Why You Should Never Use Alcohol to Cope With Divorce

Why You Should Never Use Alcohol to Cope with Divorce

Turning to alcohol has always been a popular, but toxic way to cope with divorce.

Too many people choose to self-medicate, instead of seeking help. They may be too embarrassed to seek professional help or feel too isolated to turn to family or friends.

Using alcohol to “relax” clearly has well-documented physical and emotional side effects. But it can also set a bad example for children, who are already impressionable and going through a lot.

Vicki Larson wrote a very insightful blog for the Huffington Post on the subject, in it, she writes, “it’s not unusual for former smokers or light drinkers to return to their bad habits, amp them up or start new ones. And that, say, experts, is a dangerous path to take.”

How Each Partner Deals with Divorce

A study presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Sociological Association indicates that men are more likely than women to turn to drink after divorce. Generally speaking, married men appear to drink less than their male single and divorced counterparts.

In contrast, married women appear to drink more than their divorced or widowed friends, partly because they lived with men who were more likely to drink. Still, the research indicates that men consistently drink more than women and are more prone to develop an alcohol problem.

“Marriage and divorce have different consequences for men’s and women’s alcohol use. For men, it’s tempered by being married and exacerbated by being divorced,” according to Corinne Reczek, who carried out the study. Men tend to turn to alcohol to deal with their stress, unlike women who turn to food or their family members.

Some Divorcees Drink Less

A lot of the women questioned during the study cited their husbands as introducing them to alcohol, and after divorce, men tend to bond with friends over alcohol. Reczek says that “Women talk about how when they get divorced, they lose the person encouraging them to drink.”

In 2004, an Australian study suggested that married couples generally drink less than their non-married counterparts. And last year, a study in Cardiff University suggested that happily married couples tend to eat more healthily than other people. This could be due to any number of factors, including loved ones showing concern for a spouse’s poor eating habits or substance abuse, or increased socialization in their local community through family events.

Typically, men’s use of alcohol and substance abuse, in general, tended to increase after their divorce settlement. These studies have also established the negative impact of divorce on mental health, with male divorcees often suffering from depression, substance abuse and a much higher rate of suicides (39%).

Divorced men are also ten times more likely to undergo psychiatric care than married men.

Are You Facing a Divorce?

A reliable divorce lawyer can be an invaluable help during this trying time in your life.  Galbraith Family Law has helped countless people like you throughout the entire process and helped them start the next phase of their life the right way.

We’re a certified Collaborative Practice and have been named the top firm in Barrie multiple times. Our legal insights have also been featured in the Globe and Mail, as well as Lawyers Weekly.

To speak to a member of our staff, click here.


Brian Galbraith

Brian Galbraith is the owner and founder of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation. Brian is known in the legal community for his commitment to efficiently practicing family law using technology and streamlining the divorce processes.

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