Restorations Therapy Blog

Higher Education May Impact Drinking Behaviors and Possibly Reduce the Risk of Alcohol Dependence

by on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Alcohol consumption is a main risk factor for disability and death around the world. Pinpointing reasons related to quantity of alcohol consumed, amount of time, and what people drink are important for improving strategies related to intervention and treatment. Past studies propose that attaining higher education may influence drinking, however the results differ from study to study. Some point to education levels influencing drinking behaviors, and others point to them discouraging drinking behaviors.

The Study

The study assessed the probable effects of education levels on alcohol use behaviors and alcohol dependence by using genetic data. They studied and tested 53 genetic variations associated with differences in education levels and their relations with alcohol use behaviors. There were about 780,000 study participants, and the research found that those people with over 3.5 years of schooling had a reduction in alcohol dependence of about 50%. The existence of genetic variations associated with educational levels also influenced alcohol use patterns and the type of alcoholic beverages that people consumed, but not the quantity of alcohol consumed.  The study found that the particular genetic variations were associated with:

  • Reduced rates of binge drinking
  • Lower incidences of memory loss due to drinking
  • Less total drinks consumed per day
  • Decreased weekly consumption of beer, cider, and distilled spirits

Key Points

The study suggests that increases in education levels may be beneficial for producing alcohol use prevention programs. They also found that spending more years in the educational system, and attaining higher levels of education, may positively impact one’s drinking behaviors. Furthermore, it may reduce the risk of future alcohol dependence and substance use disorders. Additionally, observational studies propose that lower educational levels may be associated with riskier alcohol use behaviors. Therefore, educational attainment may be responsible for differences in alcohol use behaviors, and people who are educated generally lead healthier lifestyles and have longer lifespans than those with less educational backgrounds. 

Looking for Help?

Education is imperative for improvement in all areas of life. It provides social support, positive reinforcement, and multiple opportunities for self-improvement and growth. Although the research continues to go back and forth on the possibilities of education as a deterrent or a promoter of alcohol and drug use, these studies are imperative for continuing to uncover the issues of addiction and improving treatment strategies. 

Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-658

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