Single people are more likely to develop a drinking problem, a new study has revealed.

Researchers found married couples drank less in general than those who are unattached. And in addition to having fewer overall alcoholic drinks, they also indulged in booze less regularly. It is thought this is because people keep an eye on their spouse’s drinking habits and will stop them from going too far.

The scientists have also suggested that it is possible that those who drink heavily may be more likely to remain single due to their alcohol habit.

Researchers from the University of Virginia studied 2,425 pairs of identical twins to exclude the impact genetics might have on people’s likelihood to become dependent on alcohol. The study discovered that the twins who were married consumed less alcohol than their siblings who were single, despite sharing the same DNA.

Diana Dinescu, a psychologist who was involved in the study which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology, said: “By using twins, our study allows us to eliminate entire classes of alternative explanations, such as genetic predispositions and upbringing influences, and brings us a step closer to understanding the true impact of relationships on drinking behaviour.”

A total of 1,618 pairs of female twins and 807 pairs of male twins were quizzed about their relationship status and their drinking habits.

Co-habiting also reduces alcohol consumption

The findings also revealed that people who simply live with their partners drank more often than those who were married but less regularly than those who were not in a long-term relationship.

If you’re concerned that someone you know is a problem drinker, it is a good idea to get some clear answers so you can help them get the professional assistance and support they need to kick the habit.

AlphaBiolabs offers an alcohol testing service to both members of the public and organisations. Alcohol abuse can be detected by testing for the presence of ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) in a hair strand sample.

Blood tests can also be carried out to look for signs that a person is misusing alcohol. For example, a liver function test can indicate there are problems with the liver likely to have been caused by heavy drinking.

And a high Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) reading is also an indication that an individual is drinking large amounts of alcohol.