Israeli Study: Alcohol Reduces War-Induced Anxiety


alcoholModerate consumption of alcohol can reduce anxiety and depression related to terror and war, according to an American-Israeli study which explored this link among Israelis during the 2008 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, reports Yediot Achronot.

The researchers also found that the level of depression among those who drank regularly was significantly lower about a year after the operation, compared to those who did not consume alcohol.

“This may be a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says the study’s Israeli researcher, Prof. Daphna Canetti of the University of Haifa’s School of Political Science. “Whoever drinks alcohol is more open in social settings, thereby allowing friends and family members to strengthen him and reduce the levels of depression.”

Previous studies have focused on the negative aspects of alcohol consumption. This time, the researchers asked universities in the United States and the University of Haifa to look into the link between social support from family and friends, alcohol consumption and a state of depression, in light of Operation Cast Lead.

Some 1,300 Israeli adults, Jews and Arabs who are dealing intensively with terror and war, participated in the study, which was funded by the American National Institute on Mental Health.

The respondents were asked about their exposure to terror or rocket fire, financial damage in light of acts of terror or bombings, their ability to turn to friends and relative in order to deal with the situation, consumption of alcohol – mainly wine and beer, and their political views. Read more.

{ Israel}