Effects of Alcohol On Women: The Hidden Risks of Drinking
Women are more susceptible to the risks of alcohol than men. According to recent studies, women run a higher risk for certain types of cancers and heart disease if they consume too much alcohol. Also, alcohol-addicted women have increased death rates because of accidents, suicides, and other health-related problems. Knowing the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption can help women make better decisions about their health.
Why Women Drink Alcohol
There are numerous reasons behind women’s drinking: for getting to sleep, for relaxing, for reducing stress, and for acquiring confidence in social situations. Some other reasons behind women’s alcoholism include:
– Sexual harassment
– Husbands or significant others who are alcohol-addicted
– Being divorced, unmarried, or separated
– Love issues
Alcohol is often seen as a means of escaping difficult situations or avoiding painful emotions. Unfortunately, for many women, regular or excessive alcohol consumption becomes a habit that perpetuates itself.
Benefits of Drinking Alcohol for a Woman
There is scientific evidence to suggest that if a woman over the age of 55 takes one drink every day, it will reduce her risk of physical heart issues. For a woman, moderate drinking can be a health benefit — but that means really consuming no more than one drink each day. Along with moderate drinking, women need to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine to mitigate the risk of heart disease. Women under 55 show no particular health benefits to alcohol consumption.
Risks of Drinking Alcohol for Women
Heavy consumption of alcohol is dangerous for anyone, but especially women. The major risks of women’s alcoholism include:
– Brain Damage: Women’s brain chemistry is more severely affected by alcohol than men’s. The addiction process can take over faster and be more difficult to reverse in women.
– Cancer: Alcohol-addicted women have a higher chance of suffering from head, neck, or breast cancer.
– Victimization: Excessive drinking makes women more vulnerable to physical and emotional assault. With their judgment impaired, women can quickly find themselves in dangerous situations and lack the physical strength or coordination to protect themselves.
– Pregnancy: Alcohol can have a negative impact on a pregnancy. Specifically, consuming alcohol during pregnancy is dangerous for the unborn infant.
– Anxiety and Personal Injury: Drinking alcohol can lead to sleeping issues, anxiety, falls, heart failure, and bad nutrition, particularly in older women.
– Drinking and Driving: Drinking and driving is a deadly combination. Alcohol consumption in excess leads to greater risk-taking behaviors while reducing physical reaction time. The chances of causing a serious accident are greater in women who have consumed a large amount of alcohol.
– Dependency: At some point, too much alcohol consumption can make a woman highly dependent on alcohol. Addiction is different for everyone, but there’s evidence to suggest it may develop faster in women than in men. Increasing the amount of consumption over time and binge drinking will likely lead to addiction.
What Is Considered Binge Drinking for Women?
Unfortunately, binge drinking is quickly becoming a social stigma in female college students. Binge drinking carries a lot of health risks for college girls, alongside unplanned sexual activities or pregnancies. Women of any age are considered to be binge drinking after they consume four drinks in less than two hours. For men, binge drinking is five drinks in the same amount of time.
What Is Considered Heavy Drinking for Women?
Drinking steadily over a long period of time is considered to be heavy drinking for women. Heavy drinking brings more risks for a woman to become a victim of sexual assault and other acts of violence. As defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), heavy drinking is the equivalent of binge drinking at least five times each month. At least four drinks consecutively, five times a month is binge drinking for women.
Signs of Alcoholism in Women
The people around you may notice your increased use of alcohol before you do. If they indicate your alcohol use is a problem, you should take this claim seriously. With a history of alcoholism in your family, you have an increased chance of developing an addiction. Some signs to look for include:
– Having a strong desire for alcohol consumption
– Drinking and driving
– Thinking about missing school or work due to drinking
– Having more than eight or nine drinks every week
– Feeling lonely every day
– Finding your close friends and family concerned about your alcohol abuse
– Having to drink more alcohol than you used to in order to feel its effects
One drink a day is a healthy recommendation for women. If you’re unable to restrict your drinking, you may be struggling with alcoholism. Call or contact Tranquil Shores today for information about alcohol use in women and how to know if you have a problem. We offer comprehensive, customized therapy for substance abuse. Don’t wait — reach out to us today. Together, we can help you reclaim your life!