The effects of drinking for women are more extensive than realized, both physically and socially. Frankly, for women to admit that they have an alcohol addiction is challenging, especially in light of the fact that it goes against socially accepted norms in America.
First, the term “Binge Drinking” itself, already has a stigma attached to it. There’s an implication that drinking is done for no reason in particular, apart from wanting to get drunk. As a matter of fact, a popular conception is that binge drinking is fueled by the simple notion that one drinks with the intention of getting drunk.
If you take a look at the statistics, it is astonishing that binge drinking has reached epidemic proportions over recent years for both women and men. Furthermore, an exorbitant amount of people are drinking harder. It is surprising though to note that within the data, women are drinking more often than men.
A recent study claimed that in the early 2000s, the rate of binge drinking women climaxed to a rate that was seven times more than that of men. Those numbers are shocking! The numbers may differ based on geographical region. For example, in certain areas of California, binge drinking among men rose to 23% compared with a startling 36% in women!
It is more costly, socially and physically, for women who drink. Women who practice binge drinking, though they consume less that men face a greater danger of getting liver disease. They are also more susceptible to getting brain damage, which is an effect of alcohol abuse. In relation to cancer, women are at far greater risk of developing breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon cancer.
Pregnant women consuming alcohol have even more to be concerned about. In fact, fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, low birth weight, and spontaneous abortion, as well as a myriad of other birth defects, have all been found to be connected with the use of alcohol by pregnant women. However, in light of this data, women are fearful of what they may lose by asking for help with their addiction. These women fear the possibility of losing custody of young children if an alcohol problem is detected. Overall, when compared with men, women are less likely to seek specific help to overcome drinking problems.
According to a recent study binge drinking cases are not always associated with poorer segments of society but actually by relatively affluent groups. In any case, binge drinking is more likely to occur among the youth. Furthermore, if one is to consider the locale where the largest increases are observed, it would appear that a flood of wealthy young people in high-stress jobs has a great impact on driving up the rate of binge drinking.
Currently, there is a great deal of conversation on how changing societal norms can increase binge drinking among women in particular. The meaning of this seems to apply mostly to the higher earning echelon of society. Extensive work hours plus the desire to unwind after work, over drinks with colleagues, has women out late and seeking, more than ever, to release anxiety over drinks. This practice, however, far too easily, becomes a habit and maybe even a crippling addiction.
Simultaneously, the shrinkage in the economy, the stress of high unemployment as well as the responsibility of taking care of one’s family, among other issues, may have caused those who don’t work to also have a great risk of binge drinking.
The core story remains the same, however. Life gets challenging and drinking can provide that relief. Even though the specifics are essential, it can be argued that it’s particularly important for women to be well informed, given that alcohol poses specific risks to them in various walkways of life.Back to Blog