available 24/7, 365

(888) 989-1479

How Alcoholism Develops Differently in Women

Table of Contents

Alcoholism can be very detrimental to women and men’s health, but did you know that it develops differently in both genders? Just as boys and girls may have different methods for learning, men and women respond to addiction in different ways. This information has a big impact on the way we treat alcoholism to give everyone the best chance at recovery.

Women and Alcoholism

The statistics

Studies show that the mental and physical effects of alcoholism can be more severe in women. Many girls report that alcohol was a part of their first sexual experience, which in some cases include sexual abuse. Researchers have also found information that links mental, physical, and sexual abuse to alcoholism in women. Statistically, women are more likely to be victims of abuse, which sometimes leads to addiction. Furthermore, women with anxiety and depression are more likely than men to self-medicate with alcohol, which can rapidly lead to addiction and a dual diagnosis.

Development of alcoholism

Women’s bodies absorb and metabolize alcohol different then men. Women can feel the impact of drinking more quickly and more intensely than a man who drinks the same amount. Both men and women show similar physical effects of alcoholism, such as brain shrinkage or pancreatitis, but women consistently exhibit the symptoms in a shorter period of time.

Contributing factors

Genetics and hormones may also have an effect on a woman’s alcoholism. If a woman has a family history of alcoholism, she may be more likely to become addicted to alcohol herself. Science also suggests that hormones and brain chemistry may play a role in female cravings for alcohol. Women indicate stress as a trigger for cravings, whereas men are more likely to report visual cues as a trigger. Alcohol becomes a release that brings feelings of calm and relaxation to women. In contrast, men tend to report feeling more aggressive and powerful through alcohol.

See also  Can Alcohol Rehab Work For Me?

Gender-specific barriers to treatment

Culturally, women are viewed as the nurturers of the family. Even though modern parenting means that we have more stay-at-home dads than before, the stereotype of women in the home continues to prevail. This means that there is an added stigma for women and alcoholism – i.e., it’s okay for a man to have a few drinks, but less so for a woman. Because of this stigma, women may be less likely to seek treatment as the entire family remains in denial of her alcoholism.

If you or a woman you love is having problems with drug abuse, alcohol dependency or mental illness, women’s drug rehab may be the answer.  Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support.  Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling, and aftercare can help you do this, so please call us todayDestination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

Give us a call

Help is one step away

100% Confidential | 24/7 Helpline

Addiction & Mental Health Topics

Gender-Specific Approaches to Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders in Addiction Treatment

Managing Chronic Pain Without Opioids in Recovery

Setting Healthy Boundaries in Recovery

The Importance of Self-Care in Maintaining Sobriety

Overcoming the Stigma of Addiction and Seeking Help

How to Handle a Loved One’s Relapse and Support Their Recovery

The Link Between Addiction and Trauma

What Is the DEA?

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms