Traumatic experiences linked to alcohol disorders among women, finds study

Traumatic experiences can be very difficult to deal with and often lead to unforeseen circumstances like developing mental illnesses such as depression or getting addicted to substances like alcohol. Many people suffering from alcohol use disorders (AUDs) or seeking treatment for compulsive drinking habits attribute their alcohol inclination to disturbing experiences or to get relief from pain of physical injuries. A group of researchers attempted to find out racial differences in alcohol involvement and evaluated the risk factor posed by exposure to trauma and mental health disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for different phases of alcohol drinking among European American and African American women.

The researchers for the study titled “Association of Specific Traumatic Experiences With Alcohol Initiation and Transitions to Problem Use in European American and African American Women” observed details obtained from the Missouri Adolescent Female Twins Study. The average age of the 3,787 female respondents during the interview was 24.5 years. 85.4 percent of the respondents belonged to the European American origin while 14.6 percent came from the African American ancestry. The study got published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in September 2016.

The kinds of trauma exposures included were sexual abuse, physical abuse, witnessing a murder or accident, experiencing an accident or a disaster. The scientists evaluated if exposure to distressing situations could help forecast adoption of drinking habits, appearance of the first sign of AUD, and gradual shift to AUD diagnosis while also taking into consideration related factors like drug use, parental characteristics and frequently occurring comorbidity of mental health problems.

Sexual and physical abuse important factors in alcohol involvement

The scientists found that traumatic experiences were significant factors that resulted in all phases of alcohol involvement among the European American only, with differing trauma types resulting in risk for every phase of alcohol initiation. The scientists backed their results based on observations like sexual abuse was linked to commencement of drinking habits among European American women before they reached 14 years and was a strong predictor of AUD diagnosis. Similarly, physical abuse helped understand the change from onset to the first sign of AUD.

No similar results were observed among African American women. Also, the scientists did not find PTSD as a major factor of AUD in either of the two categories of women observed. The researchers suggested trauma, independent of PTSD, to be a defining factor in drinking tendencies. They also stressed on the significance of considering distinctions in racial backgrounds while observing associations between traumatic experiences and alcohol involvement.

Seeking professional help to get rid of alcohol addiction

As per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), although the number of female drinkers is lesser than men, death rates in women drinkers is 50 to 100 percent higher than their counterparts including alcohol-related accidents, stroke and death from suicides. Alcohol addiction can be difficult to get rid of. There is nothing like safe drinking. The addictive properties of alcohol can wreak havoc in the lives of people who drink and their loved ones. The best way to overcome alcohol related disorders is to seek advice from professionals and get the right treatment at the right time.

If you or a loved one is dependent on alcohol, you must get in touch with the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline representatives to get information on the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in U.S.A. You may call our 24/7 alcohol addiction treatment helpline number at 866-281-3014 or chat online with our experts to find the best treatment options in your vicinity.