Gateway: New study shows rise of problem drinking

The troubling increases in high risk and problem drinking
New research shows an increase in the number of people engaging in high-risk drinking between 2002 and 2013. 

The study found that high-risk drinking increased close to 60% and alcohol use disorder increased nearly 84% for women, relative to 15.5% and 35% for men respectively. 

Alcohol is not the only drug harming women, however. According to research, middle-aged women have seen the highest rise in death rates from prescription opioids in the U.S. compared to any other group. Yet, women are often left out of the conversation when it comes to substance use disorders.

Addiction is many times framed as a male disease, but the reality is that it is affecting many women as well. In fact, women are at a higher risk for developing prescription opioid use disorders than men.

Drinking poses many harmful health risks, particularly for women. These effects can be difficult to reverse , and the likelihood of certain diseases such as cancer have been known to increase in individuals who drink. Because alcohol is not perceived to be as harmful as other drugs, there are serious consequences to drinking that tend to go unacknowledged. Drinking has become a societally accepted part of our culture, which can make it difficult to understand when someone has a problem or how to ask for help.  

When seeking treatment, there are many additional challenges women must overcome. One of the biggest is the stigma that women are not supposed to have substance use disorders. In society, women are perceived as caretakers and are often shamed into silence when they need care themselves. Pregnant women and mothers may also fear legal ramifications and losing their children.

The only solution to addiction is treatment. Gateway Foundation is always available to help.
Since 1968 our goal has been straightforward: help clients get their life back on track and achieve a life of sobriety, free from drug use and symptoms of mental illness. A life that is productive, socially responsible, and healthy. Gateway Foundation is the largest nonprofit treatment provider in the U.S. specializing in substance use disorders for men, women, adolescents and clients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders. Gateway's professional clinicians support over 9000 people a day to successfully complete treatment by developing a personalized plan to treat the underlying causes of substance use disorder —not just their addiction to drugs or alcohol.


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