Over the past 100 years, the drinking habits of Americans have changed.
The good news. The percentage of teens and adults consuming alcohol is dropping.
The troubling news?
One hundred years ago, men engaged in risky drinking behaviors at a rate three times greater than seen with women.
Sadly, that is no longer the case.
Women have now closed that gap.
And younger women are the prime drivers of this new trend.
Teens and women in their 20s now report drinking and getting drunk at rates equal to or greater than their male counterparts.
For adults 26 years old or older, women are increasing their consumption of alcohol faster than men.
According to U.S. News and World Report: "… alcohol-related visits to the emergency room from 2006 to 2014 increased 70% for women, compared with 58% for men. Another paper reported that the rate of alcohol-related cirrhosis rose 50% for women, versus 30% for men, from 2009 to 2015."
The health consequences for women are real.
Research suggests that women suffer the health effects of drinking (liver disease, heart disease, and cancer) much more quickly than men.
All this data raises the question… what's driving this shift in consumption?
Specialists in the field of addiction suggest several reasons. Younger women, in particular, tend to see alcoholism as predominantly a male problem. They drink without fully recognizing their risk.
Another reason? Women tend to suffer childhood and sexual abuse more frequently than their male counterparts. Research in the last decade points to the increasing mental health consequences of this abuse and the possibility that young women are turning to alcohol to cope with the accompanying anxiety and depression.
If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, Southern Maine, and Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.