Once it comes to drinking, almost everyone has had at least one incident in which they drank excessively and embarrassed themselves as a result. Indulging in a drinking binge is acceptable if it is not done on a regular basis; but, when it becomes a habit, it indicates that there is an underlying problem that must be addressed quickly. In the United States, an estimated 15 million individuals suffer from alcohol consumption disorder.
Women account for up to one-third of the 15 million people living there. Alcohol use disorder is defined as a condition in which the afflicted individual is perceived to be obsessed with drinking, that is, someone who is totally concerned with alcohol owing to an emotional dependency on it.
Alcoholism is a severe problem that, if left untreated, may have negative consequences for an individual’s mental and physical health, as well as their employment, relationships, and other aspects of their lives that are important to them. An person who is moderately addicted to alcohol may not experience many problems, but their condition may deteriorate if the drinking problem is not addressed quickly.
With the development of a drinking problem, the severity of the repercussions rises as well, and the person may have difficulties in maintaining their employment or home, in addition to the difficulty in putting a halt to their alcohol use.
Alcohol also operates on the same basis, stimulating certain pleasure regions in the brain, causing the release of dopamine, which results in a heightened feeling of euphoria while also causing the person to acquire an alcohol tolerance. These intense desires may become a barrier when it comes to quitting since they result in withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms suggest that a person has grown reliant on alcohol, which is something that many individuals only encounter after years of heavy drinking.
Many individuals do not progress to the stage of alcohol use disorder with only one or two infrequent drinks; nevertheless, regular and excessive alcohol use may lead them to progress to this stage. Women who are experiencing significant amounts of stress, as well as those who have other underlying problems, are more vulnerable to developing alcohol use disorder. Since it has been shown that excessive alcohol consumption is associated with heightened levels of stress as well as depression, many women who are experiencing these symptoms are more prone to resort to alcohol as a means of coping up with them.
While alcohol may make a person feel euphoric for a short length of time, it has been shown to exacerbate the pre-existing condition of stress and depression, which is often observed when significant quantities of alcohol are drunk over a long period of time. Additionally, it has been shown that people who use alcohol to distract themselves from stress are more vulnerable to developing alcohol use disorder than those who exclusively drink in social situations.
Women who have a drinking issue are more likely to have problems with their sexual health, as well as to have increasing stress and despair. Women who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in unprotected intercourse, which may result in unexpected pregnancies. In addition, there is a greater chance of acquiring sexually transmitted illnesses. Women who use contraceptives, such as birth control pills, are at greater risk of forgetting to take their medication, which may result in an unexpected pregnancy.
Birth control pills do not have a negative impact on the effectiveness of alcohol; nevertheless, they may prolong the process of alcohol metabolization, which may further prolong its intoxicating effects. Alcohol use has also been shown to have a detrimental effect on fertility, making it difficult for women to get pregnant. Those who continue to drink alcohol while pregnant are at an increased risk of experiencing gestational problems, including miscarriage, and their fetus’s development may be stunted.
Women naturally have a lower alcohol tolerance than males, which means they don’t have to drink as much to get intoxicated. In addition, the rate at which alcohol is digested is much slower in women than in males.
According to a research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, between the years 2002 and 2013, there was an increase of about 58 percent in the number of women who participated in binge drinking per week. Binge drinking is defined as consuming a total of four or more alcoholic beverages during a two-hour period. However, this does not imply that all women who participate in binge drinking will acquire an alcohol use problem. Some women may not use alcohol on a regular basis, but during times of binge drinking, they may consume enormous quantities of alcohol.
Binge drinking, especially when done on a rare occasion, is very hazardous since people who do not drink on a regular basis tend to disregard the quantity of alcohol that they are ingesting during these times, which may result in alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is defined as the intake of significant amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, which may result in difficulties breathing, problems with the working of the heart and brain, as well as causing coma and potentially death.
Women who binge drink are more prone to go overboard, which may result in them having blackouts and/or doing things that they do not remember doing the following day. This may cause people to harm their relationships and may also lead to them doing other things that they may later come to regret, since alcohol is known to impair judgment and remove inhibitions.
