When a person suffers from alcohol use disorder, they are battling a relapsing brain disease. One of the characteristics of alcohol use disorder is the inability to control alcohol use even though its use leads to health, social, and occupational hazards. Alcoholism causes people to hurt themselves and the most important people in their lives. It can be a disheartening and life-altering infirmity. Both men and women can develop alcohol use disorder. There is also a disconnect between a person battling alcohol addiction and their health. They continue to drink even though they can feel the damage that drinking is doing to them.
Alcohol addiction can destroy a person financially, create legal issues, and cause men and women to suffer mental health issues. Male or female, alcoholism will leave you feeling powerless. It can turn your life into something completely unrecognizable. If it is not addressed, alcoholism can be fatal.
Men and Women Are Affected Differently by Alcoholism
There are many similarities between how alcohol use disorder impacts the lives of men and women. However, there are some noticeable differences in how men and women are affected as well.
Men and Alcoholism
The statistics show that men have a much higher risk of developing alcohol addiction compared to women. Some statistics suggest that men are four times as likely to deal with alcoholism than women. Every year, approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths. Of that group, 62,000 are men. The remaining 26,000 are women. More research needs to be done to identify why men are more likely to develop alcohol use disorder than women.
But some researchers believe there is a link between how men’s brains release and react to dopamine when compared to women. Research shows that men make more dopamine when drinking. This causes men to want to drink more because it is that much more pleasurable. Men have a higher chance of developing tolerance to alcohol compared to women.
This emboldens them to feel comfortable drinking larger quantities of alcohol, increasing the severity of their alcohol use disorder. Surveys show that: •
- 58% of adult males drink at least once a month
- 23% of adult males binge drink five times a month
- Men are twice as likely to binge drink compared to women
- 4.5% of men in the United States meet the criteria for being diagnosed with alcohol dependence
These are sad statistics. Unfortunately, a stigma is attached to men getting help for alcohol abuse. In some circles, it is thought of as masculine to drink in excess and drink frequently. This mentality has tragic consequences. The reality is that it takes strength for a man to admit that he needs help and seek help from a rehabilitation program.
Women and Alcoholism
Women are also at risk for alcoholism. The sad reality is that research shows that women are drinking higher quantities of alcohol now than in past years. Between 2000 and 2015, there was a 57% increase in the number of women between the ages of 45 and 64 who died from alcohol-related cirrhosis and chronic liver disease.
There are questions as to why women are developing alcohol use disease with such frequency. Many think it is because cultural roles have changed for women over the past two decades. More women find themselves working full time and raising children as a single parent. This leads some to turn to alcohol to cope with the stress.
Undoubtedly, women are feeling the negative effects of alcoholism in the same way that men are. It’s not shameful for a woman to battle alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, some mothers don’t get the help they need because they don’t want to be away from their children. However, there are intensive outpatient programs that are specifically designed to help women in this circumstance.
Men and Women Can Get Help Battling Alcohol Use Disorder
Men and women are affected by alcohol use disorder differently. In the end, the differences don’t matter because the consequences for both are negative. Alcoholism is a dangerous sickness that can be fatal. If you want to do something about your alcohol use disorder, we want to help you. Contact us today at 855-334-6120.