A subject that is often overlooked in women's health is that of substance addiction, particularly alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Depending on what study and research you review, most of them conclude the same results: women's rates of alcohol use is climbing (in number of drinks per week), and the number of women who are choosing to drink (instead of abstain) is also increasing.
According to May 2008 Reuters Health News article: "'...This is particularly disturbing because women with alcohol problems face more severe health-related consequences and possibly more years of life lost than their male counterparts,' researchers write in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research".
A well-known substance abuse assessment tool, called the CAGE, consists of four short questions. If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption, or a loved ones', take a moment to answer this self-assessment:
1) Have you ever felt you should Cut down on drinking?
2) Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
3) Have you ever felt Guilty about your drinking?
4) Have you ever taken a drink in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover (“Eye opener)?
Answering YES to 2 or more questions provides strong indication for substance abuse or dependency
If you are concerned about your alcohol use, there are many places to go for help:
- The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCAAD) provides a list of online resources for treatment centers and support groups.
- Free hotline: 1-800-NCA-CALL (1-800-622-2255)
- Your family doctor, local hospital or area college/ university has numerous resources, including information, counseling and treatment options
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