The topic of alcoholism and the damage it causes to families are most frequently looked at from the standpoint of the alcoholic male. Less in focus is the phenomenon of the alcoholic woman, even though the recorded cases are steadily growing in numbers.
The social stigma attached to drunkenness in women is much more severe than for men. The stigma encourages everybody to deny that something is wrong. Even husbands cover up the reality of their wives’ drinking, and the children, confused and anxious, learn not to believe their own perceptions. For the woman herself the social attitude is a strong incentive to hide reality from all, including herself.
The profile of the woman who abuses alcohol is surprisingly similar to that of the woman who marries an alcoholic. Both are likely to come from families disrupted by alcoholism or death and desertion. Both types have problems with poor self-esteem. While men in such circumstances tend to be angry and look for somebody on whom to take out their anger (a drinking wife conveniently serves that purpose), women typically turn their anger on themselves and blame themselves mercilessly for their own abuse. The self-disgust and attending hopelessness can easily serve as justification for alcohol abuse, regardless of the ensuing further self-blame.
Binge drinkers tend to forget the negative aspects of getting drunk and focus on the pleasant memories, which may help explain why they continue to drink despite instances where they get sick, black out, or have other problems.
The Independent reported that Theodora Duka, a researcher from Sussex University, said that studies show that alcohol affects memory selectively, and that many binge drinkers don’t remember the worst aspects of their drinking experiences.
“The effects of alcohol on mood are known contributors to its use and abuse. It is less known how its effects on memory and inhibitory control add to alcohol being and addictive drug,” said Duka. “Material acquired in an intoxicated state is less effectively retrieved in a sober state. Thus people who abuse alcohol forget the consequences of intoxication during periods of abstinence.”
Studies show that memory degrades significantly as alcohol builds up in the body. Experts say that relatively little is known about the impact of alcohol on memory, but believe that it could be one of the most important aspects of addiction.
“The effect of alcohol to weaken control processes intuitively appears to be the most important contributor to the development of alcohol addiction, since alcohol addiction is perceived to be an inability to control drinking,” Duka said. “Alcohol facilitates memories for emotional events experienced before intoxication — mostly positive — and impairs memories for emotional events experienced after intoxication — often negative — biasing memory to positive effects of alcohol, and support [for] further drinking.”
PARIS: France will ban the sale of alcohol to minors and drinking in public near schools as part of a broad crackdown on binge drinking among youths, the health minister said in an interview published on Sunday.
Roselyne Bachelot said that a recent study showed an over all decline in alcohol consumption among youths but the frequency of drunkenness was increasing.
“Almost half of youths said they had had five glasses of alcohol on a single night on at least one occasion in the previous 30 days, which is the definition of binge drinking,” she said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
She said she was working on a new bill that would also ban promotions known as “open bar” which allow customers to drink as much as they want to for a fixed price.
“We are also going to ban open bars … which are a classic at student parties and which encourage binge drinking,” Bachelot said.
Despite all of your efforts to keep your kids drug-free, one day you might suspect that your son or daughter is using drugs or alcohol. Perhaps you have found an odd-looking pipe in his room, cans and bottles in the car or rolling papers in her laundry. Or you overheard a conversation not meant for you. Whatever the signal, your gut instinct has been activated. How do you know if you need to do anything? What do you do now? Where do you turn for help?
Every day, approximately 4,700 American youth under age 18 try marijuana for the first time. That is about equal to the enrollment of six average-sized U.S. high schools. In 2003, nearly nine out of 10 twelfth graders reported marijuana as being accessible.
By the time they finish the eighth grade, approximately 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink, and more than 20 percent report having been “drunk.”
Drug and alcohol use by teens increases the risk of addiction and can change the developing brain for life.
Despite these statistics, one thing remains true:
Parents are the most important influence in a teen’s decisions about drug use. You can and do make a difference. If you suspect or know that your child is using drugs, take action now, because the longer you wait, the harder it will be to deal with your child’s drug use.
Especially for Parents
www.TheAntiDrug.com is an online service of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign that offers resources, information and facts for parents.
www.laantidroga.com is the Spanish online service of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and offers resources, information and facts for parents.
People who drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks can double their chances of being hurt or injured after drinking, needing medical attention and travelling with a drunk driver, according to new US research.
Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) CEO John Rogerson said “People need to consider the risks involved in consuming these drinks. The research suggests you are more likely to end up in hospital or be assaulted if you drink these products. “
“Combining alcohol and energy drinks is just plain dangerous. People might think they are drinking alcoholic energy drinks responsibly, but if they choose to then drive they are at particular risk, because they may feel more sober than they really are.”
Hangovers are the most obvious result of a heavy drinking episode.
They are a much talked about subject due to the self inflicted feelings of sickness and nausea they cause a person.
But a hangover is not the only reminder of a heavy drinking session.
In 1986 the British Royal College of General Practitioners highlighted the potential harm related to alcohol arising from either regular heavy drinking or intoxication.
They categorised the resulting problems as social, psychological or physical, and listed these problems in two lists – Problems as a result of heavy drinking and problems as a result of intoxication, drunkenness. These are;
Problems related to regular heavy drinking
Habitual convictions for drunkenness
Insomnia (problems getting to sleep, waking up early or unable to get back to sleep)
Changes in personality
Amnesia (partial or total loss of memory or blackouts)
Delirium tremens (DT’s)
Dementia (Mental deterioration and loss of memory for recent events although long term memory is intact)
Misuse of other drugs
Fatty liver disease
Cirrhosis of the liver
Gastritis (Inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
Pancreatitis (Inflammation of the pancreas; usually marked by abdominal pain)
The use of alcohol has been increasing steadily in all age-groups among Finnish women. Approximately one in ten women can be reckoned among the large-scale consumers or “heavy users” who take at least 16 drinks a week.
Typically, women try to conceal their drinking problem longer than do their male counterparts, as alcoholism is still seen as more shameful in women than in men.
Mothers also fear losing their children if their alcohol-related problems are revealed. In fact many women with alcohol use disorders seek treatment only when they are facing the risk of losing custody of their children.
The cold fact is that women cannot tolerate alcohol as well as men. They get drunk faster, become addicted to alcohol more quickly, and develop alcohol-related diseases quicker than men do.
Moreover, even a small amount of alcohol can harm a developing foetus.
Alcohol is our favourite drug. Most of us use it for enjoyment, but for some of us, drinking can become a serious problem.
In fact, alcohol causes much more harm than illegal drugs like heroin and cannabis. It is a tranquilliser, it is addictive, and is the cause of many hospital admissions for physical illnesses and accidents.
Problems with alcohol
Many of these problems are caused by having too much to drink at the wrong place or time. Alcohol affects your judgment, so you do things you wouldn’t normally think of. It makes you less aware of risks and so more vulnerable. You are more likely to have fights, arguments, money troubles, family upsets, or spur-of-the-moment casual sex. Alcohol helps to cause accidents at home, on the roads, in the water and on playing fields.
Problems with alcohol – physical health
Being very drunk can lead to severe hangovers, stomach pains (gastritis), vomiting blood, unconsciousness and even death. Drinking too much over a long period of time can cause liver disease and increases the risk of some kinds of cancer. It can reduce the risk of heart disease for men over 40 and women of menopausal age – but only if their drinking is very moderate.
Problems with alcohol – mental health
Although we tend to think of alcohol as something we use to make us feel good, heavy drinking can bring on depression. Many people who commit suicide have had drinking problems. Alcohol can stop your memory from working properly and can cause brain damage. It can even make you hear noises and voices – a very unpleasant experience which can be hard to get rid of.
Alcohol is addictive. Some warning signs are:
you do not feel right without a drink, or need a drink to start the day
you get very shaky, sweaty, and anxious/tense a few hours after your last drink
you can drink a lot without becoming drunk
you need to drink more and more to get the same effect
you try to stop, but find you can’t
you carry on drinking even though you can see it is interfering with your work, family and relationships
you get “memory blanks” where you can’t remember what happened for a period of hours or days.