Alcoholism in women is far more dangerous than many people understand. Women specifically suffer from a variety of different issues that can lead to alcoholism, and long-term drinking can also cause different types of health issues. Women are also more likely to become dependent to alcohol due to their physiological makeup. Due to their smaller body mass and the way the female body metabolizes alcohol, women become intoxicated faster as well. If you’re a woman who is struggling with a dependence to alcohol, it’s important to understand some of the reasons why and that you can get help if you want to stop.
Female Drinking Risks
Women who drink have a much higher chance of getting a DUI or having a fatal car accident due to becoming more intoxicated with less alcohol. Although everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different, the blood alcohol level of a woman who is roughly 140 pounds can be put over the legal limit by having one drink on an empty stomach Women are more likely to mix alcohol with other medications that they’re taking, which can create a deadly cocktail whether the medication is prescribed or over-the-counter. Mixing alcohol with these medications can cause drowsiness as well as heart disease, digestive problems and diabetes.
Something all women have to be careful of whether they abuse alcohol or not is breast cancer. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol abuse can increase the risk of breast cancer in some women. Women who are postmenopausal or have a history of breast cancer within their family are at an even higher risk.
Risks of Long-Term Drinking
According to the NIAAA, women who are dependent to alcohol are at a much greater risk of becoming a victim of sexual assault. While intoxicated, people lose inhibitions and are unable to make logical choices, leading to difficult situations. This can lead to putting oneself in places that they typically wouldn’t go to while sober even if they don’t want to.
Young women who abuse alcohol are at a greater risk of developing an alcohol dependency that would continue even during pregnancy. Young pregnant women who have lost the power of choice when it comes to alcohol are much less likely to be able to stop when they’re pregnant with their child. Drinking during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which can cause issues with physical and mental development or sometimes death.
Recovery for Women
When getting sober through treatment and continuing ongoing recovery, women can discover the extreme value of a support group. In a women only facility, they can see that they aren’t alone in their struggles and others have been where they’ve been or felt what they’ve felt. From abusive relationships to sexual assault and dealing with the opposite sex as a whole, it’s important for women to relate to one another in order to begin the healing process.
As a form of aftercare, women who discharge from treatment are encouraged to go to all-women 12-step meetings to find a support group of other women to help strengthen their sobriety. Women learn how to be empowered through their recovery and learn that they can live a happy, fulfilling life.