It’s not news that men and women are wired very differently. So, it should come as no surprise that researchers from Boston University recently revealed the results of a study that show that women’s brains recover faster from the long-term alcohol abuse than men’s.
This isn’t the first time that experts have outlined some of the differences in the effects on male and female alcoholics. Certainly, there has been plenty of research done on the subject and it’s important to understand the reasons for and symptoms and reactions of alcoholics of each sex. Getting to the root of these issues is essential to effective alcohol rehab programs that will lead to long-term sobriety. So, what are some of the key differences?
- Alcoholism is twice as common in men. Although past research indicates that alcoholism is more prevalent among males than females, women have begun to close the gap in recent years. Furthermore, women are more prone to hide their drinking problems and engage in alcohol abuse in secret, which may lead to slightly inaccurate statistics on the number of female alcoholics.
- Women are more at risk to develop drinking problems later in life. Unfortunately, this correlates with a slower metabolism and physiological changes that can cause greater alcohol-related health problems in women. Female alcoholics also have death rates a whopping 50 to 100 percent higher than men.
- Men are more likely to take risks during drinking than women. We can all remember college days when our male friends would get into trouble or try to show off after a long night of drinking, right? These compulsions lead to a higher probability of critical injury or death while drinking.
- Men are more likely to crave alcohol when facing negative emotions. Perhaps this is symptomatic of societal pressure that men feel to suppress emotions and that women tend to gravitate toward talking to friends when upset, but men are more likely to turn to alcohol to deal with problems in their lives than women are.
- Women are more likely than men to become alcohol dependent when they have an alcoholic significant other. Whereas men are intolerant of being in relationships with alcoholics and will generally leave their significant others, women are apt to pick up the same destructive behavior and develop drinking problems.