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Women and Alcoholism

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By December 13, 2018

Alcoholism doesn’t really care about how, where or why someone becomes afflicted by it. There’s no concern for the disease about what you drink, whether you have a job, how old you are, or your gender. It’s not a disease that is easily dealt with and women are finding out first hand that it can be a fatal one. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, between 2007 and 2017 there was an 85 percent rise in alcohol related deaths in women. During that same period, there was only a 29 percent increase of alcohol related deaths in men. While men are still at a higher risk for such deaths, the stark rise women should be cause for concern.

The journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that it was middle age women showing up in the hospital at an increased rate between 2006 and 2014. Women aged 45 to 64 in this period also died at an increase of 25 percent during this time with most of these emergency room visits, fatal or not, due to binge drinking.

Unlike men, women aren’t likely to be found in bars drinking their workday worries away. “Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay” by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor points out that women are more likely to be found drinking a bottle of wine at home. A typical bottle of wine is 5 drinks, which is the minimum to be considered binge drinking by addiction experts. Depending on how many times a month or even a week this occurs, over a long period of time this can cause the health issues that are increasingly taking the lives of women.

Historically, women are now taking on more stressful roles which can lead to anxiety and depression which contributes to drinking for many alcoholics. One of the larger questions that remains largely up in the air with experts is whether alcoholism is contributing to the depression or the depression contributes to the alcoholism. What is known is that they largely go hand in hand due to the long term effects on the brain in alcoholics of all genders. Compounding this is that women’s chemistry and size put more wear and tear on their bodies when they drink the same as the average man. Type of alcohol doesn’t make a difference; wine or tequila, beer or champagne. Kidney failure, cancer, liver disease, heart disease, inability to heal from minor injuries and other side effects of long term use put women into the emergency room after years of drinking heavily.

Discovery InstituteConsidering the dangers of alcoholism, it’s imperative to seek therapy and treatment for the condition. There’s no easy cure, but seeking rehab in New Jersey is as easy as calling Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563. It’s the top rated drug center in NJ dedicated to getting people back into sober living.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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