Family Health and Substance Abuse: A Vital Connection

father and baby

At Aware Recovery Care, we know the emotional health of families often plays a significant role in substance abuse and can be a key determinant in whether a person successfully recovers from addiction.

Our treatment program often includes family therapy and education.

New research from Sweden underscores the importance of family and emotional health in substance abuse.

The Impact of Parental Leave on Alcohol-Related Illnesses

It’s been known for some time that parental leave significantly improves a mother’s postpartum recovery and infant development.

In a study published in the journal Addiction[i], researchers at the Department of Public Health Sciences at Stockholm University found that men who take parental leave around the birth of a child have a significantly reduced risk of being hospitalized due to excessive alcohol consumption. 

Here are some excerpts from the study:

“Observational evidence from Sweden has previously revealed significant decreases in alcohol-related hospitalization and mortality risks among fathers by any leave use, by more equal leave use with their partners and for up to 10 days of leave versus no leave…

Meanwhile, a US-based quasi-experimental study also found decreased risks of alcohol use linked to fathers’ leave provisions. Our findings for more severe alcohol-related consequences may, therefore, be indicative of even greater changes in fathers’ underlying alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the prior study focused on short-term indicators of health, whereas our measures were captured continuously up to 2, 8, and 18 years after childbirth, supporting the long-term consequences observed in the Swedish observational studies mentioned above.”

Policy Implications: Promoting Gender-Equal Participation and Reducing Alcohol-Related Harms

Study co-author Associate Professor Sol Juárez believes there is a lesson in this data. “Policymakers should consider that fathers’ parental leave not only promotes more gender-equal participation in childcare but can also reduce alcohol-related harms.” 

We agree.

How Aware Recovery Care Can Help You or a Loved One

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.