The trend of binge drinking is growing at an alarming rate among women in the United States. But the biggest concern is that binge drinking is driving more women to emergency rooms and towards an early death. In men, binge drinking is defined as consumption of five or more drinks in a session and in women, binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a session.
As per a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of binge drinking has increased among the American states. Excessive drinking among both men and women is more prevalent among population with an income of $75,000 or more. According to the CDC report, there are 14 U.S. states where 19-25 percent population is considered binge drinkers. As of 2010, excessive alcohol consumption costs an average of $3.5 billion to American states and $249 billion to the nation.
Binge drinking among women
American women are drinking more than their mothers or grandmothers, and this habit is costing them their lives. As per an analysis of federal health data by the Washington Post, more than a quarter white women are drinking multiple times a day and the share of binge drinking is up by 40 percent since 1999. The analysis also reported an increase in early mortality rates among women with the rate of alcohol-related deaths among white women aged 35 to 54 more than doubling since 1999.
As per Dr. Robert (Bob) D. Brewer, head of the alcohol division at the CDC, many women do not understand what constitutes excessive drinking. While the alcohol industry and some governmental agencies continue to promote the idea of moderate drinking as healthy, researches claim otherwise. According to a 2016 study by the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine in New Zealand, drinking even two servings of alcohol a day can cause cancer at seven sites in the body. Moreover, binge drinking among women has risen to 12 percent in the last decade while male binge drinking remains the same, highlighted the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Effects of binge drinking on women
Women’s drinking patterns differ from those of men and as their bodies react differently to alcohol. As per the NIAAA, compared to men, women tend to have a lower alcohol-related problem at lower drinking levels. Some of the factors contributing to it include hormones and amount of water in the female body. Women’s body has lesser water content compared to that of men, thus, women’s blood alcohol concentration tends to be higher, putting them at a higher health risk.
Some of the health risks among women drinking excessive alcohol are:
- Liver damage
- Breast cancer
- Heart diseases
- Pregnancy-related problems
As per a 2009 research by the University of Oxford, compared to women who do not drink, women with only one drink a day have a 10 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer. For every extra drink that they have a day, the risk is increased by another 10 percent.
Steps taken by states to curb alcoholism
In order to curb drinking among men and women throughout the nation, states in America have taken steps like levying alcohol excise taxes, regulating number of bars and restaurants selling and serving alcohol, holding retailers accountable for selling alcohol to minors, and placing state-wide limits on hours and days for the sale of alcohol. However, a number of states across the states have taken additional steps to educate both men and women about the risks of drinking.
In Delaware, the public health department has developed a questionnaire to help young women discuss their problems of alcohol use with their health-care providers. The department has also developed resources that can help physicians screen patients for possible alcohol abuse. Colorado has developed a tailored approach to help health care providers address the personal issues of alcohol use and family planning. As part of community health program, North Carolina has developed a specialized alcohol screening program for pregnant women.
Recovery and rehab
According to NIAAA Director Dr. George Koob, as the harms associated with alcohol use escalate quickly in women compared to men, the damage is seen earlier in women with more severity. If you know someone addicted to alcohol, the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline can assist you in finding the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in Texas. Call us at our 24/7 helpline 866-281-3014 or chat online with our experts to know about the top alcohol addiction treatment centers in Texas.