Sep 09

5 Things You May Not Know about Women and Alcohol

5 Things You May Not Know about Women and Alcohol

5 things you may not know about women and alcoholBoth men and women drink but men and women are different when it comes to alcohol. Moderate drinking has been touted to have some pretty significant health benefits for your cardiovascular system. And this can be great for people who want to unwind over dinner. But as most of us know the dangers of alcohol especially for women outweigh the benefits. It is especially important for women to be aware of these dangers because they are different than men. When it comes to women and alcohol, it poses specific risks.

Here are 5 things you may not know about women and alcohol

Women and alcohol #1: More women are binge drinking. Binge drinking is the exact opposite of moderate drinking. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in a single period. Most women binge drinking today average about six drinks. According to the CDC earlier this year, nearly 14 million women in the United States binge drink around three times a month. Not only that but women with an income over 75,000 dollars a year are more likely to binge as well as women who are between the ages of 18 and 34. High school girls are also more likely to binge. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 teenage girls binge drink. Binge drinking is dangerous it can cause unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, liver disease and stroke.

Women and alcohol #2: Many women may think keeping up with the guys when it comes to dinking is no big deal, but that just isn’t true. Women’s bodies tolerate alcohol differently than men’s for reasosn that aren’t quite understood yet. NIAA or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism points out that it could be that women’s bodies have less water per pound than men’s. So if a man and woman who weigh the same amount also drink the same amount, the woman will likely have a higher BAC because the alcohol disperses in water and her body has less of it.

Women and alcohol #3: Drinking becomes a problem for women quicker. This is largely because wmen;s bodies handle alcohol differently than men’s. Because of this difference women are more likely to be at risk for alcohol related health problems. These risks include health disease and conditions that include liver disease, heart disease, breast cancer and also alcohol dependence. NIAA considers the low risk drinking limit for women as being seven drinks per week and no more than three drinks in one sitting.

Women and alcohol #4: A German study published last year found that alcoholism may be deadlier in women. It concluded that alcohol dependence is twice as deadly for women as it is for men. The death rate for alcohol dependent women was four time that of a sample of comparable non-addicted 18 to 64 year old women. It was only double for men. The why of this is still unknown but it is assumed that the effect of alcohol on women is much more severe.

Women and alcohol #5: Luckily women seek treatment for alcoholism sooner. A study that included more than 500 males and females found that women who abuse alcohol usually try to get help four to five years earlier than their male counterparts. The why of this is also unknown but it is hypothesized that women may attach less social stigma to drinking problems than men and therefore might be more likely to report their problem drinking.

There are also studies that have been done that show that drinking in women ups the risk of breast cancer and that NO AMOUNT of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Those facts are pretty well known though. Regardless of the reasons it might be safe to go ahead and say that women are better off just not drinking unless they are going to drink moderately.

Aug 23

Diet Pill Addiction

Diet Pill Addiction

Diet pills are any type of “medication” or supplement that is marketed to control or reduce weight. There are numerous diet pills that have been produced and promoted for weight loss but only one is actually approved by the FDA for long term use. Diet pills always claim to achieve weight loss by increasing the metabolism, altering appetite levels, or interrupting the normal rate of absorption when it comes to fat and/or calories. The majority of diet pills can be purchased at pharmacies, over the counter without a prescription. This is especially dangerous because not only are the diet pills not approved by the FDA but they also can be bought by minors. Diet pills usually contain large amounts of addictive substances such as ephedrine, caffeine, or herbal stimulants which can have severe side effects. This is especially true if the individual taking the diet pills develops a diet pill addiction.

A diet pill addiction can develop at any time throughout an individual’s lifetime. This means that all age groups are vulnerable to a diet pill addiction. The statistics about diet pill addiction are helpful in realizing and understanding fully, the fragility of a diet pill addiction and how to improve the treatment of it.

  • A study from the University of Minnesota’s “Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) found that high school-aged females’ use of diet pills nearly doubled from 7.5 to 14.2 percent.  By the ages of 19 and 20, 20 percent of females surveyed used diet pills.
  • Abuse of diet pills by individuals with eating disorders is well-documented clinically, with prevalence estimates reported as high as 50%.
  • According to a study published in Eating Behaviors, individuals with eating disorders associated with vomiting and other purging behaviors are more likely to use diet pills.

What is the cause of a diet pill addiction?

Many things can cause a diet pill addiction. Typically a diet pill addiction begins with the want for a a temporary or quick fix for weight loss. Individuals who use diet pills under a doctor’s care with a prescription may have an actual need for the drug. However, when diet pills are just used recreationally or for non-medical purposes, it becomes a diet pill addiction. Men and women alike, who struggle with body image, even at a normal weight may feel inclined to use diet pills as a method of controlling their weight or losing weight. Body image dysmorphia or the inability to see one’s body clearly can be one of the biggest causes of a diet pill addiction. For example, someone who is suffering from anorexia nervosa is very likely to have a diet pill addiction. Feeling the necessity or want to take diet pills stem from deeper and underlying issues which are all usually connected.

Signs of a diet pill addiction

Certain signs and symptoms will be evident if you or a loved one is suffering with a diet pill addiction.  Diet pill effects can range in severity and can impact a man or woman physically, psychologically, and socially.

