Alcohol-Related Disparities Among Women: Evidence and Potential Explanations Alcohol Research: Current Reviews

Victoria Cooper thought her drinking habits in college were just like everyone else’s. Sure, she got more refills than some and missed classes while nursing hangovers, but she couldn’t have a problem, she thought. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Dr. Schmidt suggests getting your social group together in another way, like meeting for a yoga class or going for coffee together. Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one. Submit your number and receive a free call today women and alcoholism from a treatment provider. Women can suffer from a number of unique alcohol-related health risks that do not impact their male counterparts and are more susceptible to several that men do experience. Get professional help from an addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp.

What are the AUD Statistics for Women?

Women are more likely to contract alcoholic liver disease, such as hepatitis (an inflammation of the liver), and are more likely to die from liver cirrhosis (a chronic disease that progressively destroys the liver’s ability to aid in digestion and detoxification). A former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor candidate and outspoken voice in the conservative “parental rights” school movement has been charged with punching a teenager while hosting an underage drinking party at her Bucks County home in September. So if you do throw a few back, she recommends getting curious, not judgy.

When you stop drinking and start focusing on your health, you’ll likely start to feel better once your body is properly nourished. Alcohol can also trigger the release of chemicals called endorphins and raise levels of the “feel good” hormone dopamine. This can make you feel energetic and even extremely happy (euphoric) shortly after you drink alcohol, but the effects don’t last. One of the most profound ways that alcohol affects you is through what it does to your body.

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For the issues that don’t there are specialized services and caring professionals who can help you unweave shame and stigma, address mental health concerns, process trauma and family of origin experiences, or attend to gender-specific issues, guiding you toward self-loving health. Striking the right balance between substance use, mental health and gender-specific concerns should prove valuable and provide a more personal launch point for recovery. Cooper says enrolling in a 90-day residential treatment program in 2018 drastically changed her own perception of who is affected by addiction. She found herself surrounded by other women in their 20s who also struggled with alcohol and other drugs.

women and alcoholism

Cognitive, emotional, and sleep disturbances can occur at even moderate levels of drinking. As one drinks more over time, these disturbances get worse and become more difficult to reverse. In this article, we’ll talk about the health risks that come with drinking and the benefits of quitting alcohol. Any kind of alcohol in any amount can harm a developing fetus, especially during the first and second trimester. Physicians and public health officials recommend that women avoid drinking any alcohol during pregnancy. Because women become addicted to alcohol more easily than men, drinking even moderately can be a slippery slope.

Women and Alcohol Use: Statistics, Effects, and Treatment

But between reality TV, social media and alcohol-related gifts, women are getting the message that drinking is key to an exciting life and the quickest way to unwind after a full day. On the flip side, women are also more likely to seek treatment for alcoholism than men. It is more socially acceptable for women to be open and honest with their feelings than it is for men, enabling women to express the need for treatment both to themselves and others with fewer reservations. Perhaps unfairly, women also bear a disproportionate share of family responsibilities than men, creating a greater urgency and need for treatment. Women who have discovered that they are pregnant or have young dependent children very frequently cite their desire to protect and support their family as their primary reason for seeking alcoholism treatment. Depending on the severity of alcohol addiction and withdrawal, medications are used.

For me, a big selling point was the chance to simply experience life — from dinners out to movie nights in — without booze. If after a month I decided those events were better with alcohol, there was always February. Nick Allen, the CEO of the mindful-drinking app Sunnyside, recommends drilling down on your “why” before getting started.

Bedtime Meditation for Sleep

This is due to ladies being affected faster by alcohol in both the long and short-term. Similarly, a beer or two can, at least temporarily, help you tolerate a day on which day care is closed, work is nuts, your husband is playing video games, and an elderly relative is having a health scare. But what if you didn’t need the alcohol, because child care was ubiquitous and affordable, health care was cheap, and gender norms were more balanced? Maybe the “mother’s little helper” we all need is a little actual help. In 2019, she returned to UNC-Chapel Hill and finished her degree in women’s and gender studies, even completing a capstone project on the links among sexual violence, trauma and addiction. This trend parallels the rise in mental health concerns among young women, and researchers worry that the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could amplify both patterns.

In 2019 there was a report that showed that of people aged 18 and older about 86% of people have had alcohol at some point in their life. Now, it’s closer to 1 to 1 but there are still more women who drink alcohol than men. Of all the people admitted into addiction treatment centers in the United States, women make up 25% of them. Of the reported 15 million alcoholics in the United States, 4.6 million of them are women, which equals 31%. Being able to spot the signs of alcohol abuse can help to either get yourself or someone else the help they need. Although the gender gap in alcohol consumption is narrowing among all ages, the reasons differ.

These problems include alcohol use disorder, particularly after young adulthood, and certain alcohol-related health, morbidity, and mortality outcomes. In some cases, disparities may reflect differences in alcohol consumption, but in other cases such disparities appear to occur despite similar and possibly lower levels of consumption among the affected groups. To understand alcohol-related disparities among women, several factors should be considered. To inform the development of interventions that might mitigate disparities among women, research is needed to identify the factors and mechanisms that contribute most to a group’s elevated risk for a given alcohol-related problem.

  • In addition to supplying the underage group with alcohol, she allegedly poured liquor for the teens, asked them to take a shot with her and played beer pong with them, witnesses later told authorities.
  • This large unmet need among minority women, which may reflect a variety of causes, must be addressed.
  • Physicians and public health officials recommend that women avoid drinking any alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Thus, consideration of other ways that disparities in alcohol-related problems can arise is needed.
  • Research from Sugarman’s colleagues found that women with alcohol use disorder had better outcomes when they were in women-only treatment groups, which included a focus on mental health and trauma, as well as education about gender-specific elements of addiction.

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