How Women Alcoholics Differ from Men

December 14, 2016 - - 0 Comments How Women Alcoholics Differ from Men

Alcohol has different effects on men and women. This is due to their inherent difference in physiology.  Studies have also proven that the risk factors of alcoholism and its consequences differ among women and men.  But although there are distinct differences, alcoholism devastates an individual’s life no matter if the person is a man or a woman. The family of the alcoholic is also negatively affected by the person’s alcohol addiction.

Women alcoholics face different obstacles than men alcoholics because their dependence on alcohol comes from different physiological, physical, environmental and social factors. It is said that women are the weaker sex and alcoholism seems to prove this.  Here are some facts regarding the difference between men and women alcoholics.

Women Are Less Prone To Alcoholism

More men tend to be addicted to alcohol than women.  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that men are three times more prone to alcoholism than women.  In other words, the number of men alcoholics is three times greater than the number of women addicted to alcohol.

Women Alcoholics Face Greater Health Risks

Although there are more alcoholic men, the lesser number of alcoholic women are facing greater health risks.  On the average, a man who is a heavy drinker for up to 30 years will only have moderate health problems compared to a woman who is also a heavy drinker.  For example, a woman who drinks heavily for five years will manifest moderate to severe health issues.

Because of their physiology, women are at greater risk especially when they get older.  The death rate for women alcoholics is 50 to 100 percent higher than male alcoholics.  They also have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths due to suicides, cirrhosis of the liver and circulatory disorders.

Women Have Different Risk Factors than Men

The risk factors for women are different than men.  With women, stress, relationships, home environment, childhood trauma and parental drug abuse are the common risk factors for alcoholism.  In addition, co-occurring mental disorders can also encourage alcohol abuse.  For men, the common risk factors include coping with behavioral and social problems and job-related stress.

Women Process Alcohol Differently Than Men

Women get drunk easily than men.  Their bodily systems are affected faster with a smaller amount of alcohol than men.  With lesser metabolizing enzymes and reduced total body water, women alcoholics will have higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood when they drink equal amounts of alcohol as men.  There are also some studies that showed the role estrogen plays in addiction.  Aside from affecting the release of dopamine, hormonal changes affect women’s sensitization to alcohol.

Women Have Different Health Consequences than Men

Health consequences in women alcoholics are somewhat more severe than men alcoholics.  Liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis develop faster in women.  More women die of cirrhosis of the liver than men.  Women alcoholics also face a higher risk of developing cancer in the digestive tract.   The risks for malnutrition, anemia, and hypertension are also higher in women who abuse alcohol.  They are also more prone to developing sleeping problems and depression.

Women Have Higher Chances of Recovery

There are some studies that suggest women alcoholics who undergo women alcohol rehab     have higher chances of recovery than men.  The reason probably lies in the fact that women are more willing to seek help than men.  This is very noticeable, especially after a relapse.  Most alumni will not hesitate to go back into a women’s alcohol rehab even after a relapse.

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