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Alcohol Abuse Looks Different for Women

It is common knowledge that alcohol usually affects men and women differently. Women usually carry less body weight, which means they get drunk more easily and cannot hold as much liquor as their male counterparts. Many people think the differences stop there – on the contrary however, women experience alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse much differently than men.

Six million women are dependent on alcohol or abuse it in some way, and one in ten women who drink consume more than one drink per day. Physically, women process alcohol differently (and generally less efficiently) than men. In addition to the weight difference which leads to a higher percentage of body cells becoming exposed to the alcohol, women produce less of a certain stomach enzyme that helps to process alcohol. This means that liquor enters the bloodstream in a purer form in women than men, concentrating the dose and raising the blood alcohol level. In addition, women carry less water in their body which also contributes to the concentration levels of the alcohol.

Women who drink alcohol are more likely to have certain health problems than men, including heart disease, brain disease, liver disease and breast cancer. If a woman abuses alcohol, she is at greater risk than a man for eating disorders, anxiety, drug abuse, depression and borderline personality disorder. In general, women are twice as likely as men to suffer fro depression. This statistic is compounded in women who abuse alcohol – the likelihood of depression increases to four times greater. A surprising 72 percent of women who abuse alcohol or consume alcohol in excess also suffer from mental illness, as compared to 57 percent of male alcohol abusers. It is worth noting that a prior case of mental illness could cause anyone to be more likely to turn to alcohol or other substances. In general however, women who drink excessively or develop an alcohol dependency tend to leave more at risk than men, in terms of both physical and mental health.

If you are ready to seek treatment for your alcohol dependency or other substance abuse problem, contact Retreat today. Our location in Lancaster, Pennsylvania places us conveniently between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and our team is available to provide transport from surrounding areas and states to begin the process of addiction recovery and long term relapse prevention.

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