Binge Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder on the Rise Among Middle-Aged Women

Intoxicated middle aged woman

A new study[i] published in the journal Addiction suggests that “subgroups of women at highest risk of excessive drinking appear to be expanding, probably supported in part by a trend towards delayed parenting.”


Women 35 years of age and older who have either delayed having children or chosen not to have children are now binge drinking or suffering from alcohol abuse disorder at rates significantly higher than women of the same age in the 1990s.

And it doesn’t end there.

The study authors stress that while the rate of alcohol consumption for women without children has jumped, the rate of consumption for women with children is also climbing. The research team believes that the emerging wine-mom culture on social media combined with alcohol products targeted at middle-aged women is at least partly to blame.

It’s worth noting that researchers have known about the correlation between childless women and higher rates of alcohol consumption for some time.

What alarms researchers now is how much and how quickly alcohol use is increasing in that cohort.

The research team also notes that while alcohol usage among adult males has traditionally been higher than rates for women – the gap between the sexes is shrinking. Worse – alcohol-related deaths are now rising at a faster pace for women than they are for men.

The study authors hope their findings lead to greater awareness and better prevention and intervention strategies.

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