Women who continue to consume large amounts of alcohol may find themselves in the midst of some pretty severe issues in the future. They are also more prone than the general population to suffer from depression and anxiety problems. Women who consume large amounts of alcoholic beverages are also more prone than males to acquire liver diseases such as cirrhosis. Additionally, drinking alcohol increases the chance of getting heart disease and cancer.
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking alcohol has also been shown to decrease a person’s brain size. According to the findings of the study, women are more likely than males to suffer from the harmful consequences of excessive drinking, and they do so at a younger age in the majority of instances. Women, as opposed to males, are at a higher risk of developing problems associated with excessive alcohol use, even when the quantity drunk by both is the same.
Drinking in women has been shown to have a detrimental effect on their sexual, emotional, and physical health. When compared to males, women need fewer alcoholic beverages to experience the dangers associated with excessive and sustained alcohol use. In addition, women begin to suffer these side effects at a young age.
Women’s alcohol intake should be closely monitored, since it is clear that, in contrast to males, they are more prone to have health problems as a result of their drinking. Those ladies who are suffering an alcohol dependence should seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to avoid having an alcohol use disorder.
Many individuals suffer from alcoholism or a strong dependency on alcoholic beverages. Women are not exempt from this rule. Many women, on the other hand, choose to remain anonymous about their condition. This is due to the fact that coping with alcoholism is difficult, particularly when there are social expectations placed on you. So, what is it about females that drives them to drink excessively on a daily basis, and why is it so dangerous?
What Leads to Excessive Female Alcohol Consumption?
There are a variety of reasons why someone may resort to alcohol, ranging from mental health to peer pressure. Male motives for resorting to alcohol and alcoholism, on the other hand, are distinct from female ones. Here are some of the reasons why a woman may get reliant on a frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages:
One of the most common circumstances in which a woman gets addicted on alcohol is as a result of sexual abuse. When it comes to sexual assault, women are more likely than men to be victims, and many women do not get the assistance they need to overcome the psychological toll that comes with the abuse. As a result, many resort to alcoholism for relief.
Postpartum depression – This is thought to be caused by the significant hormonal, physical, and emotional changes that occur after a woman gives birth to her child. Postpartum depression is a common reason for women to resort to alcohol in order to deal with their problems.
Despite the knowledge that alcohol is a depressive, many people think that the substance would dull their problems. This results in excessive consuming as a means of escaping the mental and physical imbalances that have occurred. Despite the fact that postnatal depression may affect both men and women, females are more likely than men to suffer from it as a result of having to cope with both physical and emotional changes at the same time.
A genetic predisposition to alcoholism is thought to be conceivable, but this has not yet been shown. Some women may be much more prone than others to participate in frequent binge drinking than others, according to some research. Despite this, when it comes to alcohol addiction in women, there is almost always some kind of trigger involved in the situation.
Stress – Arguably the most important factor contributing to the emergence of alcoholic women, stress is triggered by events that occur on a daily basis or by more significant occurrences. The numbing effects of alcohol lead many women to turn to the drug as a means of getting by throughout the day and dealing with the difficult problems that come along with it.
Mental Health – The problem of mental health affects people of all ages and genders. A popular female remedy is alcohol, which may lead to alcoholism in certain cases. The treatment of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems is frequently a difficult task for many individuals to complete successfully. Alcohol is a readily available drug that many people believe may alleviate their worries and problems. However, it has a tendency to have the opposite effect and to result in alcoholism, which may be a long-term problem for the individual.
Why Alcohol Has a Greater Impact on Women Than Men
The connection between women and alcohol differs from the relationship between males and alcohol for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is the substance’s impact on the body and mind. Women are affected by alcohol at a far quicker rate than males. So, what is the reason behind this?
Dehydrogenase is one of the enzymes responsible for alcohol’s increased potency and severity in females. Women are much less likely than males to be affected by this little-known enzyme. Important because the enzyme is responsible for breaking down alcohol and eliminating it from our bodies before it can reach the circulation. Females have lower levels of the enzyme, which allows for more alcohol to pass through and reach the bloodstream as purer alcohol. Ladies get inebriated more quickly and easily as a result of this.
