According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, fewer women than men drink.
However, among the heaviest drinkers, women equal or surpass men in the number of alcohol related problems. For example:
- Female alcoholics have death rates 50 to 100 percent higher than those of male alcoholics, including deaths from suicides, alcohol-related accidents, heart disease and stroke, and liver disease.
- Women tend to develop alcohol-related diseases and other consequences of drinking sooner than men, and after drinking less.
- Women are more likely to abuse alcohol in order to self-medicate problems such as depression, anxiety, or stress.
Several biological factors, including body fat and hormones, make women more susceptible to alcohol’s effects.
Because of these factors, a woman’s body processes alcohol more slowly than a man’s. One drink for a woman has about twice the effect of one for a man.
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Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH), for large-scale mental health screenings for the public, is focusing attention on the particular health consequences of alcohol abuse in women. The increased focus coincides with National Alcohol Screening Day, held April 10th, 2014.
The 17th annual screening and education day raises awareness about alcohol misuse and abuse, while providing the public with beneficial screening and treatment resources.
To help both women and men assess their drinking patterns, SMH is promoting an online resource that offers anonymous screenings for alcohol abuse as well as resources for treatment and recovery.