Alcohol is an intoxicating constituent of many hard/alcoholic drinks. Alcoholism is lifelong and it can be both progressive and life threatening. Alcohol consumption has increased manifold in the recent years especially among women. Men and women under the age of 21 are strictly prohibited from drinking. Woman who are or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking as well but no one really cares about the after effects. Alcoholic drinks can interfere with certain medicines and cause side effects.
In spite of knowing the ill effects of alcoholism, women are increasingly getting indulged into this addiction. It is a potent source of depression contrary to what people normally think - that it makes them forget worries.
Women are at greater risk than men for developing alcohol-related problems. Research suggests that as little as one drink per day can slightly raise the risk of breast cancer in some women, especially those who are postmenopausal or have a family history of breast cancer.
Women who are facing troubles in their career, close relationships, unmarried, divorced or separated are prone to alcoholism. Assaulted or sexually abused women face the same. They feel they have been rejected by society and it seems that alcohol keeps them away from troublesome worldly situations. Unfortunately, over drinking deteriorates their health and mental thinking and reacting abilities.
Stress coping is a daily phenomenon in a woman’s life. One of another reasons for drinking is stress coping.
Drinking too much often leads to impaired judgement, slurring of the speech, a tendency to violent behaviour and loss of short-term memory. As alcohol also irritates the stomach, heavy drinking can cause sickness and nausea, and sometimes diarrhoea. Alcohol also has a dehydrating effect, which is the main reason why excessive drinking can lead to a hangover.
In the long term, alcohol can contribute to a variety of problems, including damage to an unborn child, liver disease, osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, infertility, heart disease, raised blood pressure, stroke, dementia and brain damage.
It can also lead to an increased risk of a variety of cancers, particularly breast cancer and cancer of the gullet. All these are adverse reactions of over drinking as it is well said, “Excess of everything is bad”
Let us try to make life better for womanhood so that worse situations do not drive her towards such addictions. There are numerous ways of coping up with this addiction but it is often a difficult path and requires full support and patience of the family along with the sufferer. Rehabilitation centers offer solutions to such problems. Peer and family care can make anyone overcome alcoholism in span of time. One day we all have to die, so why not die with a smile with nurturing family beside instead of dying with poisonous addictions and that too lonely!
By Dr. Aakshi Kalra