Another factor that contributes to females being impacted more quickly is their BMI. Women have less fatty tissues than males, and as a result, they have less ability to dilute alcohol. Organs are exposed to the chemical more quickly and for a longer period of time as a result of this. As a result, the chemical stays in greater quantities in the body of a woman than in the body of a male. This is also the reason why females are more susceptible to liver and heart disease as a result of alcohol use.
Hormones may also have an impact on how fast the effects of alcohol take effect. Because of the menstrual cycle, a woman’s hormone levels vary much more than those of a male. When estrogen levels are greater, alcohol takes hold more quickly. In addition, alcohol itself has been shown to raise estrogen levels in the body. This means that anything, even birth control medications, may cause women to get drunk much more quickly.
Female Alcoholism Poses a Number of Risks and Dangers
When it comes to women and alcohol addiction, there are certain dangers to consider. Some of the hazards are related to physical health, while others are psychological in nature and others are social in nature. All of them, however, provide a significant degree of risk, which is exacerbated even more by the use of further alcohol.
The following are examples of physical health risks:
Cancer – Women who drink excessively are more likely to get cancer than males.
Females are more susceptible to brain injury and organ damage than men, owing to the fact that they are unable to break down alcohol as fast as males.
Heart problems – the brain isn’t the only organ that suffers when there is a lot of alcohol in the blood.
Problems with the liver – When it comes to alcoholism, the liver is the organ that suffers the most from the consequences of the disease. The female body is not capable of dealing with the material in the same way that the male body is.
In the event of excessive intake during pregnancy, it may result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a neurological disorder.
Among the psychological issues that may arise are:
Suicidal ideas or actions
Actions that are careless
Mood fluctuations .
Despite the fact that the psychological consequences of alcoholism are the same for both men and women, female psychological symptoms typically manifest themselves more quickly than male psychological symptoms. This is owing to the fact that women are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, both in the long and short term.
The following are examples of social risks:
Inability to effectively handle interpersonal interactions
Divorce or the termination of intimate relationships
Job loss or educational failures are also possible outcomes.
Experiencing potentially hazardous circumstances that may result in sexual assault, assault, or other events
This explains why female alcoholism is less visible.
Most of the time, recognizing the symptoms of an alcoholic lady may be challenging. Due to the fact that alcohol has a quicker and greater impact on women than on men, there is less time for women to detect a pattern forming when it comes to alcohol use. Women are more likely than males to have more severe side effects from drug abuse, which makes recognizing the early symptoms of alcoholism in women even more important.
Another important reason why alcoholism is more difficult to detect in women is that many individuals do not know what to look for when they are searching for it. Because a woman’s symptoms are somewhat different from those of a male, many individuals mistakenly search for the incorrect type of signs and fail to recognize what is there in front of their faces. For example, female symptoms often manifest themselves more abruptly than male ones.
They also have a tendency to strike harder as a result of the same cause. Despite this, women are often pressured into being stable by social expectations. As a result, it is frequently difficult to discern the difference since women are encouraged to maintain their composure no matter what the circumstances.
Treatment for Alcoholism that is Gender-Specific
Because of the particular nature of the connection between alcohol and women, women-specific alcohol dependency therapy is needed. Because of the particular physical, psychological, and social impacts that the drug may have on females, it is necessary to provide gender-specific therapy.
Organ damage, despair, and exposure to violence are examples of such consequences. As a result, women’s alcohol therapy typically focuses on eliminating the drug from the body while also ensuring that women get the care they need for any mental health or abuse problems they may be experiencing in sober living homes.
The female-focused dual diagnosis or assistance for the underlying cause of their alcoholism will be provided by the gender-specific rehab for alcoholics. This may be a means of getting back on track, such as work, or it could just be psychological assistance to assist them in overcoming their abuse.
