The Relationship Between One’s Level of Education and Addiction

There may be a relationship between addiction and the level of one’s education. Of course, this isn’t always true. However, when someone is educated, he or she learns skills, tools, and techniques to live their life. Someone who is educated might have more resources available to them to withstand the challenges that life can sometimes bring. Furthermore, someone who is educated might also be free of any mental illness, which might get in the way of advancing in their education. Also, having a mental illness can contribute to the use of alcohol or drugs because someone might feel the need to cope with their symptoms through the use of substances.

A research study done in 2004 found that there was in fact a relationship between one’s level of education and substance use. However, it should be noted that drawing this connection has been controversial because it fails to take into account other factors such as one’s socioeconomic status, psychological health or physiological impairments, which can all play a major role in the development of an addiction.

It should be noted, however, there is evidence that points to the relationship between lower levels of education and addiction. At the same time, there is also evidence that reveals that there is no relationship between education and addiction.

For instance, the study took over 30,000 men and women aged 20-93 and measured schooling level, smoking, alcohol use and obesity. The study found that those with the lowest level of education were heavy smokers, heavy drinkers, and frequently inactive. Alongside this, the study found that of those in drug or alcohol addiction treatment, nearly half never went to school or completed high school. These results do suggest that there may be a relationship between level of education and addiction. However, more accurately, one’s level of education might have an influence on whether a person goes on to develop an addiction, but it is not an indicator of addiction. There are many people who do not have high levels of education that do not later develop an addiction.

In fact, there is some evidence which indicates that there is no relationship between education level and substance use. For instance, at four year colleges, there is approximately 44% of students who binge drink. Binge drinking is considered to be excessive consumption of alcohol within short periods of time. Some studies show that binge drinking is more likely to occur on college campuses than anywhere else. Furthermore, studies show that college students are more likely to drink heavily than others their age who are not attending college.

If you or someone you know is regularly using substances, regardless of his or her education level, and struggling because of it, contact a mental health provider. A professional can provide valuable resources for moving through one’s life without the need to drink or use drugs. Furthermore, a mental health provider can also provide therapy which can address any underlying concerns that might be contributing to substance use in the first place. Lastly, a mental health provider can also provide a list of treatment centers that can address one’s addiction.


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