Alcoholic Women

By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited: December 02, 2020 | 4 Sources

"How does alcohol affect women? Is alcohol abuse more prevalent among women? Why do women drink?

Studies have shown that alcohol tends to affect women more than men. In fact, these studies have shown that alcoholic women have a higher risk of death caused from both accidents and suicides. In fact, too much alcohol drinking is linked to over 27,000 fatalities among women and girls every year.

In addition to this, women with drinking problems tend to have twice the rate of health issues (compared with alcohol dependent men), issues that are directly due the excessive consumption of alcohol.

While both genders do abuse alcohol, women do it differently.

To understand this process better, it is important that you take a moment to look at the reasons why women drink. After all, you might consider the fact that when it comes to abusing alcohol a woman's consumption isn't directly linked to some of the typical reasons out there. Alcoholic women become dependent for a number of reasons.

Abuse Alcohol Woman
Top Three Reasons Why Women Drink

  • They have been victims of sexual and/or physical abuse.
  • They have been through a divorce or are single.
  • They have been bought up in an environment in which alcohol abuse is the norm or are currently in that kind of environment.
Research shows that drinking among women is associated with emotional pain, whereas men’s drinking is linked to social pressure. Studies have shown that women do tend to drink at a higher rate than men of the same age. In fact, in a recent survey 17% of women admitted to having had more than 5 drinks in one sitting over the previous month.

When discussing women and alcohol abuse, it is important to understand that women's bodies process alcohol differently as opposed to men. For example, women tend to have a lower body weight than men. What this means is that it takes less alcohol for a woman to feel the effects of alcohol than it would a man.

However, although they are consuming less alcohol women are doing as much or more damage to their health. This is also due to their lower body weight.

Clearly, alcohol consumption in women should be monitored closely. While a single glass of wine has been shown to help to reduce the risk of heart disease, if you go past this, the risks to you actually increases. There is a fine line between drinking that improves general health and drinking that impacts negatively on your health.

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Abuse Alcohol Woman
What Happens When You Drink Too Much?

Many alcoholic women and men for that matter might only look at the potential legal consequences that they face if they drink too much. A total reliance on the car has led us all to dread being pulled over and charged with DUI.

The truth of the matter is that legal issues arising from over-consumption of alcohol pale into insignificance when compared to the health complications excessive alcohol consumption can bring on.

Such health issues include:

  • Brain Damage: Each time you end up drinking to excess, there is the potential to experience a level of brain damage. Women tend to experience this more than men do.
  • Brain Damage: Women who chronically misuse alcohol are more likely develop alcoholic hepatitis, a life-threatening alcohol-related liver condition. Excessive drinking could likewise lead to liver cirrhosis.
  • Cancer: Women who tend to drink more than others are at increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Depression and Injury: Research has proven that alcoholic women tend to experience higher rates of depression and be more likely to injure themselves in accidents (both auto and non-auto).
  • Victims: When a woman is intoxicated, there is a greater chance that she will become a victim of a sexual or other violent attack.

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Abuse Alcohol Woman
Signs of Alcoholism

If you find that you are experiencing any of the common signs of alcoholism, you will want to seek out treatment options as soon as possible. This includes those women who have a history of alcohol abuse in their family alcohol as this greatly increases the chances of developing alcohol dependency.

  • You have an urge to drink that doesn't go away until you consume alcohol.
  • You consume more than 1 drink per day.
  • Family and friends have suggested you may have a drinking problem.
  • An increase in alcohol is required for you to get the same effects.
  • Alcohol is reducing your ability to function.
  • You find that you are covering up your drinking.
  • You’re experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, like sweating, shakiness, nausea, and even anxiety after stopping drinking.
Keep in mind that there are programs you can attend to help reduce the risk of further abuse and to reduce the risks to your health.

You can begin this process by consulting with your doctor and discussing treatment options.

Alternatively you can choose to go and seek out a counseling program that is designed to provide you with a safe place where you can attempt to deal with your drinking problem before it becomes a more severe condition.

Take a look at the links below and find out more about treatment for alcohol dependency. You may also reach out to a dedicated treatment facility to help you determine which treatment option for alcohol dependency is best for you.

Alcoholic Women

If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

Return From Alcoholic Women To Signs of Alcoholism 

Return From Alcoholic Women To Alcoholism Help Homepage

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Women's Health. October 23, 2020.,in%20the%20past%2030%20days.&text=Approximately%2013%25%20of%20adult%20women,consuming%205%20drinks%20per%20binge.&text=About%2018%25%20of%20women%20of,%E2%80%9344%20years)%20binge%20drink.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Women and Alcohol. March 2021.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Alcohol and Women. August 2015.

BBC Future. Why alcohol affects women more than men.

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