The causes of alcoholism in women are diversified. Each person is unique. The way in which circumstances, psychology, and physiology come together ultimately create a likewise unique “formula” of factors that contribute to some women becoming alcoholics.
Alcohol affects woman far differently than men. In women, a larger amount of alcohol passes directly into a the blood stream than it does in men. This exposes a woman’s brain and body to more toxicity. Many experts feel that over-indulging is far more risky for women as a result, and that this alone is one of the potential causes of alcoholism in women.
Studies show that over 10 percent of women who drink have one drink a day. This is considered moderate drinking by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Some recent studies show that moderate drinking can have some benefits. Specifically, it may lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a good diet and exercise.
Nonetheless, this does not eliminate the risks, including the possibility that alcohol may interact with medications. Women who drink at this level are still in danger of developing various health issues including heart conditions, stroke and cancer. Additionally, thinking that drinking is “healthy” could be one of the causes of alcoholism in women.
Women who drink heavily run a higher risk than men of becoming dependent. These women also have a higher chance of being a victim of abuse (due to impaired critical thinking). They also tend to experience more severe physical damage then men, even if they haven’t been drinking as long as a man of the same age.
Some of the health issues that result from female alcoholism include liver disease, memory loss, and high blood pressure. Psychologically, women who drink heavily are also prone to depressive disorders.
A woman who drinks while pregnant puts her unborn child at risk. There are a variety of birth defects that may develop in a fetus from drinking during pregnancy. These defects are referred to as Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS can manifest in many ways including brain damage, learning disorders, memory retention problems, and disfigurement.
Stress is often noted as one of the reasons women drink. Unfortunately this can become a very negative cycle as drinking can cause stress at home and work, which in turn could become one of the causes of alcoholism in women.
A woman who has an alcoholic family member is at higher risk for alcohol disease than others. Each woman’s genetic make up can also make a difference to how drinking effects her body. Signs that someone is becoming dependent on alcohol include missing work, craving alcohol, having a growing tolerance for increased amounts of alcohol, and drinking in risky situations.
If a woman realizes she’s becoming dependent, it’s possible for her to begin making changes on her own by reducing alcohol consumption or stopping altogether. Nonetheless, that person will need to remember that the temptation to return to drinking heavily may always be a part of their life. Controlling those urges is one key to success.
Women who are already addicted can go to their personal physician for advice and information on support groups. There is no reason to go through this process alone, and many reasons to seek support. Studies show that people who have a strong network of friends, family, counselors etc. will be more successful in their battle against alcohol disease than those struggling alone.