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Hidden Alcohol Abuse in Women

Learn about hidden alcohol abuse in women in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.


I'm often asked about the differences in men versus women. That it seems like there's more male alcoholics then there are women. Well, in fact from what we know, that is true, there are more men who are identified as having alcohol use disorders than women. However, there is a phenomenon with women of that's been identified of hidden alcohol problems in women.

Now, why is that? Well, what we find is that for women it's less socially acceptable for women to be drinking then for men. So, women often hide their drinking. They often will, there's pressure on women often to look good, to be the everything. To be, you know, the working woman, but also women we do know still even where there's part two partners who both work full-time, what we know is women still carry the burden in the home in a disproportionate way versus their male companions in the home.

So, women have a lot of pressure to kind of be all things to all people. And often women will succumb to pressure and misuse alcohol, but hide it. And so what we find is that there might be a lot of women out there with alcohol use problems who are not coming forward, because of, there's a lot of stigma and shame that goes along with substance abuse in the world, and in our society. But it's greater for women then for men. So, that might be one of the reasons that we actually see more men in treatment. And perhaps there aren't really more males out there with alcohol problems then women, but it may just be that they present more to treatment, because they're more open about their drinking.

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