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How Alcoholism Effects Women

women and alcohol

Alcohol abuse is a serious issue for everyone. However,alcohol has different effects on women than it does on men. While some women may be able to drink heavily and “hold their liquor,” the reality is each drink brings a woman closer to serious medical consequences. Common health problems for women include breast cancer, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Alcohol (FAS) and heart disease. In some cases, drinking alcohol can even lead to death.[1] The statistics are shocking. Research suggests that drinking too much plays a role in the deaths of 23,000 women and girls each year.[2] While drinking can be deadly in women, targeted therapy can be incredibly helpful and lead to long-term sobriety.


There are a variety of risk factors a woman faces when she starts drinking.In many cases, a woman’s problems vary throughout her lifespan. For example, a young girl might binge drink at parties in order to relax, relieve tension, and have a good time. This drinking might lead to a variety of social problems such as trouble at school, low self-esteem, unprotected sexual encounters, unplanned pregnancy, and traffic accidents. Any drinking habits that develop during adolescence later result in a heightened risk of alcoholism later in life.

For the women who continue to drink past their adolescent years, there is still a heightened risk of sexual assault and traffic fatalities.In addition, other health problems may also begin to appear. Liver failure, heart problems, breast cancer and brain damage have all been linked to alcohol abuse in women. Women who become pregnant and continue to drink alcohol also run the risk of causing permanent developmental delays in their babies, effects frequently known as fetal alcohol syndrome.

As metabolism slows down with age, the effects of alcohol increase dramatically. Combined with a surplus of pharmaceuticals, which are also potentially addictive, the likelihood that older women are struggling with alcohol abuse is surprisingly overlooked. Sleeping troubles, poor eating and grooming habits, depression, agitation, falls and physical complaints can in some cases be blamed on an alcohol issue.

Starting to Heal

In some cases, physical complications caused by alcoholism can abate when a woman stops drinking. Her tissues might knit back together and her cells might begin to function normally. But the deep scars drinking causes may persist, particularly if the individual is a victim of a violent episode during her years of alcoholism. Trauma like this must be handled with therapy, as it may spur a return to drinking. Each time that woman remembers what happened to her, she might think about drinking. Therapy can help, as it can allow a woman to process what has happened to her and come to a new set of solutions for the future.

Alcohol abuse does not improve on its own, and there is no medication that can completely cure the associated cravings. The best treatment is done one-on-one with a certified addiction counselor in a supportive recovery environment that advocates sobriety through 100 percent abstinence and talk therapies.

Help at The Canyon

The Canyon has successfully treated men and women of all ages for alcohol and drug abuse. Thanks to the relaxing scenery, holistic lifestyle approach, and well-rounded psychotherapy services, The Canyon has helped many individuals move forward. Our goal is to help you get your life back on track and keep it that way. The Canyon uses innovative methods, proven treatment strategies and support networks to help you during your residential stay.

The Canyon is a great place for female clients to receive substance abuse treatment. The Canyon features individual counseling, separate living quarters, nutritional support and family therapy. These sessions help focus the body and mind for long-term sobriety. If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol abuse or addiction, call us today to find out more about our comprehensive alcohol treatment programs.

[1] Alcohol A Woman’s Health Issue.

[2] Binge Drinking.