Alcohol consumption and volatile relationships make for a dangerous combination. Domestic violence and extreme arguing are common manifestations of this duo. But, why do some couples get involved in this lifestyle, while other couples do not? This is the question that The National Institutes of Health is looking to answer. And they are willing to spend a lot of money in making sure that they understand the mechanics behind this issue. The organization is paying almost $600,000 to The State University of New York at Buffalo to develop and carry out the study.
And while the question is an interesting one, some people are not sure why it is being investigated so seriously. But, as the grant explains, this is a public health problem, the fallout of which costs the taxpayers a lot of money. “Understanding the relationship-specific motivations for alcohol use, as well as the risk and protective factors associated with relationship drinking processes as they occur in real-time in couples’ natural environments, is crucial to addressing problematic alcohol use in relationships,” explained researchers.
So, while the taxpayers are footing the bill for this expensive study, the amount spent on handling the problems from alcohol-fueled domestic problems is far greater. Taxpayers are charged with funding health services, legal fees and of course the salaries of the officers who have to respond to fights that escalate.
Researchers have been able to pinpoint some of the reasons people consume alcohol in relationships. Women are more likely to drink in order to fulfill their intimacy needs and men are more likely to drink in order to fill their social needs. This may be why some relationship arguments are fueled by alcohol, because both partners have different goals behind their alcohol consumption.
The hope is that by discovering why couples consume alcohol, experts and policy makers can figure out new ways to keep people safe from domestic violence and educate couples who are struggling with these issues before it escalates out of hand.