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November 06, 1987 - Image 104

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ISINGLE LIFE

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I

Use and Abuse

Continued from preceding page
shows up fairly consistently
as well as it suggests that it
is not simply, actually having
tied the knot and the changes
in living arrangements that
may be involved with that,
but some important part of it
has to do with the commit-
ment to the other person!'
So, while there does seem to
be a link between the singles
scene and substance abuse,
the single lifestyle cannot be
isolated as a prime con-
tributor to the magnitude of
todays chemical dependency
problem in the United States.
In their 1985 pamphlet, Drug
Use Among High School
Seniors, 1975-1984, the ISR
researchers state, "the single
most important predictor of
post-high school drug use is
use during high school." The
reason is that drug use is
dependent on environmental
and physiological factors
which generally are set by the
senior year in high school
and, usually, remain fairly
stable immediately after high
school graduation. Marriage
represents a major break in
that pattern, and that causes
a major change in drug use
patterns, for the better. Re-
maining at home with
parents represents little
change and, therefore, little
change in drug use. Moving
out of a parent's home, while
remaining single, is also a
major change and among
those people, drug use rises.
What factors cause this
rise? Arnold Braver, director
of chemical dependency ser-
vices at Botsford Hospital in
Farmington Hills, feels that,
"single people have more
substance abuse that arrives
out of loneliness and depres-
sion as opposed to arising out
of family pressures and
things like that. The
pressures on a single person
are different!'
The ISR study notes that
married people go out with
their spouses about as often
as singles go out on dates. But
on other nights, married peo-
ple will stay at home more
often, "and that may con-
tribute rather directly to
reduced opportunities for il-
licit drug use or for heavy
drinking," says Bachman.
Wayne Isbell, director of

public
relations
and
marketing and a lecturer at
the Women's Recovery Pro-
gram of Woodside Medical,
Inc. in Pontiac, adds, "I would

think that the single lifestyle
may incorporate more
episodes in which there is
alcohol or drug use. For exam-
ple, the singles-bar scene .. .
"Single people may have
made commitments to stay-
ing single for a reason, that
being that they are perhaps

Substance abuse
among singles is
often attributed to
loneliness .

on a career track," with all
the pressure that entails,
which may explain some drug
or alcohol abuse problems
among singles.
Wolf said he feels that those
living alone can more easily
hide an addiction for a longer
time.
While drug or alcohol abuse
will frequently break up a
family, it also hinders rela-
tionships of singles. Braver
explains, "At a relatively ear-
ly age, we find that chemical-
ly dependent people have a
more difficult time developing
serious relationships. They
tend to develop relationships
with other people involved in
drug use and the two of them
have difficulty really loving
anything besides the
chemical!' Wolf adds, "the
way that people look at (co-
caine) now is that the ad-
dicted person who's using co-
caine, that is their primary
lover, the cocaine is the lover!'
None of the experts inter-
viewed for this article had
ever heard of a special pro-
gram for treating singles for
chemical dependency.
The experts generally
recommend that a single per-
son seeking help look for an
accredited facility — easily
found in the Yellow Pages —
that has therapists or
counselors who understand
the different needs of dif-
ferent individuals. Those in-
terviewed for this article say
they generally urge their pa-
tients to join Alcoholics
Anonymous or Narcotics
Anonymous or Cocaine
Continued on Page 106

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Personally Speaking

Single Life is planning a feature story about couples
who are dating, engaged or married as a result of meeting
through The Jewish News People Connector Ads or the per-
sonal ads in the Jewish Singles Event Source from the Com-
munity Network for Jewish Singles. If you are among these
couples and would like to be written up and photographed
for the story, please call News Editor Heidi Press, 354-6060,
during business hours.

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