A Woman’s Helper: Alcohol
Is Alcohol on Your List?
“Six million women in the United States abuse or are dependent on alcohol,” Columbia University researchers concluded. Many women have come to rely on alcohol to help them relax, decrease stress, help with sleep problems, cope with mood and manage relationship issues. This list is just some of the most common uses that women have for alcohol. Over the years, the role of women has evolved but along with the good changes also come some not so good ones. Women struggle with alcoholism the same way men do, but women experience more acute consequences.
How Women Develop Alcoholism
Alcohol has become the well-known coping mechanism for many women. A glass of wine at the end of a long day does not seem so bad. What has occurred though is that one glass of wine has turned into several glasses. Some women stay drunk during the day, making daily tasks a little easier to handle.
Sound Familiar? 3 Types of Female Drinkers
Career Women– “I drink with my co-workers. Drinking is social in my industry and I network during happy hour. I blow off steam by drinking at the end of the day.”
Married Stay-at-Home Mom– “I wake up at 5 in the morning and my day is not done until well past the time the kids are in bed. I don’t get a lunch break or much interaction with other adults. I look forward to winding down at the end of the night with a glass of wine. I don’t know how I started drinking during the day. I do have some free time since the kids went to school. It helps me relax.”
Married Mom with Career– “From the moment I wake up, I basically have no time for myself. I have trouble balancing everything—my job, being a mom and a wife all at the same time. Alcohol helps me get by easier, it takes the edge off.”
These statements are common among women who drink. Alcohol dependence sneaks up just when you think you have it all under control.
Risk factors for the development of alcoholism include:
- Biological – genetics
- Family influences – models
- Personal characteristics – traits
- Childhood abuse – physical, sexual
- Peer pressure – school, work
- Life transitions, stress, and coping – death, divorce
Alcohol Is More Harmful to Women than Men
Women can develop many physical and mental health complications from drinking faster than men do, and with greater severity. Women’s bodies metabolize alcohol less effectively than men. Women are left with more alcohol circulating, which begins to damage their internal organs.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that there are specific alcohol issues related to women. They include:
- Liver damage – Alcoholic hepatitis occurs in women more quickly than men from drinking the same amounts.
- Heart disease – Increased risk of alcohol-related heart disease even though less alcohol is drunk over a lifetime than a man.
- Breast cancer – Women who drink one drink per day have a 10 percent greater chance of developing of breast cancer than women who do not drink.
- Pregnancy – Any amount of alcohol while pregnant can put your unborn baby at risk for behavioral and developmental problems.
Reverse the Damage
Getting treatment helps to reverse the damage that alcoholism has caused, both internally and externally in your life. Lakeview Health is an addiction treatment center that understands the specific needs of women who struggle with alcoholism. Our staff helps you address issues that have contributed to your alcoholism while eliminating your alcohol dependence. Our gender-responsive treatment center in Jacksonville has a separate women’s addiction treatment center with gender-specific programs designed for female addiction issues, ensuring the best possible road to recovery without any distractions.
A medical detox is essential for a woman who is alcohol dependent. Alcohol withdrawal can produce severe and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Call an admission coordinator now at 866.704.7692 to find out how to enter detox and alcohol rehab today.