the CDC, include:
- High blood pressure
- Cancers including breast mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
- Mental illnesses like anxiety and depression
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
Understandably, these health concerns can cause strain within a marriage. In addition to personal illness, alcohol is a leading cause of:
- Car accidents
- Risky behaviors
Romantic partners can face numerous challenges as they navigate substance abuse and its ongoing effects. It might include covering for a spouse when concerned family members recognize signs of alcohol issues. It may also mean dealing with financial troubles or legal problems.
Why do alcoholism and divorce show a correlation? In many cases, an AUD can change a person into someone nearly unrecognizable. A spouse – once vibrant, energetic, and fun-loving – may withdraw from daily activities and behave secretly or erratically. These changes can occur over time, or they may be abrupt. Couples often don’t survive relationship problems caused by the stresses of alcohol dependency.
Behavioral changes may include things like losing focus at work, poor performance, sudden outbursts, risky spending, and changing circles of friends. Other behavioral changes that accompany alcohol abuse include:
- Increased expressions of anger
- Public outbursts
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Violent behavior
- Overall negative outlook on life
Alcohol can cloud a person’s judgment and their ability to consider the consequences of their actions. It can numb the feelings that would otherwise prevent someone from engaging in antisocial behavior.
Rising Trends in Divorce and Alcohol Abuse
The current COVID-19 pandemic has increased the use of alcohol nationwide. According to the National Public Radio, alcohol consumption rose 14% during 2020. It is also reported that the largest percentage increase in use of alcohol in 2020 was for women. Women’s use of alcohol increased by about 17% in 2020.
Alcohol sales increased 400% in the last year. The pandemic and media exposure to alcohol are not the only factors that contribute to the increased alcohol use in the U.S. Research suggests that underlying mental health issues continue to be prolific among Americans and with lack of available resources and amid pandemic shutdowns, received treatment is difficult.
Alcohol and Divorce Statistics
Is alcohol a reason for divorce? In 2003, an 18-year study (Anato & Previti) found that, along with drug use, alcohol was the third most commonly cited reason for divorce, following infidelity and incompatibility.” There are other important factors when considering alcohol and divorce statistics. They may include things such as:
- Verbal aggression is twice as likely to occur if alcohol has been consumed in the previous four hours. Physical aggression is three to four times more likely with alcohol due to the ways in which impairs logic, reasoning, and judgement.
- Divorce is more common in marriages when only one spouse is heavily drinking
- There are higher rates of divorce when a wife in a heterosexuals’ marriage is the main consumer of alcohol.
- Children experience devastating outcomes when both parents are facing AUD issues.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 26.8 million children in the United States are exposed to alcoholism by their family, resulting in a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic.
AspenRidge Recovery offers online support for alcohol abuse to help individuals overcome dependency. Our online programs provide therapy to address co-occurring mental health disorders and help with addiction-specific challenges. If your marriage is struggling due to alcohol, contact us today (855) 281-5588.
How Do I Know if My Drinking Is Impacting My Family?
Alcohol can be a tricky substance. It can catch many users by surprise. It is highly accepted throughout the world and carries less stigma than other illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine, or meth. Alcohol use can grow over time and consequences are usually more severe with prolonged use. Monitoring alcohol use is important when considering the potential for an AUD.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an alcohol use disorder is a chronic relapsing brain disorder characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.
It can be hard to know if alcohol has a negative impact on your life, especially when it may feel like an innocent pastime. Asking for input from trustworthy friends and family can be a powerful tool. Other options include understanding the reasons for heavy or ongoing consumption of alcohol. Ask the following questions:
- Have you tried to stop drinking but were unable?
- Is work suffering as a result of your drinking?
- How much money is spent on alcohol each week?
- Is alcohol impacting your ability to sleep, eat, or function?
- Do you have strong cravings or urges to drink even when you don’t want to?
- Do you continue to drink even when it’s causing negative feelings or harm to your loved ones?
In general, if performance at work changes or your family is encountering difficulties that can be linked back to alcohol, whether financial, physical, or emotional, it’s time to seek help. To change alcohol and divorce statistics, it’s critical that spouse’s seek recovery sooner.
Can I Drink and Still Have a Happy Marriage?
Yes. Drinking is not the only factor that impacts a marriage. Alcohol may be used in moderation and according to guidelines set forth by the CDC. There are married couples who can enjoy wine for dinner on occasion or a night out with friends. The key is to ensure that alcohol consumption doesn’t cascade into something much more problematic.
Safe and appropriate drinking habits may allow for a safe and healthy marriage. Some safe and effective habits of drinking for married couples include:
- Effective communication
- Set timelines
- Drink in moderation
- Healthy drinking community
- Safe transportation
- Financially responsible decisions
Drinking can be done safely, however any amount of alcohol does put a person at risk for several short and long-term consequences. Fortunately, there are online alcohol rehab options available for people suffering from an AUD.
Does Alcohol Online Recovery Work?
Online addiction treatment addresses substance abuse similarly to in-person programs. Given the prevalence of drinking nationwide, virtual substance abuse counseling can provide better access to effective recovery options. Online therapy and addiction help has proven to be effective. Learn more here about how online addiction programs work.
Counseling programs have proven to aid in recovery, and teach individuals trigger techniques that help reduce risks of relapse. Most provide group and individual support while offering skillset training for living alcohol-free. Customizable programs like those through AspenRidge Recovery can help to address specific marital issues. Online alcohol rehab has a high satisfaction rating from both therapists and patients.
Therapy staff, the online format, and rehab results are praised by those in the program, their families, colleagues, and friends. Online programs may be key in helping to reduce trends in alcoholism and divorce.
AspenRidge Recovery: Rebuilding Relationships with Treatment Programs
AspenRidge Recovery provides telehealth addiction treatment using secure online technology. Our exclusive online substance abuse treatment programs and dual diagnosis therapy offers more people access to evidence-based care. Our aim is to address substance abuse issues that impact individuals and families. Through our ongoing therapy support, we can help you rebuild relationships during recovery.
It’s critical that alcohol abuse is addressed sooner than later. While it can be a difficult step to take, it’s one in which your marriage may hang in the balance.
AspenRidge Recovery offers online treatment programs that make it possible to receive recovery care while still maintaining a flexible schedule. A list of our programs includes:
- Day Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
- Day Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- IOP for Professionals and Working Adults
- Outpatient Program
- Alumni & Aftercare Program
AspenRidge Recovery methodologies prove to support clients through recovery and long-term care. We can address fear and healthy coping mechanisms to combat any doubt and uncertainty that either an individual or family may feel during these difficult times. It’s important to understand that achieving sobriety is possible.
We strive to remain transparent in our process and, during client intake, we provide a full assessment to address some of the concerns listed above. Contact us today at (855) 281-5588.