Alcohol abuse affects millions of families either directly or indirectly, and the abuse of legal substances is a prominent concern for public health officials throughout the world (Corroa, et al., 2000; World Health Organization [WHO], 2004; WHO, 1997). According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005), of the 3.8 million persons who received treatment in the U.S. for alcohol or drugs in the past year, more than half (2.4 million) were treated for alcohol abuse. Approximately 55 percent of adults report having had at least one drink during the past 30 days. Five percent of men report having two drinks per day while five percent of women report having one drink per day. During the past 30 days, 16 percent report being binge drinkers (males having five or more drinks on one occasion, females having four or more drinks on one occasion) while nine percent of adults in the U.S. meet the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence (Grant, Stinson, Dawson, Chou, Dufour, Compton, et al., 2004).
This brief will provide the latest research regarding the impact of alcohol use on relationships. It will also provide a discussion of the implications this association has for marriage education. (Author abstract)