women abusing alcohol
August 06, 2023 By Leah Malone

Understanding the Impact of Alcohol Use for Women


Alcohol use is a standard part of socializing in modern America. Popular media glamorizes alcohol use on a daily basis. The acceptance of alcohol misuse in everyday interactions makes it difficult for women to recognize potentially problematic patterns of behavior. Women must be cautious when drinking to avoid serious health side effects. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “While alcohol misuse by anyone presents serious public health concerns, women who drink have a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems.” Emerge Recovery TX provides evidence-based treatments to help women recover from the effects of alcohol misuse. 

How Does Excessive Alcohol Use Affect the Body?

Alcohol misuse has a profound effect on the human body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. 
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum. 
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick. 
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance. 
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. 
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment. 
  • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.” 

The effects of alcohol misuse affect many aspects of a person’s life and health. In some cases, alcohol misuse may contribute to the development of co-occurring mental health disorders.

Does Alcohol Misuse Affect Women Differently?

Excessive alcohol use affects men and women differently. According to the CDC, “Although men are more likely to drink alcohol and consume larger amounts, biological differences in body structure and chemistry lead most women to absorb more alcohol and take longer to metabolize it.” Women who drink the same amount as men will have higher blood alcohol levels due to the differences in body chemistry. 

The symptoms of alcohol misuse are often worse for women. Individuals with a history of excessive drinking have a higher risk of experiencing the following:

  • Co-occurring mental health disorders 
  • Severe illness or injury, including car accidents 
  • Relationship issues 
  • Problems at work 
  • Academic failure

Women who misuse alcohol experience long-term side effects faster than men. Early interventions and treatment help women avoid experiencing long-term side effects of excessive alcohol use. 

How to Recognize the Warning Signs of Excessive Alcohol Use

Alcohol misuse includes binge drinking, over-drinking, and using alcohol with drugs or other substances. Some women may not recognize the signs of alcohol misuse, increasing the risk of accident or injury. According to the CDC, women shouldn’t consume more than one alcoholic beverage per day.

A few of the most common signs of excessive drinking and alcohol misuse include:

  • Inability to stop drinking despite adverse side effects 
  • Intrusive thoughts and cravings 
  • Blackouts and short-term memory loss
  • Changes in appetite and significant weight loss or gain 
  • Easily bruising
  • Heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues 
  • Tingling or numbing sensations 
  • Changes to skin appearance, including dull gray, bloated, puffy, or dry skin
  • Mood swings 
  • Extreme irritability

Alcohol misuse generally starts with patterns of problematic drinking. Recognizing the signs ensures women know when to reach out for help. Professional mental health and recovery services help women with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Recovery programs provide the structure and support people need to identify and replace maladaptive behaviors. 

The Importance of Seeking Professional Help for Alcohol Use

Women with AUD have fewer symptoms and better outcomes if they seek professional treatment for their alcohol misuse. According to NIAAA, “Seeking professional help early can prevent a return to drinking.” In addition, “Behavioral therapies can help people develop skills to avoid and overcome triggers, such as stress, that might lead to drinking.” Emerge Recovery TX uses therapy, peer support, case management, and other services to ensure women have the skills and tools they need to heal from alcohol misuse. 

Participating in recovery programs reduces risks and ensures women have access to essential resources. The side effects often worsen over time. Early interventions ensure women receive necessary treatments before the side effects become too severe.

How Does Emerge Recovery TX Help Women Heal From Alcohol Misuse?

Emerge Recovery TX educates women about the dangers of alcohol misuse and provides professional recovery services. Our care team ensures women recovering from AUD have access to personalized treatment programs and evidence-based care. The outpatient programs also offer integrative care for women struggling with co-occurring SUD and mental health disorders. 

Clients have access to the following services:

  • Case management
  • Individual therapy and coaching
  • Group therapy and community activities 
  • Aftercare planning and extended support

Emerge Recovery TX offers women in recovery a safe space to heal from the effects of alcohol misuse. Social support and structured treatment plans help women establish and maintain healthy routines to reduce the risk of relapse. 

Women have a high risk of alcohol misuse due to differences in their physiology and other factors. Some individuals have difficulty recognizing when their drinking has reached a point where it may affect their health and well-being. Women benefit from knowing how to identify the signs of alcohol misuse. Knowing the warning signs makes it easier for people to reach out for help. Emerge Recovery TX educates women and their families about the dangers and potential side effects of alcohol misuse. The clinicians provide evidence-based treatment programs to help women heal from the behavioral and cognitive effects of excessive alcohol use. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (737) 237-9663.

About Author

Leah Malone

Learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings can be painful and disturbing at times. When Leah was able to see her behavior patterns and decided there was enough pain to be disturbed, she became motivated to make changes and accept the work that needed to be done to heal. She needed direction and had no clue how to heal on her own. Through a connection with God, authentic connection with others, honesty, willingness, and humility, Leah is now in recovery from addiction and trauma.

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