In addition to the skyrocketing use of antidepressants among older women, there is also a surge in substance-related suicides. Studies show that since 1997, there has been more than a 40 percent increase in the percentage of women who binge drink. On average, women drink less than men, however, women are binge drinking more than men these days. What are some of the underlying reasons for this increase?
Binge drinking is the term used to define having more than five drinks at one time during the past two weeks. Among women without children who are between the ages of 30 and 44, the binge drinking rates jumped from 21% in 2006 to 42% in 2018.
As heavy drinking has decreased or stabilized among most age groups, binge drinking has become more prevalent, according to epidemiologists at Columbia University. Another study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health shows that binge drinking among women over the age of 60 has increased faster than among men of the same age group.
Why the Upswing in Women Who Binge Drink?
Studies show that more women feel free to take an evening drink now that there are no children in the house. They listen to the social engineering propaganda that this situation gives them freedom and happiness. In many cases, it only makes them more lonely, and they may choose to self-medicate with more alcohol.
Women in the over-60 age group often turn to alcohol as a way to cope with empty-nest syndrome. Substance abuse among seniors is described as an invisible epidemic because the symptoms are often confused with signs of aging or side effects of medication.
Binge-Drinking Among Women Over Age 60
Alcohol consumption is dangerous for seniors for many reasons including:
- Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly as you age.
- The body does not digest alcohol as efficiently in older people. This can cause damage to vital organs and interfere with medications.
- Alcohol contributes to dehydration and seniors already have decreased kidney function
- Alcohol consumption affects type 2 diabetes because the liver can’t break down and release sugar properly. Also, the pancreas regulates insulin in the body. Alcohol inflames the pancreas thus contributing to the problem.
- More than two or three drinks a day can increase blood pressure and the increase can become permanent.
- Heavy drinking can contribute to congestive heart failure which prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to meet the body’s demands for blood oxygen.
- Alcohol causes bones to wither which contributes to osteoporosis.
- Long-term alcohol abuse can affect the brain causing problems with short-term memory, and motor function. It can also cause confusion, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and memory loss.
Alcohol-related emergency room visits among the elderly reached more than three-quarters of a million in one year alone.
America’s Fascination with Alcoholic Beverages
Americans love their alcoholic drinks. In fact, in the past year, sales of all alcoholic beverages reached more than $225 billion. Also, more than 15 million people over the age of 18 report having Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). The percentage of alcohol-related deaths rose by more than 130 percent in the last decade. In a study conducted by the NIAAA, the prevalence of alcohol abuse among women rose nearly 16 percent in the last decade.
More Women are Drinking and Women are Drinking More
Women have a busy schedule. Plus, the stress of trying to do everything and do it all perfectly puts women in danger of needing a coping tool. It’s easy to pour a glass of wine to sip while preparing dinner and juggling several other chores at the same time. Also, movies and TV shows depict women using alcohol to help them relax or reward themselves. The women who binge drink think of alcohol as a much-deserved treat at the end of the day.
Most women don’t realize that their bodies are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol than men’s bodies are. This means the blood alcohol levels rise more quickly and remain elevated longer. In other words, women are more prone to suffering longer-term health problems such as liver damage, cancer, or heart disease as a result of how their bodies metabolize alcohol.
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