Women and Alcohol. Female alcoholism
Statistics of female alcoholism in the world
According to the data of the World Health Organization, a problem of alcoholism has become rampancy all over the world. According to the official report, about 2,3 billion people who regularly consume alcohol are counted in the world.
Mostly men consume alcohol historically. But the tendency of the past decades show that women have drawn level with men in the alcohol consumption. Women take 45% among 2,3 billion people who consume alcohol on a regular basis. The interrelation of the alcohol consumption between men and women has been decreased by more than 4% for the past 40 years. This rate grows every 10 years, and today it is not a surprise that a woman in the company of men may drink equally and be even addicted to alcohol.
The sociological polls conducted within the territory of the European Union countries have shown that more than 16% of women prefer consuming alcohol by 3 times more than the recommended weekly norm.
However, all official statistics may not correspond real data. Yes, according to the opinion of some nongovernmental organizations that study the female alcoholism, at least 30% of women in the USA regularly take alcohol, and 11,3% of women suffer from the alcoholism. In Great Britain, this problem is even more burning because according to the opinion of the independent experts, every second woman regularly consumes alcohol and has it over the limit.
Unfortunately, the female alcoholism actively spreads all over the world and grows younger.
- Every second woman starts taking alcohol at the age of 15-16 in the countries of the European Union.
- Most women prefer alcohol at the age between 16-18 in the USA.
Moreover, the preferences of women in alcohol have been also changed. If women preferred light low-alcohol beverage drinks (liqueur, cocktails, fizzy wines) before, now there is a tendency to use middle and high strength of alcohol.
Women have increased a consumption of stiff drinks by 32%. The statistics differs in various countries but women mainly prefer wine, craft beer, vodka, and rum.
This tendency has negative consequences because women are more sensitivity to the stiff drink unlike men. Due to the physiological peculiarities of the body and a psychoemotional state, an addiction in women develops faster. Therefore, taking stiff drinks may have negative consequences for a woman.
Female alcoholism: psychological causes. Why do women drink?
In 80% of cases, the female alcoholism is related to the psychogenic factors. It has been proved that women are biologically more emotional than men, they rapidly react to the slings and arrows of life, and often have a depression.
According to the studies of the American Journal of Psychiatry, a main cause of the development of the female alcoholism is a disharmony in the family. Moreover, a problem usually comes from the childhood. Frosty relations with parents, an example of the parental alcoholism, misunderstanding on the part of the family affect the female psychology. They try to create a perfect atmosphere in the family and a relationship building with a man. If something goes wrong at some point, a woman turns to alcohol.
Alcohol is a stimulating ingredient that helps to compensate for the positive emotions. Women are more sensitive to the action of ethanol, and therefore women often have the euphoria during the alcohol intoxication compared to men.
If the alcoholism is considered holistically, it is possible to distinguish at least several psychological causes:
- Boredom – about 14% of women have admitted that when they feel bored, sad, and nothing to do, they prefer consuming alcohol.
- Feeling of desolation.
- These are problems in the family, no relations with men, as well as loneliness in the society, in small community. If a woman does not have friends, a man, who she can fully trust, she may feel uselessness. A loneliness causes diving in unhappiness and depression. Alcohol compensates for the absence of the moral support and surrounding community.
- Peculiarity of the character and personality – if a woman has a soft character, is whining and easily falls under the influence, she can easily develop the alcohol addiction to follow the crowd.
The complex causes of the female alcoholism including psychogenic factors are the female menopause, various neurotic conditions, severe pathological disorders, marriage with an alcoholic, and others.
Working and financial failures do not really bother a woman. Therefore, it is a seldom cause of the alcoholism among women. But the personal concerns harm the emotional state of a woman and cause alcoholism.
How susceptible is the female organism to alcohol? Effects of alcohol on women
As we have mentioned, women are more sensitive to the alcohol due to the physiological peculiarities including the flexible emotional state. There are three main factors that increase the sensitivity of women to ethanol from the side of the physiology:
A concentration of the female hormones is various in the blood within a month, and depends on a day of the menstrual cycle. The increase or decrease of the concentration of certain female hormones influences on the metabolic processes in the body and an uptake of alcohol. For example, the female body slows down the liquid during coming menstruation, so that ethanol may be kept longer in the tissues.
- Content of the fat in the body.
The amount of the fatty tissue is significantly higher in the female body than in the male one. It is regulated by estrogens (the sexual hormone), and women may have a various percentage of fat in various period of life.
It is known that ethanol is accumulated in the fatty tissues, and it is slowly excreted from the body during a great amount of the fat. The male body has a lower percentage of the fatty tissue and more water. Water is a natural filter for the body and excretes the ethanol faster. Therefore, the alcohol intoxication happens faster in men than in women.
- A production of the enzymes by the liver and pancreatic gland.
The female body is more delicate than the male one. It has happened that the menu of the man is stodgier and contains more fatty and high-calorie food. Therefore, a production of the splitting enzymes happens better in men. Women have a lower production of the enzymes by the pancreatic gland and liver, and so ethanol is more badly. If a man and a woman takes similar amount of alcohol, there will be more ethanol in the blood plasma in women, and it will be excreted longer.
Remember that women are more subject to the development of the addiction in a psychological way. It is manifested not only as to alcohol but also as to other occupations: shopping, sports, and work. An addiction is not always a bad thing. For example, women are more addictive to work, and according to the statistics, they work more and are more responsible than men. It is a psychological peculiarity that helps and also destroys women.
