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Women Are More At Risk Of Abusing Alcohol Than Men In Stressful Situations

In general, alcoholism problems tend to affect men more than women, and it is who is, under normal conditions, tend to get more out of control drinking alcohol. However, a new study warns that women also have a higher risk of developing alcohol-related problems to our health than men, especially in situations of stress.

The study, published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, has shown that women tend to drink more when they feel stressed. Participants in the experiment drank alcoholic beverages in a simulated bar while experiencing stressful and non-stressful situations.

 In theis stressful situation, it was women, not men, who drank more than expected. The finding, made by researchers at the University of Arizona, demonstrates the importance of studying gender differences in alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Photo: via Getty images

Some people may intend to have one or two alcoholic beverages and stop drinking, but other people continue. This poor control over drinking is one of the first indicators of alcohol use disorders.

Now we see that stress contributes to both poor control over drinking and uncontrolled alcohol consumption. The role of stress in poor control of alcohol consumption has not been studied, especially in women, “explains the study’s lead author, Julie Patock-Peckham, in a statement.

Experiment in a alcohol mock bar

Woman drunk from alcohol Photo: via Getty images

The study was conducted in a research laboratory designed to simulate a bar, with a bartender, stools, and lively conversations. participated in 105 women and 105 men, randomized into sofferent groups. Some experienced a stressful situation, while others had a non-stressful situation. 

Subsequently, half of the participants received an alcoholic drink equivalent to three cocktails, and the other half received three non-alcoholic drinks. In the end, all participants had unlimited access to alcoholic beverages from the bar for 90 minutes.

We know that genes and the environment both play a role in alcohol problems. We can’t do anything with genes, but we can intervene in the environment. Stress and poor control of drinking are closely related. Stress is something that you can manipulate. That’s why we tested whether stressors cause uncontrolled drinking, “the study authors explain.

Photo: via Getty images

The experiment allowed the research team to determine whether stress, the initial drink, or a combination of the two, caused the amount of alcohol the participants drank. The team measured alcohol consumption in the total number of drinks consumed and blood alcohol content of breath (BAC).

Exposure to stress caused all participants to drink more. The men who received a first drink with alcohol and stress experienced more drinking than the men who received the placebo. In contrast, in the case of women, even those who received a placebo drank more if they were stressed.

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