Rates of Addiction in Women and the Increasing Need for Women’s Rehab
Memes across the internet show moms pouring glasses of wine and cocktails more and more amid the pandemic. And comedy movies aim to normalize drinking as a means to cope with the difficulties of adulthood. The goal is humor, but alcohol addiction in women simply isn’t funny.
The reality is more and more women are drinking excessively and in the process, they are ushering in major negative health impacts faster than their male counterparts.
As alcohol addiction in women is growing, so is the need for women’s rehab in California and across the nation.
A Picture of the Problem by the Numbers
Drinking is increasing among all American adults, but women have shown the largest spikes. While on average, women drink less than their male counterparts, women ages 20 to 40 showed the biggest increase in alcohol consumption, according to researchers at Columbia University1.
The rate of binge drinking climbed the most among women ages 30 to 44 without children. In research released in December 2019, Columbia University reported 21 percent of women 30 to 44 reported binge drinking in 2006. By 2018, the rate had increased to 42 percent.
Older women, ages 45 to 55, are drinking more heavily too, according to the study.
“Although heavy drinking has either decreased or stabilized for most groups, binge drinking is still common and is becoming even more prevalent,” said McKetta. “It’s still unknown why women are increasing drinking relative to men, but we encourage physicians to screen all adults—not just select groups of men and women—for alcohol use disorders and referring them to appropriate treatment.”
The Pandemic Impact
The rate at which people are drinking has also spiked sharply during the pandemic, and heavy drinking among women specifically jumped 41 percent, according to a new RAND Corporation study <2.
The researchers involved in the study believe that the alcohol consumption increase seen among women underpins the notion that more doctors and family members should be aware of the signs of abuse and when women’s rehab is necessary. Moreover, there should be more targeted education and help available to women who find themselves abusing alcohol and in need of alcohol addiction in California.
More Drinking, More Problems
While alcohol abuse causes serious health problems for both men and women, the impact is greater in key areas for women who drink excessively, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)3.
Alcohol-related problems show up sooner for women and at lower drinking levels than their male counterparts. This happens, in part, because women tend to weigh less than men. And since alcohol is found mostly in body water, of which women have less than men, a woman’s blood alcohol concentration will be higher than a man’s when the two drink the same amount.
The impacts include:
- Excessive drinking can disrupt the menstrual cycle and increase the risk of infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control4.
- Research also suggests that misusing alcohol can cause brain damage faster in women than in men.
- Women are more prone to alcohol-related heart disease, even though they may consume less alcohol over their lifetime than men.
- Studies demonstrate that women who drink daily have a five to nine percent higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
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Women in certain categories seem to also be more impacted by alcohol addiction or abuse in California.
Multiracial women and white women appear to be impacted more by alcohol addiction compared with Black women, Hispanic women, and Asian women, according to data from the United Health Foundation 5. Though excessive drinking among Black women in California is much higher than the national average.
Women who were college graduates or had some college education also struggled with alcohol abuse more frequently compared with women who were high school graduates or had less than high school education, the survey showed.
And women with household incomes of $50,000 or more compared with women with lower household incomes also reported more occasions of alcohol abuse.
Recovery is possible
Half of the adults who once met the criteria for a substance use disorder—or about 25 million people—are currently in stable remission, according to the US Surgeon General6. Some models show even greater rates of success for treating addiction in women and men.
At Clear Life Recovery, we offer women’s rehab in California that addresses the root cause of addiction in women and helps each woman find freedom from alcohol addiction.
Because there is so much shame and criticism for addiction in women, we aim to create a safe place for women to work through their addiction and find healthy lifestyle habits. Contact us today to get started or for more information.