A new research study shows that although men still drink more than women, the ratio is beginning to change. Women are slowly catching up to men when it comes to drinking alcohol.
Drinking Increased in Women
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), who sponsored the study, the average number of days that women reported drinking increased. Over a 10 year research period, the percentage of women drinking in the United States showed a steady climb. The percentage of women who drank in the last 30 days increased from 45% to 48%. Another study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research revealed that the percentage of American men who are drinking decreased slightly from 57% to 56%. Furthermore, the average number of days that women reported drinking in a month went up from 6.8 to 7.3 days, while with men there was a decrease from 9.9 to 9.5 days.
Responding to Alcohol Differently
This research reveals that women are indeed drinking more, and getting closer to their male counterparts in the amount of alcohol they consume. This is concerning because women respond to alcohol differently. Alcohol affects a woman’s body differently than it does a man and it does so more quickly. If more women are drinking and if they are drinking more alcohol, it could be an indication that more and more women are at risk for alcoholism.
The development of an addiction is different for women. Although in the past drug treatment experts believed that addiction was the same for everyone, regardless of gender, this is simply not true. Fortunately, today, experts are aware of the differences between men and women regarding alcohol consumption, addiction, and recovery. It’s clear that women drink for different reasons than men, tend to hide their drinking, and avoid treatment for alcoholism more than men.
Resources and Treatments
If you are a woman struggling with alcoholism, there are many resources for you. Of course, there are thousands of treatment centers around the country that cater to both men and women. However, if you are interested in a alcohol rehab facility that specifically tends to the needs of women, there many available. One such organization was created by women for women called Women For Sobriety, developed to treat addiction in women. They rely upon their strong principles and philosophies related to the healing of women. In fact, one of their fundamental principles is self-discovery. The organization encourages women to explore their patterns, habits, and provides tools to change any dysfunctional patterns that might continue to contribute to an addiction. They offer a variety of recovery tools to guide women in developing coping skills which focus on emotional growth, spiritual growth, self-esteem, and a healthy lifestyle.
As mentioned above, women tend to hide their drinking, especially when they know it might affect their families, marriages, and careers. And women are less likely to get treatment for alcohol addiction. If you know of a woman who is showing signs of alcoholism, providing her with support might eventually lead to treatment. In fact, contacting a mental health provider could be what saves her life.