Understanding alcohol use disorders and their treatment

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March 24, 2023

There is a pattern across findings that boys are more likely to endorse more permissive or pro-drinking norms (injunctive norms) and perceive higher prevalence rates of BD (descriptive norms) compared to girls (137, 144). However, findings are mixed as to the influence of social norms on actual BD, with some evidence that girls are more influenced by social norms compared to boys (145), and other evidence that social norms are more influential on boys’ BD (146). Thus, further research regarding differential influences of peer norms on BD is warranted. Exposure to potentially traumatic events—such as physical assault or abuse, sexual assault or abuse, and witnessed violence in the home or community—is common in adolescence, with approximately two-thirds of youth reporting exposure to one or more events (124, 125).

what consequences of heavy drinking do men and women experience equally?

Trauma exposure has been linked to increased risk of BD and problematic alcohol use, with evidence indicating higher rates of BD among adolescents exposed to childhood maltreatment (126) and greater risk for problematic alcohol use among adolescents exposed to assault and other forms of violence (127). In addition, adolescents exposed to multiple types of victimization are more likely to experience more alcohol abuse (128) than peers who experience fewer victimization types. Hazardous drinking can also increase risk for future trauma and victimization (129, 130).

What is alcohol consumption?

With respect to social development in adolescence, while development of peer relationships is important for both girls and boys during this developmental period, adolescent girls in particular may be more vulnerable to BD due to social influences. For boys, while peer influence may not be as strong, boys may be at greater risk for BD due to the social gender role norms that it is more socially acceptable and even can be rewarding for boys to drink in excess. These social norms may in turn actually serve as a protective factor in girls as BD does not necessarily align with the feminine stereotype. In the present review, we will first review some of the literature on gender differences in neurobiological risk factors that predispose an adolescent or emerging adult to engage in BD, given developmental differences between males and females (32, 33). We will also review gender differences in alcohol sensitivity as well as differences in reward neurocircuitry and neurobiological processes in learning and memory that explain differences in risk for BD and response to BD.

what consequences of heavy drinking do men and women experience equally?

As clinical social worker, Ms Kitley emphasised the importance of raising awareness to break the stigma around mental health and alcohol. She underlined the benefits of a holistic approach to treatment to help women experiencing harmful drinking, such as identifying stressors and alcohol coping mechanisms, learning how to ask for help and to delegate family and household tasks for instance. Ms Sugarman pointed out that technology-based solutions—such as automated computer, internet or mobile apps—are a powerful tool to help women cope with stress.

What’s in the drink

If you’ve ever wondered what’s really going on in the brain when a person’s had too much to drink, here’s a brief primer. Hernandez-Avila CA, Rounsaville BJ, Kranzler HR. “Opioid-, cannabis- and alcohol-dependent[…]se treatment.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/15-benefits-of-the-alcohol-free-lifestyle/ June 11, 2004. The only way to completely prevent alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy is not to drink alcohol at all. Some of the above tests may also use materials injected into your bloodstream that are highly visible on certain types of imaging scans.

Is beer full of estrogen?

Beer contains phytoestrogen and prolactin. These two chemicals can increase the estrogen levels your body produces. If this happens too much, your body will react and decrease testosterone levels—which can put you at risk for low T.

As stated, the hypotheses related to sex differences among AUD individuals suggest only that a “different pattern of abnormalities” will be observed. If the extant literature is insufficient to generate more pointed/specific hypotheses, the authors may consider re-conceptualizing the work as an exploratory study, with Type 1 error correction sufficiently liberal that widespread patterns of sex-contingent differences might be better appreciated? This may be particularly appropriate given that the authors did not attempt to hone in on emotion processing centers in the brain or other regions of the brain that are known to be most affected by chronic alcohol use. Research shows that different people can have variations of the gene that produces these enzymes. The differences in these enzymes mean that some people metabolize alcohol differently from others. For instance, different levels of alcohol metabolizing enzymes cause facial flushing, nausea, and a rapid heartbeat in many people with East Asian heritage — making drinking unpleasant even when only moderate amounts are consumed.

alcohol consumption

In Singapore, a census of population 2020 reported that 15% of citizens were Malay and 98.8% identified as Muslim (Department of Statistic Singapore, 2021). As their faith prohibits the consumption of alcohol, it is possible that the study did not capture their responses in respect of their beliefs, or Muslim respondents might not have been comfortable disclosing or may have abstained from drinking and hence were underrepresented in the AUD group. A cross-sectional study among students in Italy reported a higher prevalence of AUD in adolescents who engaged in binge drinking behaviors than those who did not (Addolorato et al., 2018).

We reviewed only articles that reported on gender differences and pertained to (1) social influences, (2) neurobiological and biological aspects of BD risk, (3) psychiatric or mental health symptoms and BD risk, and (4) intervention and prevention for BD (see Figure 1). Annotated bibliographic searches of relevant review articles and/or books were also conducted. It is also well known that girls are more vulnerable to the negative consequences from alcohol use and BD compared to boys. Across the lifespan, females are more likely consequences of drinking to experience alcohol-related health problems at lower drinking rates compared to males, and are also more likely to experience more severe negative alcohol-related health and psychosocial consequences compared to males (26–29). In addition to vulnerability in adolescence, there are also important gender differences in the impact of adolescent BD on later functioning in adulthood. Notably, females are more likely to experience a more rapid and severe progression from BD to addiction, a phenomenon known as “telescoping” (26).

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