Alcoholism is a growing concern for women in the United States. The number of women suffering from alcoholism and alcohol abuse is continuing to increase. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), states that 5.3 million women in the United States currently drink in a way that threatens their health, safety and well being, making them the fastest growing demographic amongst those who abuse or are addicted to alcohol.
Acceptability of Alcohol
Alcoholism in particular is such a high-ranking issue amongst addictions in great part, because of its legality and social acceptance. Not only is alcohol acceptable in many social situations, but its use is actually encouraged many places. Because of this, not only is it easier to succumb to alcoholism, but it also makes it harder to recognize a problem and more difficult to quit.
Alcoholism in Women Is Different Than Alcoholism in Men
Alcohol affects women differently than it does men. Women’s bodies have less water than a man’s and their stomachs process less alcohol, leaving more in the blood stream, less diluted even after only small amounts of alcohol. Because of this, women become intoxicated more quickly than men do and also suffer from the health effects more rapidly.
A recent National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) study shows that women suffering from alcoholism are twice as likely as men to die from alcohol-related causes. Alcohol related causes of death include physical illnesses and diseases, accidents and suicides.
Consequences of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
There are many negative consequences to alcoholism and alcohol abuse, a number of which can be immediate and others, which may present themselves farther down the line. As the number of female alcoholics continues to rise, so do the resulting negative consequences.
There are a number of health problems caused by heavy drinking or drinking over time. As discussed earlier, women’s bodies process alcohol differently and they are more likely to suffer from health problems after less use. The liver, heart, brain and immune system can all suffer from the negative health effects of alcoholism.
Because of stricter law enforcement and education efforts by various groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the overall number of drunk-driving related crashes has decreased in the United States. Despite this, there has been an increase in the number of women involved in such crashes, which means an increase in related fatalities.
Alcoholism, or any addiction for that matter is a difficult problem to face, especially alone. Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a treatment center for alcoholism and other addictions that understands the special needs of women suffering from addiction.
Treatment is offered with the individual in mind, treating the unique issues of each of their patients. With proper counseling, therapy and education, women can overcome the problems that come with alcoholism, and have a lifetime of success in sobriety. Bad decisions must be countered with good ones, and seeking help is always a good decision for those suffering from alcoholism.