As we celebrate International Women’s Day this March 8, there is no denying the fact that millennial women are so empowered that despite all odds, their achievements are exponential – be it in social, cultural, economic or political sectors. Worldwide, women are emerging as change makers, trendsetters and leaders for a better tomorrow.
While this understanding gives a lot of hope to those who want to achieve something, it also makes one concerned as women face a plethora of challenges to their health and overall wellbeing, one of these being alcohol addiction.
American women and alcohol
In comparison to men, women are susceptible to higher health risks contributed by alcohol consumption because they have a lower threshold for alcohol and hence develop alcohol-related ailments early.
In addition, women have less amount of water as compared to men for each pound of body weight and unfortunately, alcohol resides largely in body water. It takes longer for women to break down alcohol and remove it from their bodies.
Taking these facts into consideration, it can be seen that alcohol presents a very serious health challenge to women. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Among adult women, 46 percent reported consuming at least one drink in the last month.
- Binge drinking on at least three occasions per week, with an average of five drinks, was reported by 12 percent adult women.
- The diagnostic criteria for dependence on alcohol were met by almost 2.5 percent women in the past year.
Pregnancy and alcohol
Alcohol consumed during pregnancy passes directly to the baby through the placenta. As alcohol stays longer in the baby’s system, it leads to possible irreversible harm to the baby’s development. The risk of premature delivery, stillbirth and miscarriage increase when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy.
In spite of this, a growing trend of alcohol consumption can be seen in women. Alcohol is consumed by at least 10 percent of pregnant women. Its effects on reproductive health and pregnancy are listed below:
- One in two women of child-bearing age drink alcohol as per the national surveys and of these women, 18 percent indulge in binge drinking.
- Too much alcohol can predispose a woman to infertility risk and her menstrual cycle may get disrupted.
- Women who binge drink get into risky sexual behavior and might, therefore, run the risk of getting pregnant or infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can affect the fetus with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), responsible for causing mental retardation and developmental disorders in the child.
- If a woman binge drinks during the first trimester of pregnancy, her baby can die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Other health risks
In addition to the risks cited above, there are multiple other health risks to which a woman is predisposed upon excessive alcohol consumption. These are:
- Women are at a higher risk of cirrhosis and alcohol-related liver disorders.
- Excessive drinking can cause memory loss and brain shrinkage in women.
- In comparison to men, women who drink excessively are at a risk of damaged heart muscles.
- Binge drinking increases the risk of developing breast cancer, throat cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer and so on.
Pledge to go sober this International Women’s Day
As International Women’s Day, March 8 has been dedicated as a day to celebrate all women who have worked hard and achieved substantial accolades in almost all walks of life. However, this success and potential are tainted by alcohol.
Hence, women, regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, occupation and culture, must take a pledge to go sober because alcohol turns one into a victim and not a fighter. It blurs the perspective of a person and makes one self-destructive, abusive and may even lead one to substance abuse. Quitting alcohol can bring one closer to their own self and empower them to achieve everything, that one ever desires for.
You can do it
Overcoming alcohol dependence calls for will of steel and recovery from it can take a long time. If you or a woman close to you is an alcoholic, start the journey to recovery by getting in touch with us today.
Sovereign Health California alcohol treatment programs provide detox and effective treatment for alcohol addiction. Our alcohol detox centers offer complete rehabilitation for alcohol abuse and dependence. Our staff ensures that every patient who receives detox does so under proper medical care. We offer conventional clinical therapies as well as alternative treatment, such as yoga, art therapy, neurofeedback training, equine therapy and cognitive retraining.
If you would like further information, call our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 to speak with a member of our admissions team. You can also chat online to our representatives for more advice. They will be happy to assist you in your recovery.