Alcohol does not discriminate: young and old, rich and poor, males and females, Christians and non-believers alike succumb to its allure and false promises. But for women in particular, alcohol abuse carries special dangers and stigmas.
Alcohol Affects Women Differently
Women make up about one-third of individuals who become dependent on alcohol. This does not mean that they are less prone to alcohol abuse, however. In fact, the opposite may be true. Because of their physiology, women may be more at risk:
- Women tend to be smaller in size than men. If they consume the same number of drinks as a man, the alcohol is more concentrated.
- A woman’s body metabolizes alcohol differently from a man’s. Her body absorbs alcohol more efficiently, and her blood alcohol level is raised more quickly.
- These physiological differences put women alcoholics more at risk of liver disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and stroke.
In addition, women who abuse alcohol during the childbearing years endanger their pregnancies and increase the risk of birth defects in their unborn children.
Stigma Is Attached to Women Who Drink
American culture generally accepts alcohol use among men as normal. For women, though, there is a different attitude. The stereotype of a “loose woman” who drinks with abandon and is promiscuous is still very much alive. Add to this the fact that 50% of women who seek help for alcohol abuse also report being sexually abused, either in childhood, or when their drinking was misunderstood as a sexual invitation. Many women who abuse alcohol began to drink as a way to ease the pain of such encounters.
The attitudes toward women who use and abuse alcohol can be even more severe in Christian communities. Some believe that alcohol cannot be part of a godly life. Others may feel that a woman’s role as mother and family caregiver is incompatible with the self-indulgence of alcohol dependence. These attitudes leave Christian women who drink with feelings of extreme shame and unworthiness.
There Is Help
Shame, loneliness, and self-loathing are spiritual side effects of alcohol dependence, and just like the physical effects, they must be treated. If you are a Christian woman who is struggling to find your way out of alcohol addiction and back to God, Christian Rehab Network can help. Our partner facilities offer clinical treatment and Christian fellowship that is specifically oriented to meet the needs of women. Call 877-310-9545 today to find a caring Christian rehab center near you, and begin your physical and spiritual rebirth.