A Look at Alcohol Addiction in Women

By November 13, 2017alcohol

Alcohol addiction in women comes from their strong compulsion to drink. When doing so you’ll lose control because you can’t stop drinking. Once you notice this in yourself you’ll experience withdrawal symptom. These typically include nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction in Women

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says that women suffer some very specific risks when they abuse alcohol. Nevertheless, about 5.3 million American women drink in an unhealthy or unsafe way. Alcohol addiction in women lead to some negative health effects including:

  • Sexual assault
  • Violence
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease

This is besides the effects that alcohol has on both men and women, which includes:

  • Liver disease
  • Brain disease
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Losing brain mass results in decreased mental function

Why Recovery for Alcohol Addiction in Women is Difficult

Considering all the health effects caused by alcohol addiction in women, you’d think women would want to seek treatment. However, many studies show women are less likely than men to seek treatment. Unfortunately, these studies aren’t certain why this is true. Some barriers to women seeking treatment may include:

  • Women are often the sole providers for their children. Finding appropriate childcare so they can attend treatment is challenging. Some women are also concerned they’ll lose custody if they admit to being an alcoholic.
  • Women face more economic challenges than men. This includes working at lower-paying jobs that offer very little flexibility when it comes to scheduling let alone providing them with paid time off.
  • Women are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than men. This includes mood, anxiety, and eating disorders. It’s important that these issues are also treated at the same time as they’re treated for their alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of treatment programs that treat both disorders at the same time.
  • Women are reluctant to enter traditional alcohol-treatment programs. There aren’t many women-only treatment programs though. Instead, mixed gender programs are more common. These aren’t comfortable for women who have suffered sexual or physical abuse. Even if these women don’t enter inpatient treatment for their alcohol addiction they still need emotional support in the form of psychotherapy, self-help groups, and medications.

When struggling with alcohol addiction in women recovery is difficult. Once you start treatment hope for recovery exists. This glimmer of hope should make you want to try it though.