Sunday, May 1, 2011

Influence of Religion and Spirituality on Alcoholism

One of the journal articles I read that impacted me the most concerning the influence of religion and spirituality on alcholoism was the one entitled The Influence of Religiosity and Spirituality on Drinking Behaviors: Differences Between Students Attending Two Southern Universities.
According to this article, college students drink approximately "430 million gallons of alcohol" every year which is enough for every college and university in the United States to fill an Olympic size swimming pool (p. 96). Forty percent of these college students engaged in binge drinking which is drinking five or more alcoholic beverages at one time.

Alcohol abuse effects college students' academics and attendance. Thirty-six percent of these students expressed regrets for their drinking behavior. Thirty percent were so drunk that they forgot where they were or what they did, fourteen percent had unprotected sex, and 34.1 percent reported that they drove while drinking. These are scary statistics!

This study found that the southern states, also known as the Bible belt, of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri have fewer alcohol abuse than the Northern Midwest states. No matter where one lives, religion and spirituality have a positive influence on the person's self-control. It is believed to be "protective factors against college students alcohol use" (p. 96).

This article and eighteen of my twenty journal articles supported that religion and spirituality have a positive effect on one's decision to drink. I believe that the way one is brought up also weighs heavily on a person's attitudes of drinking alcohol. I am thankful that I was born in the Bible belt and raised in a family where Christ was the center of everything! These aspects surely impacted my life. Thank you Mom!

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