Alcohol Addiction: Men vs. Women
Although some alcoholic women may differ, men have always been able to handle their alcohol better than women when consuming similar quantities. There are actually a couple of scientific facts behind this event. 1. Alcohol needs water to be diluted and flushed out of the body more easily. A woman’s body is made up of more fatty tissue and less water, verses men who have more water. As a result, a woman’s organs are at greater risk for alcohol exposure. 2. Alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase are enzymes that break down alcohol in the stomach and liver. Lower levels of these enzymes are found in a woman, increasing alcohol absorption in her bloodstream. Because of these differences, women are exposed to brain atrophy and liver damage more than men from alcohol consumption. The development of alcoholism in women happens quicker than men because women physically become dependent more rapidly. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report, female alcoholics have death rates 50 to 100 percent higher than those of male alcoholics, including deaths from suicides, alcohol-related accidents, heart disease and stroke, and liver cirrhosis. This raises more questions about prescription pill abuse, alcoholism and the damage that women are doing to their health. The compound issue of alcohol and drug dependency also contributes to accidental death, as we have seen in our celebrities this past year. Although addiction will decompensate a woman’s health quicker than a man, alcohol and drug addiction doesn’t seem to discriminate between genders regarding the outcome.