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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Women Seek Treatment Earlier Than Men

Alcoholism has no age restrictions, nor is the age when people should seek help for their problems. Yet, women seek treatment four to five years sooner than men, according to a new study. Women who struggle with alcohol seek assistance after an average of 10 years of use; it is about 15 years for men.

The study focused on 274 men and 257 women who struggle with substance abuse and were patients in treatment facilities. Each group began drinking regularly in their late teens, with problems starting in their early 20s, HealthDay reports.

“Historically, alcoholism has been considered a ‘male disease’ due to its markedly higher prevalence among men,” study author Ben Lewis of the University of Florida said in a journal news release. “More recently it has been recognized that while men may have a higher prevalence, women may be uniquely vulnerable to negative consequences of chronic drinking.”

The reasons for women seeking treatment earlier may have to do with the perception that women have regarding the social stigmas surrounding alcoholism, according to Rosemary Fama of Stanford University School of Medicine and SRI International.

The study appears in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
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