Sober living

Why She Drinks: Women and Alcohol Abuse WSJ

“It’s hard to get out of that cycle of shame, drinking and abuse,” Cooper says. Perhaps most concerning is that the rising gender equality in alcohol use doesn’t extend to the recognition or treatment of alcohol disorders, Sugarman says. So even as some women drink more, they’re often less likely to get the help they need. Studies show that a large percentage of early-onset dementia cases are triggered by AUDs or alcohol abuse.

women and alcoholism

Men still engage in binge drinking more frequently than women. However, women in their early 20s report drinking and getting drunk at higher rates than their male peers. And research shows that using drinking as a way to numb or distract from distressing emotions is more likely to result in dependence or alcohol use disorder. Women who drink excessively can witness negative changes to their appearance. Physical signs of alcoholism are obvious in one’s facial appearance.

The health consequences of alcohol abuse in women

Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol use disorder have long been considered more of a problem for men. In conduction with these troubling statistics, more women are developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). For women, heavy drinking not only makes mental health issues worse, it also puts women at risk for a variety of physical health conditions. Moreover, “women appear to be more vulnerable than men to many adverse consequences of alcohol use,” NIAAA reports, including a higher risk for alcohol-related liver, brain, and heart damage. This may account for the increase in deaths over the past few years from alcoholic liver disease, specifically cirrhosis and liver cancer, which researchers attribute primarily to alcohol abuse in women. Alcoholism, or addiction to alcohol, is an increasing problem for women.

women and alcoholism

Those who are serious about their recovery should reach out to family and friends. They need to admit their wrongdoings and try to make amends for them. Alcoholic women need to stop isolating themselves from society. Studies show that social connections and support groups are fundamental to recovery. One of the symptoms of alcoholism is that the addicted individual will experience intense cravings to drink. These urges may make women struggling with alcoholism feel restless.

The hidden risks of drinking

When I began thinking about sobriety, I knew alcohol could be bad for the liver, but was disturbed to learn that it also attacks the immune system and is connected with over 60 different diseases. With today’s obsession with “clean” eating and “nontoxic” foods, it’s startling that so many are fine with pouring women and alcoholism ethanol — a literal toxic substance — into their bodies regularly. Recently, the American Cancer Society changed its recommended alcohol intake to zero because of its close association with cancer. Millennials reportedly drink less than other age cohorts, but health statistics overall aren’t improving.

  • Once again, these effects are most obvious among women who are long-time heavy drinkers.
  • This translates to one 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce bottle of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
  • That means the same number of drinks leads them to have higher concentrations of alcohol in the blood, and their body tissues are exposed to more alcohol per drink.
  • These may be more helpful than mixed-gender programs for some women, such as those who have suffered sexual or physical abuse.
  • At just 31 years old Sarata’s hair was falling out, feet and belly were bloated and swollen, and her energy was gone.

Since up to 85 percent of consumer purchases are made by women, women-focused marketing was a smart move. It was also the late 1990s when the television show “Sex and the City” appeared, making cosmopolitans with friends a symbol of fun and sophistication. “We have a real concern that while there might be fewer people drinking, many of those who are drinking might be doing so specifically to try to cope,” White says. “Because of what my picture of alcoholism was — old men who brown-bagged it in a parking lot — I thought I was fine,” says Cooper, now sober and living in Chapel Hill, N.C. Even after paying the fines and fulfilling all legal obligations, the DUI can still follow the convicted individual for some time. A woman with a DUI may have difficulties finding employment.

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