WOMEN AND ALCOHOL
Did You Know? Women can expect to be substantially drunker after drinking the same number of drinks as their male friends.
For Example: After consuming two drinks in one hour. . . A 200lb male will have a BAC of ~.035 A 150lb female will have a BAC of ~.06! Her blood alcohol concentration is almost twice his blood alcohol concentration after they’ve had the same amount to drink!
Why Do Women Get Drunker After Drinking the Same Amount as Men? • Body Size • Body Composition • Enzymes • Hormones
Body Size • The average man’s body mass is 12% greater than the average women’s.
Body Composition • In general, women have a greater percent of body fat and a smaller percent of muscle tissue than men. • Because women have less muscle tissue, they also have less body water in which to distribute consumed alcohol.
Enzymes • Women have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme involved in the metabolism of alcohol. • Even if a man and a women have the same body size and composition, the women will still have a BAC about 1/3 higher than the man if they drink the same amount!
Hormones • Estrogen slows the metabolism of alcohol. • Intoxicating effects of alcohol are most powerful when a woman’s estrogen levels are highest – i.e. right before her period. • Women on birth control pills metabolize alcohol more slowly throughout their cycle.
“Women have come a long way over the past 20 years, but in substance abuse and addiction women have come the wrong way.” - Joseph Calitano, Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University
Women make up 1/3 of the estimated 14 million alcohol-abusing or alcohol dependant people in the U.S.
It takes less alcohol consumption for women to become dependant on alcohol.
The course of alcohol addiction progresses at a faster rate among women than men.
Death rates for female alcoholics are 50 – 100 percent higher than for male alcoholics.
55% of female students involved in acquaintance rape had been drinking or using drugs at the time.
60% of college women diagnosed with an STD were drunk at the time of infection.
Women who have 3 or fewer drinks when they party experience fewer alcohol-related problems.
Drinking and Grades Check out this data from a huge national survey of college students! Note: The number of drinks per week for men with an A grade point average is about the same as the numbers of drinks per week for women with a D average.
Recommendations for Women: • For Optimal Health = • No more than 1 drink per day • For Safety = • No more than 3 drinks per day