Therapy and medication are the two most common treatments for alcoholism but a new study claims that getting married can result in a huge reduction in alcohol consumption - even amongst serious addicts.
This might sound far-fetched but researchers at the University of Missouri in the USA found that a dramatic change in a person’s role (such as becoming a husband or wife), can really help people to beat addiction.
A postdoctoral fellow at the university, Matthew Lee commented:
“The theory suggests that if a person’s existing behavioural pattern is conflicting with the demands of a new role, such as marriage, one way to resolve the incompatibility is to change behaviour. We hypothesised that this incompatibility may be greater for more severe drinkers, so they’ll need to make greater changes to their drinking to meet the role demands of marriage.”
The study used data from a large, ongoing study of familial alcohol disorders with approximately 50% of the participants being children of alcoholics. The researchers particularly looked at how the alcohol consumption of participants changed between the ages of 18 and 40 and whether or not they got married. From this, scientists were able to conclude that tying the knot helps combat the disease.
Dr Lee concluded:
“Confirming our prediction, we found that marriage not only led to reductions in heavy drinking in general, but this effect was much stronger for those who were severe problem drinkers before getting married. This seems consistent with role incompatibility theory.”
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