Typically, stories of wild drinking debauchery concern men. And historically, studies have shown that the male gender tends to be more prone to boozing. But the tide may be turning, according to data released by WebMD. Their research is starting to show a sharp rise in female alcoholism. Not only that, there are now more documented cases of women binging and suffering from chronic drinking issues, such as cirrhosis of the liver.
Truth be told, this may actually be a longstanding issue that is only now getting the attention it deserves. Recovery advocate (and Instagram influencer) Laura McKowen continues to highlight this problem across her social media profiles. Her stories trail it back several generations and include personal accounts of her own.
McKowen had initially thought of herself as a “casual drinker.” That is, until her habit began to interfere with the welfare of her family.
“I put [my daughter] in danger at a friend’s wedding. I left her unattended for a long period of time. She was 4,” McKowen told the site. “I knew eventually, I would lose custody of my daughter if I kept drinking. It was inevitable. I knew I would lose pretty much everything.”
Since entering treatment and coming clean, McKowen has become a fierce advocate of the recovery movement. She also has made it a point to bring the topic of female alcoholism to her 30,000 followers.
After sharing McKowen’s story, WebMD shared some alarming statistics about this growing trend. “High-risk drinking” among women (equating to 3 or more drinks consumed in 1 day), shot up by 58 percent over the past 15 years. There was also a stat about alcohol-related ER visits for U.S. females. That number increased by 5 percent over the last year, surpassing the growth rate for men.
And these habits are forming at a much younger age than previously thought. A recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that teenage girls are picking up the bottle much more frequently now than in decades past.
“Now, by eighth grade, more females than males are drinking,” a researcher told TheFix.com. “Females are now, for the first time in history, more likely to drink in 10th grade than males; and by 12th grade, where there used to be a big gap 10 or 15 years ago, it’s now dead even.”
As always, our hope is strictly to educate people about the facts and erase any stigmas women may have if they’re facing an addiction. If a mom, daughter or sister in your family is experiencing anything like this, get them help before it’s too late.