Alcoholic women. When does the female alcoholism begin? Alcohol units for women
A moderate alcohol consumption is not a disease. Do not consider a human as an alcoholic, if this person prefers a glass of wine in the evening or relaxes with a can of beer at the end of the business week.
There are even daily and weekly rates of alcohol that are allowed for the consumption without any consequences. The daily units of alcohol for women are:
- 0,33 ml of beer or,
- 1 glass of red wine or,
- 2 glasses of white wine or,
- 2 shots (40 mg) of stiff drinks.
It is necessary to select one thing, and do not mix alcohol. You cannot detect the rate of the consumed alcohol, if you mix the drinks because their interaction may increase the effect of ethanol.
Doctors believe that this data will do for most women but it is necessary to take into account that every women has a different metabolism, body mass, and general health condition.
Alcohol may be consumed in this way not more than 4 times per week. It is better to take a break between a consumption of alcohol for 48 hours. This way, you will not harm your body and a risk of the alcohol addiction will be low.
If a woman starts consuming more than needed, and the alcohol sessions repeat every day, it tells about an addiction. The beginning of the disease may be easily felt: you cannot relax or get positive emotions without alcohol. As soon as alcohol becomes the everyday companion of a woman, it means that she develops an alcoholism.
Another important factor of the disease development is that a woman stops needing a society and a moral support, and prefers to spend the evening in the company of alcohol. Passing her problems on to alcohol, the woman finds the support and stops interesting in the surrounding world. It is a sign of the developing alcoholism.
What diseases are provoked by alcohol in women? Alcohol and women's health
The alcohol abuse has the same influence both on men and women. First, the cells of the brain, liver, and the nervous system suffer. However, the pathological processes pass rapidly in the female body. For example, the liver cells of a woman are destroyed faster under the action of ethanol. Moreover, a risk of the alcoholic hepatitis is by 27% higher in women.
Also, the tissues of the brain are more vulnerable to the destructive action of ethanol, and therefore women with alcoholism often have the cognitive disorders (loss of memory, poor concentration, and others).
A risk of the hypertonic disease is higher in women than in men. And the alcohol abuse increases the danger of the complications as a result of the crucial rates of the blood pressure. It is interesting to note that the high vulnerability of the body to ethanol is achieved by means of the main sexual hormone estrogen. As men have lower estrogens, ethanol does not cause such great affections to the body in a short period.
The two thirds of patients with alcoholism have the breast cancer. The results of the clinical studies prove that the alcohol consumption increasing the daily rates by 15-20% enhances a risk of the breast cancer by 10%. Moreover, these rates are dose-dependent. The more amount of alcohol is consumed, the higher the risk is.
Women with the alcohol addiction have early menopause. The menopause may occur at 40 or even earlier during the frequent alcohol abuses, and the manifestations of the menopause will be more intensive.
It is also to indicate other consequences of the female alcoholism:
- Premature signs of ageing: dry skin, wrinkles, edema of the face;
- Acne due to the toxicity of alcohol;
- Increase of fat and obesity stage 1-2;
- Mental disorders: increase of the depressive episodes, anxiety, panic attacks, and hallucinations;
- Behavioral changes: rudeness, voice change, and permanent nervousness.
The alcohol consumption leads to the endocrine disorders in women including a metabolic syndrome. Due to the endocrine diseases, gynecological pathologies including infertility develop.
A disorder of the reproductive function is latent and is manifested only when a woman tries to become pregnant. In most cases, the alcohol infertility is nonreversible.
Treatment of female alcoholism. Alcohol treatment for women
There is a mistaken opinion that the female alcoholism is untreatable. However, it is not true. The alcoholism cannot be treated in general. It means that a person can get rid of the addiction by means of the recovery of the psychological and physiological balance. As soon as it happens, the alcoholism symptoms pass. However, during the repeated change of the consciousness under the action of alcohol, the alcoholism symptoms may return.
Alcoholism is not even a disease, it is a disorder of personality that tries to soothe the concerns by means of ethanol.
The modern medicine considers such method as alcohol abuse hypnosis as ineffective because its action is based on a fear of the alcohol consumption without setting for abstinence. All these methods will be useless if a patient does not want to get rid of the addiction.
The alcoholism treatment takes several stages in women:
- Stage 1: diagnostics and detoxication.
It is necessary to know a real cause of the female alcoholism and clean the body from ethanol. A woman should completely get rid of the alcohol content in the blood to get real.
As the main cause of the female alcoholism is psychological disorders, it is logically to start the treatment from the psychotherapy and understanding of the essence of the addiction of a certain person. It is worth noting that every 4th woman gets rid of the alcohol addiction after the quality psychotherapy.
- Stage 3: medication-assisted therapy.
To increase the effect of the psychotherapy, women are prescribed pharmaceutical products to treat the somatic disorders caused by the alcohol abuse, and also medications inhibiting the craving for alcohol.
Best cure for alcoholism. Antabuse pill
Antabuse is the basic pharmaceutical agent in the treatment of the alcohol addiction in women. It acts rapidly and helps during any types of the alcoholism, even during the chronic type of the disease.
Admittedly, women are creatures with more delicate psyche, and therefore a short course of the treatment is not enough. To treat the female alcoholism, a whole therapeutic cycle is required during which the work is done with a patient, his/her family, and friends. People close to the addicted person should know how to behave and avoid provocative situations, and a patient should know how to resist temptations.
The female alcoholism is treatable just like the male one. You will be able to give up the addiction, if you want to. The most important is to take the first step today, and do not wait for a perfect moment.