Studies have revealed that women in America are consuming more alcohol than ever before. The sharp rise in female drinkers has in turn contributed to a growing number of alcohol related health risks and other concerns.
The recent studies also reveal some surprising facts about the characteristics of women who are drinking in large amounts. Education and income were key factors in the study - the more a woman earns and the more education she has, the higher her alcohol consumption is.
These educated, professional women also used alcohol more frequently than others. There has also been a sharp increase in the numbers of black, Latina and white women who make it a habit to drink.
The results of the study are alarming for many reasons. A woman processes alcohol differently than a man and is more susceptible to its negative effects.
Because a woman's body contains a higher percentage of fat than a man's, alcohol is retained longer. This causes a woman to get drunk faster and stay intoxicated for longer than a man drinking the same amount of alcohol.
Evidence of how women's bodies don't tolerant alcohol in the same way a man's does is illustrated in the 52% rise in intoxicated women admitted to emergency rooms in the last decade. The number of adult women admitted into rehab treatment programs has also risen in the last decade or so, with three times more female drinkers seeking treatment.
Why are women drinking more and what does this mean for the future of alcohol treatment? One possible factor in the dramatic increase could be changed attitudes toward women and drinking in our society.
The drinking culture has become more mainstream and has even made its way into the workplace, where the gap between male and female roles are narrowing. Women are taking on more professional roles and beginning to earn as much as men.
As a result, professional women may feel that they need to keep up with the males in their field by participating in social activities that all too often involve high amounts of drinking. The social drinking involved with these professional occupations has carried over into drinking during the week.
The number of women who drink alone on weekdays has also increased dramatically. This particular group of women are also the number one consumers of wine in the United States.
In addition to the social drinking often included with their professional roles, women are also turning to alcohol as a way to cope with the high levels of stress their lifestyles often involve.
Education is another key factor in the rising number of adult female drinkers. The studies done recently show that there is a correlation between education level and a higher consumption of alcohol among women.
These educated women also report that they have more issues caused by their drinking than other women. There could be several reasons for this: educated women have the kind of social life that includes more opportunities to drink and their social life and careers put them into social sphere that have been traditionally male dominated.
Educated women also tend to put off having children, so that dating, socializing, and their careers are usually their priorities instead.
The sharp increase in women who drink can't be ignored. Alcohol consumption and abuse bring a higher risk of health problems that can even lead to death.
Breast cancer, heart and liver disease, and alcohol poisoning are a few of the risks. High alcohol consumption also makes an individual more likely to experience violence and being involved in an alcohol related car accident.