Women today, compared to the past, are drinking in more significant quantities and being charged with an increasing number of alcohol-related violations. Many hypothesize due to demanding schedules with careers, home, marriage and children that many women turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the daily stresses. To avoid crippling pressure, anxiety, and depression, many women find escape in recreational substances and are becoming addicted in drastic numbers.
Why is alcohol use in woman increasing?
Many reasons and scenarios lead women to turn to alcohol to cope with everyday life. The reasons can range from career changes, motherhood, loss of a child, the death of a loved one, environmental triggers, loss of job and so on.
Alcohol usually starts as a social activity, but sometimes women who lack a coping skill of some turn to drinking to mask issues. Some women report alcohol becoming part of everyday activities such as work, book clubs, play dates, social outings, and post-workout gatherings. Alcohol is easily accessible and becoming part of day-to-day operations compared to years past.
What data supports the claim that women are drinking more?
In the past, men have typically been the ones to abuse alcohol, but recent data says otherwise. While there a gap still present between men and woman with regards to drink, that gap is closing fast. The data from recent studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) shows the following:
- Between the years of 2002 to 2013, over ten years, alcohol disorders in women rose approximately 84%.
- From 2001 to 2013, over twelve years, drinking more than three drinks per day, defined as “high-risk drinking” rose approximately 58%.
- ER visits related to alcohol rose steeply for women compared to men between the years of 2006 to 2014.
- Women dying from liver cirrhosis increased over men in the years 2000 to 2013.
What treatment is available for female alcoholics?
The NIAAA recommends that treatment be tailored specifically for female alcoholics by way of treating the underlying trigger such as anxiety, depression, or any other mental health element that is a factor. Support and education are also needed, as women categorically abuse alcohol for different reasons than those of men. The NIAAA and numerous individuals are pressing for better warnings and knowledge in regards to the dangers of drinking and the potential for alcohol abuse. Campaigns are also being targeted to decrease the appeal factor geared towards not only men but women and adolescents as well.
Alcohol abuse and women is still a relatively new topic that is starting to garner attention from the public. But the NIAAA estimates that over five million women over the age of eighteen could be a victim of alcohol abuse disorder. Inside that five million, less than seven per cent will seek professional help for treatment and sobriety. Women especially, due to the severe criticism and double standard compared to men when it comes to alcohol abuse, are less likely to seek professional help or admit that they need it.