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Women Alcoholics Face Higher Death Rates and Bigger Barriers to Alcohol Rehab

Based on reports made by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), women face greater challenges when it comes to the problem of alcoholism. One of them is higher alcohol-related fatalities and the other is more obstacles to entering alcohol rehab.

Susceptibility to Alcohol

The NCADD states that death from accidents, diseases and suicide attributed to alcohol abuse is 75% higher for women than men. One of the possible explanations given is the difference in the way female and male bodies react to the substance. When women drink alcohol, it becomes diluted by the water in their body and stored in body fat. When it comes to water and fats, women’s bodies generally tend to have less of the former and more of the latter. Thus with equal consumption, women are more likely to get intoxicated faster than men. This inevitably makes them more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, from physical health problems to alcoholism.

Barriers to Rehabilitation

The established social expectations for women can further complicate the problem. Since they are usually the primary family caregivers, they have more responsibilities that hinder them from seeking outpatient and inpatient forms of alcohol treatment. Think about how difficult it is for a married or single woman with children to go into rehab. Child care and financial resources are the two major issues that women have to overcome in order to seek proper treatment. According to the NIAAA, women compose only 25% of alcohol clients in US rehab centers. Alcohol addiction affects both the alcoholic and his or her family. This is perhaps more pronounced in the case of female alcoholics. If any effective treatment is to be provided for them, it must consider their family involvement, which holistic alcohol rehab programs do. Women need to be encouraged to take the step toward recovery if not for them individually, but their children and loved ones as well. While it can be more difficult for women to enter rehab and take that step, it is undoubtedly in their best interest and those of their loved ones. (photo via)

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