What women should know about drinking alcohol

What women should know about drinking alcohol

01-04-2020

What women should know about drinking alcohol…

The power of advertising and the results….
Women need to understand that the alcohol industry can’t get enough of them, and are specifically targeting women in their marketing efforts, they are following the general trend of women simply drinking more.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Diageo, the world’s largest spirits business, is an official supporter of International Women’s Day. Meanwhile, one of Diageo’s brands – Baileys – sponsors the Women’s Prize For Fiction. Budweiser is an official partner of the England Women’s football team. And Smirnoff’s Equalising Music campaign pushes for greater gender balance in the music industry.

Linking booze brands with female empowerment is pretty troubling. In the UK, alcohol-related deaths among women are at the highest rate in 10 years. Worldwide, alcohol is associated with 2.8 million deaths each year.


For years, alcohol consumption has been on the rise for women in the U.S. for the past three decades, with women today making up 37 percent of whiskey drinkers as opposed to just 15 percent in the 1990s. Not only that, but a recent study found that high-risk drinking rose about 58 percent among women (from 2002 to 2013) and, more frighteningly, alcohol and dependence increased by 83.7 percent among women during the same time period.


Still, the sexy, persuasive alcohol ads targeted towards women can manipulate us into wanting something we know we can’t have — and fool us into thinking that “just one won’t hurt.” It’s precisely this kind of thinking, largely aided by alcohol marketing and societal expectations, that keeps women from exploring their problematic relationship with alcohol. It seems normal to scream “mommy juice!” on social media or have that shot at a friend’s birthday party because alcohol marketing tells us that this is what life is all about. It isn’t.

The negative effects of alcohol on women….
The effects of alcohol are stronger in women than in men, and women who drink too much alcohol are more likely to suffer from significant alcohol problems than men, studies show. In addition, women who have alcohol problems have higher death rates due to suicide, accidents, and other health related issues — more than twice the rate of men. Given these facts, you may be wondering: Why do women drink, and what can you do to enjoy alcohol without risks to your health?

 

Alcohol Affects Women Differently Than Men…

The blood alcohol level in a woman who just drank the same amount of alcohol as a man will be higher because women are usually smaller, have less water in their bodies, and metabolize alcohol more slowly than men.


This means that the brain and liver of a woman who drinks are exposed to more alcohol pound for pound than a man's brain and liver. Women who have alcohol problems may drink less than men but still experience the same level of impairment. They can also develop liver damage and other alcohol-related health problems more quickly than men, even though they may be drinking less.

Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks a day have a 20 percent higher breast cancer risk compared to women who don’t drink. Alcohol is also linked to a range of other cancers and reduced fertility.
Many of these gender-based differences in alcohol’s effects on the body weren’t discovered until fairly recently, and more research is still needed. As this article explains, until the 1990s, almost all clinical studies on alcohol were carried out solely on men!

 

Alcohol use as self-care…
Many use alcohol as a way to unwind and relax after a chaotic, stressful day. It can be physiologically relaxing, has a pleasurable taste and is often consumed when relaxing on the couch with something nice to eat, but it is an extremely risky self care tool. One that is hard to cap at one or two, largely because it is almost too effective at helping us to unwind. We generally stop at one bubble bath, or one cup of tea a night – but alcohol is a self-care tool that is fairly difficult to shut off, due to its powerful effects on a stressed out brain.

Often, particularly if someone has had a stressful day, they might crave that release. However, at the same time, the release is then followed by a desire to keep the feelings going. Many people also experience this effect with sugar and junk food. The mechanism is similar, but with alcohol it is even more profound, since it is affecting multiple parts of the brain and reward system, as well as switching off the consequential thinking part of our brains.

What starts out as a gentle way to recover from a hard day, often becomes something that can make the next day even harder. Someone might find themselves finishing the bottle of wine in the quest to replenish those emotional resources. What follows is poor food choices, poor sleep and lower energy, making it less likely we will have the day we were hoping for.

Self care is about looking after ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Drinking a toxic poison which causes cancer, depression, anxiety and death can never be self care.

We offer a range of different self-care resource on our website, including the stress busting, anxiety relieving Emotional Freedom Technique so take a look and see what works for you.

 

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