Alcohol’s Negative Effects on Females
Females are more susceptible to the negative effects of alcohol than males, and women who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are more prone than men to develop serious drinking problems. Aside from that, women who struggle with alcoholism have greater mortality rates than males due to suicide, car accidents, and other health-related concerns – more than double the rates of men. Given these statistics, you may wonder: Why do women drink, and what can you do to enjoy alcohol without putting your health at risk? Here are some suggestions.
Finding out why women drink alcohol
For many of the same reasons that men drink, women do as well. They drink to relax, boost their confidence in social settings, sleep better, and alleviate stress.
Aside from these, there are many more reasons why women may use alcoholic beverages:
Having issues with a loved one increases the likelihood of women drinking.
Women who are single, divorced, or separated are more likely than other women to have alcohol issues.
It is more probable for women whose spouses have alcohol issues to drink as well.
When a woman has experienced sexual abuse, she is more prone to engage in excessive alcohol use.
Initially, women may consume more alcoholic beverages than males. One-fifth of ninth grade females confess to having had more than five alcoholic beverages in a single sitting in the previous month. For males of the same age, this represents a greater rate than for girls.
Alcohol Has a Distinctive Effect on Women Compared to Males.
Because women are typically smaller, have less water in their bodies, and metabolize alcohol more slowly than males, the blood alcohol level in a woman who has just consumed the same quantity of alcohol as a man would be greater.
If a woman drinks, she is exposed to more alcohol in her brain and liver than is exposed to the brain and liver of a male who drinks. Despite the fact that women who struggle with alcohol may consume less than males, they nevertheless suffer from the same degree of impairment as men. In addition, even though they may be drinking less than males, women may acquire liver damage and other alcohol-related health issues more rapidly than men.
Alcohol Has Several Advantages for Females
The use of one drink per day by women over the age of 55 may reduce their chance of developing heart disease. Generally speaking, one alcoholic drink per day is considered moderate drinking for a woman. Approximately one 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce bottle of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor is equivalent to one liter of alcohol.
Those who drink excessively, on the other hand, may increase their chances of developing heart disease. Depending on your age, alcohol intake may not provide any health advantages if you are under the age of 55.
Using alcohol when pregnant has risks.
Men and women are equally at danger from excessive alcohol use, it is certain. Women who use alcoholic beverages face a number of other dangers, including:
Breast cancer and head and neck cancer are two types of cancer that women are more likely to get if they use alcohol.
Injuries to the brain It is believed that alcohol causes the death of brain cells, and that women are more vulnerable to this impact than males are.
Pregnancy. Getting pregnant is much more difficult for women who drink alcohol. Aside from that, drinking alcohol while pregnant may have severe negative effects for the unborn baby. During pregnancy, no quantity of alcohol is considered safe to consume.
Victimization. Victims of sexual assault or other acts of violence are more likely to be women who have drinking issues than other women.
Depression and personal injury are two of the most common problems people experience. Aside from that, excessive alcohol intake in women, particularly elderly women, may cause melancholy, sleeping difficulties, heart failure, falls, and malnutrition.
Cancer. Women who consume alcoholic beverages may raise their chance of developing breast cancer as well as head and neck malignancies, according to research. According to a new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, eating as little as three to six alcoholic beverages per week may be associated with a 15 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer in women.
Alcoholism Warning Signs and Symptoms
An alcohol issue may exist if you or others are experiencing negative consequences from the impacts of drinking. Inheritance of an alcoholic issue increases the likelihood of having an alcohol addiction. The following are some early warning symptoms of alcoholism:
Because of drinking, one may be absent from work or school.
Using a motor vehicle while intoxicated
The desire to consume alcohol is overwhelming.
Being able to achieve a pleasant reaction with less alcohol than you previously did.
Learning that others who care about you are worried about your drinking is a difficult realization.
Having more than seven alcoholic beverages each week is considered to be excessive.
When drinking alone or early in the day, it is important to be mindful of your surroundings.
It is important to get treatment if you believe you may have an alcohol issue. One of the most difficult aspects of getting well, according to experts, is acknowledging that you have a problem. If you are worried that you may have an alcohol problem, contact Alcoholics Anonymous or speak with your doctor.