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Women and Alcohol Abuse

A sad-looking middle-aged woman sits on a couch.
Research shows that women use alcohol to regulate their mood more often than men do.

Over the course of the last century, the gender gap has narrowed. Women can now vote, wear pants, go to college, have a career and choose their own destinies.

That’s all good, obviously.

But there’s also a downside. Women can also now down three martinis in a bar or chug beer in college without anyone thinking it’s the least bit unusual. In fact, women born between 1991 and 2000 drink just as much as their male counterparts.

The problem? Well, there is a difference between how men’s and women’s bodies handle alcohol. Quite simply, alcohol hits women harder than it does men.

Alcohol and Women

Research shows that women produce smaller quantities of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the body.

Research also shows that women tend to get addicted to alcohol more quickly than men. While no one knows exactly why that’s true, one theory is that women and men tend to use alcohol for different reasons.

Men are more attracted to the risk-taking and social aspects of drinking, while women tend to use alcohol more to regulate their moods and deal with the stresses of life, including child-rearing and taking care of elderly parents.

The Alcoholic Woman and Abuse

Sharon Wilsnack is a psychiatry and behavioral science professor at the University of North Dakota’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her research found that women who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often have been sexually abused as children.

For them, drinking has become a way of numbing themselves to past trauma. Instead of working through issues, it’s much easier to turn emotions off with alcohol.

The result is that there are then two issues to address: the past abuse and the addiction.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

At The Raleigh House in Denver, Colorado, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just treat the physical addiction. We also try to find out what factors may have contributed to the addiction, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually, mentally and socially. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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