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pain
  • Rapid respiratory rate
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Liver/Kidney damage
  • Chronic mood swings
  • Blackouts
  • Memory loss

Someone with a diet pill addiction may also deal with the side effects physically, psychologically, and socially. For instance, unstable weight, headaches, tightness in chest, heart palpitations, dizziness, stroke, and mood swings, depression, and low self-esteem as well as, increased isolation, difficulty maintaining healthy relationships, and avoidance of social encounters.


Jun 10

Lack of Self-Love in Addiction

Lack of Self-Love in Addiction

A lack of self-love in addiction is very common. But how do you know if you have a lack of self-love? Many times addicts don’t realize that they have a lack of self-love because they are so comfortable with their negative thoughts, perception, and degrading self-talk. Addiction causes many people to go against what they know is right and this can cause a lot of inner turmoil and hate. They do things that create guilt and shame within themselves and begin to dislike themselves. When this happens addicts can also begin to think they aren’t even worthy of love due to all the harm they are causing around them, as well as the fact that they can’t stop hurting themselves and others even when they want to. They may think of themselves as inherently bad or evil.

So what is self-love?

Self-love is not the vain love of egoism and narcissism that many people mistake it with. Self-love isn’t a preoccupation with one’s self and a general disregard for other. Self-love also isn’t the same as the love you would have family and friends or the love of art, travel, or music. Self-love is a kind of acceptance and unconditional sense of support and caring as well as a core of compassion towards yourself. It is the willingness to meet your own needs; allowing yourself to feel and thinking whatever you feel and think without judgment and to also see yourself as worthy, good, valuable and belonging in the world; deserving of happiness.

Struggling to develop self-love after addiction

For addicts with a lack of self-love, gaining self-love can seem like an impossible task. No matter how hard they try, no matter how many times they hear how good they are from others they just can’t believe it. Someone will tell them how amazing are and their head will be say to them, if you knew who I really was you wouldn’t say that. Addicts may be able to convince themselves in their mind that they love themselves but they don’t feel it in their body or soul. What they feel instead deep down may be shame, despair, anxiety, self-doubt, anger, confusion and anything but love, happiness and peace.

How to develop self-love

Luckily there are ways for anyone including addicts with a lack of self-love to begin to develop self-love as part of their recovery from addiction. Some simple ways to develop self-love without the use of professional help are thing such as positive affirmations, watching thoughts, and doing positive things for themselves such as yoga, working out, taking care of their bodies etc. Unfortunately a lack of self-love in addiction can be deep rooted and will need professional help to develop. Most addicts are unable to love themselves because they have a distorted thought process. With cognitive behavioral therapies they can focus on correcting their distorted thoughts and this can improve a person’s ability to love them and develop compassion. A good therapist can sort out what the lack of self-love is from and begin to help the addict change that.

Sep 14

The link between trauma and women’s addiction

The link between trauma and women’s addiction

Traditionally, drug and alcohol treatment has been male-focused.  Addiction counselors would only focus on the addiction, and leave other issues to be resolved at a different time. As more women began seeking treatment for drug and alcohol treatment, this attitude began to change. Studies indicate that there is a significant link between trauma and women’s addiction. A history of being abused increases the likelihood that a woman will abuse alcohol and other drugs. A vast majority of addicted women have suffered violence and other forms of abuse. Women have a much higher rate of recovery when the trauma is treated along with the substance abuse issues.

Trauma and Women’s Addiction: What is trauma?

Emotional and psychological trauma results from an extremely stressful or disturbing event that shatters your sense of security. People who have gone through a traumatic event feel unsafe, and this can affect the way they interact with the world around them. Trauma can have both emotional and physical repercussions.

Drug addicts and alcoholics who have suffered trauma often find that the experiences of the past can get in the way of their recovery. They will often relive the pain of the experience over and over, and use drugs and alcohol to numb them. Also, past trauma can trap an addict or alcoholic in the “victim” role. They will use the trauma of what happened to them to excuse their using and drinking. If they don’t let go of what has happened in the past, there is a very slim chance that they will stay clean and sober in the long term. Women are particularly prone to playing the “victim” role when they have experienced some type of trauma in their past.

Trauma and Women’s Addiction: How does trauma affect you?

Trauma can affect you in a number of different ways, both psychologically and physically. Common psychological symptoms of trauma include shock, anger, guilt, shame, hopelessness, confusion, and anxiety. Trauma can manifest itself physically by causing nightmares, insomnia, muscle tension, body aches, and fatigue. These symptoms can last for months to years after the trauma occurs and they can interfere with your ability to function normally.

Trauma and Women’s Addiction: The link

Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse play a strong role in the course of addiction development in women. Some studies report that up to 85% of addicted women have experienced some form of trauma. As women spiral downward in their addiction, they often lose their sense of self and self-worth. The keys to developing effective drug and alcohol treatment for women are acknowledging and understanding their life experiences and the impact of living as a female in a male-based society. Women benefit from this type of holistic women centered treatment protocol. Trauma resolution and self-esteem building exercises are integral to treating addiction in women. Women also tend to do better in a situation where they feel comfortable, safe, and respected. This is one of the benefits of women’s only treatment centers.