Women & Alcohol

Women & Alcohol

As much as we strive for equality among the sexes, the truth of the matter is that men and women have different bodies and experience different effects when using alcohol.  Research shows that the negative effects of drinking alcohol can be greater for women than for men.

ARE WOMEN MORE VULNERABLE TO THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL?

YES, women appear to be more vulnerable than men to many adverse consequences of alcohol use:

  • Women achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in the blood (BAC) and become more impaired than men after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol.  Even if a woman and man weigh the same, the BAC of the man will still be higher because alcohol is processed in the liver differently for men and women, despite similarities in body mass.

  • Research suggests that women are more susceptible than men to alcohol-related organ damage and to trauma resulting from traffic crashes and interpersonal violence.

  • It is important to examine gender differences in alcohol's effects and considers some factors that may place women at risk for alcohol-related problems.

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) No. 46 December 1999
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