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Married to someone with Alcoholism? You’re at Higher Risk for AUD

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a new study that found a strong correlation between the instance of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) or alcoholism, in spouses. Put more simply, if you are married to a person who suffers from alcoholism you have a much greater chance of suffering from alcoholism, as well.

The study was population-wide, and took place in Sweden. The study included 8562 marital pairs with no history of AUD registration (an instance of alcoholism that was trackable by medical, criminal, or pharmacy registries) before their first marriage and a spouse who had alcoholism.

‘Large and Rapid’ Increase for 1st-time Alcoholism

The study, which was conducted from August 15 to September 1, 2017, concluded that there is a ‘large and rapid’ increase of risk for a person to have suffer from alcoholism, if their spouse does. Additionally, this it was identified that this is the person’s first experience with AUD. That means that even spouses with no prior instances of alcoholism were at much higher risk if they were married to someone suffering from alcoholism. Though it has been clear that spouses tend to resemble each other in their habits related to alcohol, it hasn’t been clear whether or not that is due to one partner influencing the other or if people with similar habits, disorders or abuses seek each other out. This study suggests that the latter is not the case.

Husbands vs Wives

In their first marriage, women were 14 more times likely to suffer from AUD after their husbands were registered with it. Conversely, men were 9 times more likely if their wives had been registered as having AUD. For both men and women, likelihood dropped significantly after 2-3 years.

Alcoholism Statistics

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 15.1 million adults (18+) suffered from alcoholism in 2015, and only 6.7% of people with AUD received treatment.

It is estimated that 88,000 people die every year from alcohol-related causes. This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, behind smoking and poor diet and exercise.

Seek Treatment for You or Your Loved One

The results of this study indicate that there is a direct and causal relationship between spouses’ drinking problems, so it is vital to seek treatment for Alcoholism at an accredited alcoholism treatment facility.

If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Futures today for help to break free from alcoholism.