Surprisingly, research has shown that women over 40 are more likely to drink damaging amounts of alcohol on a regular basis than a woman of half their age. Whilst binge drinking is seen frequently as a problem amongst younger people, it actually affects those who are at an age when they should know “better” how much to drink and when to stop.
A glass of wine at the end of the day….
Women are more likely to turn to alcohol in times of stress. A woman in their 40s may no longer have the responsibility of very young children and are more likely to be financially solvent meaning they do not see the cost of an addiction to alcohol as prohibitive. They may also be further along in their career and use the excuse of a stressful day at work to break open a bottle of wine. This may happen on a nearly daily basis and often someone with an alcohol problem will not stop at just one bottle. Continuing drinking until they pass out is often used as a method of escapism from everyday problems, trials and tribulations. Loneliness can be a contributing factor to heavy drinking and someone who lives on the road, perhaps after divorce is statistically likely to drink more.
Existing, not living
Providing that they can hold down a job and maintain some semblance of normal life, an alcoholic tries to fill themselves into thinking that there excessive alcohol intake is not a problem, ignoring the detrimental effects it has on health.
Change of life, change of habits
The menopause often hits women in their 40s and they may turn to the bottle to help relieve stress and other uncomfortable symptoms during the “change of life.” Unfortunately this is never a good idea as alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes and mood swings. As the imbibe increases their alcohol intake, less nutrients are available to the body and can be a contributory factor in other conditions associated with “the change,” such as osteoporosis.
Wrinkles… the enemy of women everywhere
When a woman is in her 40s, collagen production slows down considerably. Collagen is needed for maintaining elasticity of the skin. In addition to the dehydration caused by excessive drinking, a woman of a certain age may find that the condition of her skin suffers and is more prone to wrinkles and age spots. No woman wants look older than she does already and alcohol can easily put 10 years, if not more, on someone’s appearance.
Stop… before it’s too late
Cutting down or stopping drinking can help reverse some of the detrimental effects alcohol has had on the body. Where alcohol consumption has been heavy for an extended period, the problem drinker may find it difficult to stop. In fact, for very heavy drinkers stopping drinking suddenly can pose a major risks to health and can even be fatal. Stopping drinking suddenly when the body is used to functioning with alcohol in its system can place the nervous system into a state of shock. If you or a friend has a problem with their alcohol intake then professional help should be sought before quitting. Health professionals are not there to judge or criticize the problem drinker but are there to help facilitate effective recovery and rehabilitation.