Thursday, May 18, 2006

Women Face Greater Risks of Addiction

A new study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University demonstrates that women "pound for pound, not only get drunk or high faster then [sic] men, but also become addicted more easily."

In the past, males figured predominately in the substance abuse statistics. "But now the gender gap is closing. More than 20 million girls and women in the United States abuse drugs and alcohol, and 30 million more are addicted to cigarettes." Among the teenage population, girls are rivaling boys in experimentation.

"Susan Foster, CASA's director of policy research and analysis, who directed the research" asserts that "each single drink hits a woman like a double."

Also from the FoxNews story (from which all quotes have been taken):
A woman's body contains less water and more fatty tissue-- which increases
alcohol absorption-- compared to a male body. And women have a lower activity
level of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which breaks down alcohol.

Similar biological factors are at work in metabolizing illicit drugs.

The risk of addiction to alcohol and drugs, including nicotine, is approximately doubled as well. The reason may be hormonal or psychological, according to ongoing
research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Personally, I don't believe they will find psychological determinants to factor heavily in greater and quicker addiction rates. Women and men are so significantly different from one another in subtle body chemistry that this could easily be the reason for these discrepancies.

Although the fact that women pound for pound become drunk more easily than men has been known for a while, the higher risk of addiction to nicotine and other drugs is a new revelation. Perhaps it's time to sit down with our daughters and explain to them the greater risks they face from yet another source. But then to be forewarned is to be forearmed, and such information is crucial to our well-being.

Quite possibly one of the loony ladies' leagues is preparing to decry this study as foul, unfair, and baseless. I wait with bated breath. Nevertheless, facts are facts, and one may as well go to the nearest brick wall, remove one's shoes and attempt to kick it down as to try to alter facts of nature.

You can be sure I will show my daughter this news article and discuss it with her shortly so she too can be forewarned.


At 5/21/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger mynym said...

Women Face Greater Risks of Addiction

That may be so looking at the physical facts, yet I'm pretty sure that data about who is actually addicted indicate that men are more prone to addiction than women.

I could be wrong, it has been a while.


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