Statistics in the United States make it clear that alcoholism risk for women is on the rise. Nearly half of adult women say that they have drunk alcohol in the past month. This alone would not be startling but for the fact that twelve percent of adult women have reported binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks in one sitting) three times a month. More than that, alcohol consumption and binge drinking rates for women are rising at a much faster rate than for men, and roughly 2.5% of women meet the criteria for alcohol dependence.
These statistics paint a startling picture of alcoholism risk for women in Colorado. Drinking levels among women are on the rise, which has led to increases in alcohol dependence and led many women to seek out treatment for alcoholism. But what has led to this increased risk for alcoholism among women?
Physiological and Psychological Risk Factors
There are arguably two separate but related factors that have led to the rise of alcoholism risk for women in the United States: one is physiological in nature while the other is psychological and social in nature.
The first factor is that women tend to absorb alcohol differently from men, which leads to a more powerful effect on the brain more quickly; it is simply human physiology.
The second factor is psychological and social in nature. There has been a change in marketing from the alcoholic beverage industry and within the drinking culture itself, leading to greater acceptability of unhealthy drinking habits among women.
Why Alcoholism Risk for Women Is on the Rise
The physiological and psychological risk factors mentioned above often work together and lead to an increased risk of alcoholism for women. With new alcoholic beverage brands marketed specifically to women, Instagram blogs devoted to using alcohol as a coping mechanism for mothers, and the increased social acceptability of binge drinking as a whole, it is no real surprise that alcohol abuse for women is increasing.
Experts make it clear that the changing drinking habits for women are problematic. They represent a health hazard for those who are consistently engaging in binge drinking or alcohol abuse. Alcohol does not inherently pose a problem for women, just as it does not inherently pose a problem for men. However, it is important to understand that problematic alcohol consumption and drinking habits combined with inherent physiological factors can lead to addiction.
How to Address Alcoholism Risk for Women
While it is impossible to control the targeted marketing of the alcoholic beverage industry or the social media messaging that bombards us daily, women can mitigate their risk of alcoholism by taking control of the physiological side of the risk equation. Harvard Medical School recommends seven specific actions that women can take to address alcoholism risk:
- Limit alcohol consumption to seven drinks a week or less, or three drinks in one sitting.
- Measure your alcohol at home, ensuring that it meets the definition of a single drink. Sometimes a ‘generous pour’ of wine can equal two glasses.
- Drink slowly, and accompany each alcoholic drink with water or seltzer.
- Accompany your alcoholic drink with an appetizer, healthy snack, or food. This action helps the body absorb the alcohol more slowly.
- Feel free to say no (politely) when someone offers to top you off or pour you another drink.
- Limit the number of times you drink by challenging yourself to drink only with friends or family. You can also limit how much alcohol you keep in the house.
- Rethink your drinking habits. Take a close look at what role alcohol plays in your current life and whether this represents a problem.
What to Do About Alcoholism Risk for Women in Colorado
The rising risk of alcoholism in women present in the general U.S. population is also present in Colorado. Obviously, avoiding alcohol consumption altogether is the best way to minimize risk. However, the subtle way the physiological and psychological risk factors work together can, and often do, lead from normal, healthy drinking behavior towards a pathway of addiction.
This can be especially true for women that are struggling with some form of mental illness. The combination of mental illness and some form of substance dependency (like alcohol) is so common that it has a name: dual diagnosis. If this is the case for you or someone you know and love, there is treatment available for women in Denver and other parts of Colorado.
For instance, outpatient alcohol rehab for women gives those struggling with alcoholism the opportunity to address their addiction head-on without interrupting other daily responsibilities. For those suffering from dual diagnosis, we offer a range of dual diagnosis treatment options tailored to your specific mental health challenge:
- Eating Disorder
If you have questions about alcoholism or dual diagnosis, please contact us today.
Seek Treatment at Women’s Recovery
At Women’s Recovery, we understand the challenges that an addiction to alcohol presents in women’s lives. However, these are challenges that you can overcome with our help. We tailor our women’s treatment programs to your needs and ensure each person gets the care they need to overcome their addiction and move forwards towards recovery. Our treatment options include:
- Outpatient women’s addiction treatment
- Women’s sober living programs
- Trauma treatment programs
- Alcohol addiction treatment programs
Don’t let your alcohol addiction hold you back from a better, brighter future. Please reach out to Women’s Recovery today at 833.754.0554 to learn about our alcohol addiction treatment programs.