Many people enjoy an alcoholic drink now and again. Particularly at social events, it is part of our culture; and for most people there is nothing wrong with the occasional drink. But did you know that the effects of alcohol on women are different than its effects on men?
A recent article by Chris Iliades, MD on the effects of alcohol on women noted that not only are the effects of alcohol stronger in women than in men, but women who drink too much alcohol are more likely to suffer from significant alcohol problems than men are.
Women drink for essentially the same reasons men do. But studies show that women are also more likely to drink of they have problems with a loved one or with a relationship, and may even start out by drinking more than males do.
The impact of alcohol, as many people know, depends primarily on body mass: since women tend to be smaller then men, the same amount of alcohol will affect women more. But, women also metabolize liquor more slowly than men, which means it stays in their bodies longer than it does in men. This means that, pound for pound, women’s bodies –and organs like the brain and liver- are exposed to alcohol longer than men’s bodies are.
Both women and men should be aware of the warning signs of an alcohol problem, including missing while both genders face risks from too much alcohol consumption, women face heightened risks from certain kinds of cancer, brain damage, and, of course, during pregnancy. Additionally, women face higher risks of victimization and depression and personal injury as a result of consuming too much alcohol.
Both women and men should be aware of the warning signs of an alcohol problem, including missing work or school because of drinking, frequently drinking alone or in secret, driving while impaired by alcohol, having a strong urge to drink, finding that you need more alcohol than you previously did to get a pleasurable response, or repeatedly finding that you’ve drank more than you intended.
While often the individual struggling with alcohol is the last person to recognize they have a problem, anyone worried that they might be developing a problem with alcohol is urged to talk to someone who can provide professional assistance.
For most people, there is nothing wrong with having a drink or two. The key, for both men and women, is to maintain control of when, where, and how much you drink. And remember; never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if you’ve been drinking.
If you or someone you know seems to be struggling with alcohol, Capital EAP has trained alcohol and addiction counselors who can help. Additional information, including articles on binge drinking, college drinking, and information for teens can be found on the Alcoholism page on about.com and at MedicalNewsToday.com.