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Why Has Alcohol Consumption Increased in Women?

In the last five years, studies show that alcohol consumption tripled in women, and doubled among men, particularly among adolescents, starting at age 13. Dr. Sara Wakeman, director of the Substance Use Disorders Initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital, says the numbers are as high as 41%.

The Woman Post | Maria Claudia Londoño

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More information about these studies is at the link https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

The reasons?

Consuming a glass of alcohol is associated with relief from stress and fatigue, among other social conceptions. With the current additional burdens for women, who must distribute their time and energy between work, social and family commitments, which were accentuated by the pandemic, and thus women have felt greater pressure and outbreaks of depression and anxiety, which goes hand in hand with increased consumption of alcoholic beverages.

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Latin American countries, one out of every five women between 25 and 44 years old increased their alcohol consumption, particularly if they oversaw caring for a baby, in addition to all the activities that they should fulfill daily.

Unquestionably, the increase in campaigns for products related to alcoholic beverages aimed at women, announcing lower percentages of alcohol and calories, flavored alcoholic beverages, and the so-called "pink marketing" has allowed the opening of social and cultural options and possibilities that promote the increase of alcohol consumption in women.

Likewise, more and more events dedicated especially to women, networking, conferences, launches, and others, are advertised, in which the consumption of alcohol and cocktails is sponsored as part of the meeting.

Impact on women's health?

By having less fluid in our body, alcohol reaches our bloodstream more concentrated, which indicates that we can be affected by its effects more quickly. Additionally, we have lower levels of ADH; therefore, our liver is less active as this enzyme breaks down alcohol and slows down the absorption process.

This is how alcohol consumption is related to the appearance of cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and effects on the baby in the case of pregnant women, affecting cognitive difficulties, behavioral alterations, and brain development.

The most important thing is to become aware that in this way we have more social activity and seek spaces for participation, it does not necessarily imply that we should increase the intake of alcohol in our body. It is important to become aware of these figures and take individual and collective action. We can enjoy meetings with work colleagues, social gatherings, friends, and family, assuming control over the number of glasses of wine or any other drink without affecting our health.

Likewise, if you have situations that cause you stress and depression, you can turn to other solutions such as yoga, going for a walk, playing sports, or practicing a hobby that helps you release tension levels without having to go out for a drink. Keep in mind that the repercussions are not only at the individual level but can also impact your family environment.

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