Newly published research suggests that women, probably for the first time in our history, consume as much alcohol as men. This revelation begs the question, “Why and how did this happen?” But more important than isolating the cause of the increase in alcohol consumption in women is the focus on effective prevention and treatment of the female drinker.
In the past century, women have closed the gender gap in alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and alcohol addiction, according to new research. There used to be a 3 to 1 ratio of risky drinking habits for men to women. This ratio is now very close to 1 to 1. And that applies not only to adults, but also to young people and minors. In fact, 2019 was the first year that underage girls reported being drunk more often than underage boys.
It’s worth noting that this trend isn’t unique to the United States. It happens all over the world. A group of researchers published their results on the subject in the British Medical Journal. The researchers quote: “The gender ratio decreased linearly over time for all three categories of alcohol consumption and the harm associated with it. Among those born in the early 1900s, men were 2.2 times more likely than women to consume alcohol, 3.0 times more likely to drink alcohol in a manner suggestive of problematic use, and 3.6 times more frequent alcohol-related harm. Among the cohorts born in the late 1900s, men were 1.1 times more likely than women to be, 1.2 times more likely than women to drink alcohol in ways that suggest problematic use, and 1.3 times more likely suffer alcohol-related harm. ”To sum up, men are three times more likely to abuse alcohol than women. Now the difference is barely noticeable.
These results are particularly worrying as women are generally less tolerant of alcohol than men and are therefore more likely to experience the health effects of alcohol consumption (liver disease, heart disease, cancer, etc.) than men. From Dr. Dawn Sugarman, who specializes in addiction in women: “It is not just that women drink more, but that it affects them physically and mentally.” Sugarman also says that although women are consuming more alcohol than ever before, there is awareness of the need for alcohol addiction treatment in women Not increased to meet the new abuse rates in this population group.
That said, while women are likely to drink more than in previous years, they are less likely to get the help they need than men. American society is not yet aware of the female alcohol problem. If you’re struggling with an alcohol abuse problem, you may need a women’s alcohol treatment program.
Why is this?
There is no simple explanation as to why women drink more alcohol than in previous years and decades. Instead, there is a long list of likely reasons why alcohol consumption among women is increasing. For example, some research has found that women are more prone to consuming alcohol as a coping mechanism than men. According to one group of researchers, “The rate of alcohol use disorder (AUD) has increased by 84% in women over the past decade compared to a 35% increase in men. This significant increase in female alcohol consumption is alarming as women have more alcohol-related health consequences compared to men. Stress is strongly linked to all stages of alcohol addiction in both women and men, including the ingestion, maintenance and relapse of alcohol consumption, but it is particularly critical for women. ”
Similar to stress and coping, women are more likely to experience childhood abuse and sexual assault than men – both of which are predictors of later alcohol addiction. Additionally, the effects of Covid-19 can play a role in increasing stress, isolation, and trauma, all of which could lead to an increase in alcohol abuse.
In conclusion, there are several possible reasons for the increase in alcohol consumption among women.
As mentioned earlier, it is worrying that alcohol abuse rates have increased among women because women are more easily harmed by and with less alcohol than men. Some researchers suggest this is because women generally have less body water than men – body water dissolves alcohol. This means that more alcohol gets into the bloodstream and organs in women than in men.
The result? Women are at greater risk of the harmful effects of alcohol abuse such as hangovers, blackouts, liver disease, alcohol-related cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, alcohol intoxication, and alcohol addiction. Up to that point, a study found that alcohol-related visits to the emergency room increased by 70% for women from 2006 to 2014, compared with 58% for men. Another study found that the rate of alcohol-related cirrhosis increased by 50% in women between 2009 and 2015, compared with just 30% in men.
Any change in trends in the use of mind altering substances should be closely monitored and investigated. In the case of alcohol, a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the increased consumption by women should be alarming and deserve a significant public health response.
“Knowing about the unique risks alcohol poses to women – including an increased likelihood of memory problems and hangovers, and faster progression of liver disease and AUD (alcohol addiction) – makes the recent surge in alcohol consumption among women more worrying …”
A group of researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism concluded, “Understanding the unique risks alcohol poses to women, including an increased likelihood of memory problems and hangovers, and faster progression of liver disease and AUD (alcohol addiction). – Makes the recent increase in alcohol consumption by women more worrying. It is important to consider the unique factors that can affect alcohol use in women and the unique direct and secondary health effects alcohol has on women in developing prevention strategies to combat alcohol use and its related harm. ”An estimated 95,000 Americans die every year from alcohol-related harm. Families and individuals must help their loved ones find treatment for alcohol addiction, regardless of gender or age. It is a matter of life or death.
The need for addiction treatment
Historically, there has always been a large discrepancy between male alcohol consumption and female consumption. But that is no longer the case, and it is time to realize that alcohol addiction is as much a problem for American women as it is for American men.
There are many reasons why alcohol abuse among women has increased to match that of men’s alcohol consumption. Understanding the causes of such a shift is important if we are to use the information to prevent sustained increases in alcohol consumption among women.
But more importantly, a closing gap in alcohol consumption by men and women indicates an urgent need for treatment. We already know that alcohol abuse can cause a great deal of harm to both women and men. This is why it is so important that those who drink alcohol excessively cannot stop got to Get help.