Alcoholism Rates of Women Continue to Climb

Apr 15, 2017

Alcoholism is a problem that has continued to grow in America. First of all, alcohol is the most abused substance in the world, by far, due to its social prevalence and its legality. Indeed, nearly 9% of adults in the United States report having drinking patterns that could be described as problematic. Amidst these facts, another alarming trend has begun to get noticed and studied: the particular rising rates of alcoholism in women. Essentially, more women today are drinking a lot more than most women did in the decades before. Here is some information about how alcoholism rates among women continue to climb…

A convergence of abuse trends

Traditionally, the rate of alcoholism among men has been significantly higher than women. In the early 1900’s, studies showed that the rate of men who drank was over 100% higher than women. When you considered how likely it was for an individual to have a drinking problem, the rate was 200% higher in men than in women. However, today, a man is only 10% more likely to drink than the average woman, and only 20% more likely to have a drinking problem. While women are still less at risk of alcohol abuse, it does beg the question as to why men and women have closed a sort of gender gap, when it come to alcoholism.

Other issues prevalent in women may contribute

There is no definitive answer as to why the rate of alcoholism has climbed among women to nearly catch up with men. However, some expects speculate that the changing social participation of many women, such as more women becoming professionals and joining the workforce, has led to a higher exposure of alcohol. Drinking can be a common practice at business meetings and social gatherings, thus women today are more likely to start drinking.

Alcohol’s enhanced effect on women

While less women abuse alcohol than men, still, there are other risks that are higher for women. For example, certain anxiety issues, such as generalized anxiety disorder, are much more prevalent in women (almost double, as a matter of fact). Because of this, many women use alcohol as a way to self-medicate. However, continued alcohol use can intensify the effects of an anxiety disorder. On top of this, alcohol will usually have an increased effect on women in the first place, simply due to the fact that women, on average, have a smaller body mass.