In the United States, approximately 7% to 12% of women are dependent on alcohol, meaning that they need it to feel happy or cope with difficult situations. About 20% of men are alcohol-dependent, making women's rates roughly two-thirds of men's.
The rest of the world, however, surpasses the United States by a considerable amount. In fact, the American gender gap is one of the smallest in the world. Women's drug use in India, Pakistan and Indonesia is less than 10% that of men's. In Brazil and Argentina, it is 33% of men's. As these countries develop, officials expect to see drug and alcohol rates increase, especially for women.
Statistically, experts have seen the gender gap on addiction shrinking since the 1970's, after the feminism movement of the 1960's. The stigma against women drinking began to diminish and they gained more access to alcohol. Rates of increase began among the upper class and was eventually taken up by the middle and lower classes.
Researchers speculate that alcohol use increased as women became more career-driven and more competitive against men. It also has a great deal to do with advertising.
Massive advertising campaigns in the United States began after World War II, and an increase in affluence among women provided more leisure time. Alcohol became part of the culture, and it is especially true today, when television and the Internet glorify drinking. Wine is women's drink, and a number of TV shows promote the sophistication and cultured aspect of alcohol consumption. It may seem perfectly normal for women to unwind with a glass of wine or two at the end of a hard day, but addiction can creep up when they least expect it.
Experts urge women to watch for the following signs of alcohol addiction and get help immediately:
• Cravings for alcohol.
• Requiring it on a regular basis, being unable to get through a day without it.
• Finding oneself drinking earlier in the day.
• Reckless or dangerous behavior, such as driving under the influence or endangering children.
• Severe mood swings that are eased when you've had a drink.
• Withdrawal symptoms when you haven't had a drink in a while--these are similar to those of illness and include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, coughing, runny nose, and so on.
• Sacrificing relationships, family, health and personal hygiene for your drinking habits.
• Neglecting activities and responsibilities, such as forgetting to pick up children from school, withdrawing from groups, and becoming more and more secluded.
• Feeling shame or embarrassment about your drinking habits.
• Becoming defensive when confronted about a potential problem.
• Becoming secretive about your drinking habits.
If you see one or more of the above get help or seek help for a loved one.
Addiction is a major problem in the United States but it doesn't have to be. Contact Narconon Vista Bay today through Twitter for more information on how to help a loved one.