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A majority of women (60 percent) have one alcoholic drink at minimum per year, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health. Of the women who drink alcohol, “13 percent have more than seven drinks per week.”
To keep within healthy limits women should only be having one drink maximum each day. In the United States about 5.3 million women drink heavily to the point where it can harm their health and overall well-being, according to the report.
These are sobering statistics to think about during National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in September. The positive side is that treatment and recovery are possible, as suggested by the name of the month. However, it is still a major problem to be addressed, and people who are in recovery need to be supported to continue their new, healthy lifestyle without alcohol dependence.
To be able to avoid alcoholism and the long road to recovery, it’s necessary to know what causes this mental disorder and what the risk factors are.
Although it’s uncertain what actually causes alcoholism or alcohol dependence, genetics can play a role, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website. Other risk factors include drinking 12 or more drinks a week, having five or more drinks at a time at a minimum of once a week, and having a parent who suffers from alcoholism.
Additional factors that increase risk include being a young adult and being a victim of peer pressure, having another mental disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, and being able to get alcohol easily. If a person suffers from low self-esteem, has issues in relationships, has a lot of stress and is in a culture that promotes alcohol use, they are at risk for alcoholism.
According to the website, alcohol abuse -- which doesn’t necessarily mean alcoholism -- is somewhat common, since about one in six Americans have a drinking problem.
The effects of alcoholism include being at risk for other health issues, like brain cell damage, different types of cancers (like esophagus, liver and colon), and menstrual cycle abnormalities.