More girls than boys tend to be first-time alcohol users: Study

More girls than boys tend to be first-time alcohol users: Study

Alcohol is closely linked to an array of health and social problems, but hardly anyone takes the warning signs seriously or tries rigorous measures to kick the habit. Men have long been associated with alcohol abuse, with many alcohol deaddiction programs primarily targeted at them.

A recent study counters this fact and suggests that more girls than boys are now resorting to drinking in a bid to show their riskier side. Several reasons can be attributed to the rising trend of drinking among girls, with gender equality and early puberty being the crucial ones.

Adulthood deters girls from continuing drinks

Published in the journal Alcoholism Clinical & Experimental Research in April 2016, the study highlighted some reasons that encourage drinking among girls in the United States, and also offered corrective measures to deal with the issue. As part of the study, lead researcher Dr. Hui Cheng, an adjunct assistant professor at Michigan State University, and his colleagues analyzed the data of 390,000 children and young adults in the age group of 12–24 from a government survey conducted during 2002-2013.

The results showed an interesting trend that girls were keener on trying alcohol for the first time than boys once they reached the mid-adolescence phase. However, this trend seems to reverse once a teenager attains adulthood. This means that boys tend to surpass girls when it comes to drinking after the age of 19.

Ads promote flavored alcoholic drinks among teenage girls

Citing a list of factors that might be responsible for encouraging drinking among girls, the researchers expressed their concern over advertising campaigns that largely promote flavored alcoholic drinks, which are popular among teenage girls. A lot of preventive measures have been adopted to curb this drinking menace, but most of them focus only on men, calling for more policies to deal with drinking problem in adolescent girls.

However, a breakthrough can be achieved only if teens are made to understand how grave the issue can become if they don’t make efforts to lead an alcohol-free life. Since the issue is sensitive, one has to deal with caution while explaining this to an adolescent boy or a girl to avoid any resentment from them.

“We do know that starting to drink early is a risk factor for developing alcohol use disorders as one gets older. So, if we can figure out good strategies to address this for both girls and boys we could potentially reduce the number of folks with alcohol use disorders — a very positive thing for all of us,” said Dr. James Garbutt, a professor of psychiatry and medical director of the alcohol and substance abuse program at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

Need to inform women about ill effects of alcohol

Women are gradually surpassing men when it comes to using and abusing alcohol, according to a 2015 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some women use alcohol as a self-medication for stress and a range of other problems like financial, social and personal. A report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) said that 5.3 million women reportedly engage in drinking alcohol up to the levels that can affect their health, safety, and overall well-being.

Most of the girls, especially teenagers, try alcohol for the first time to draw pleasure or keep up with peer pressure. Be it any reason, alcohol is certainly harmful for women, even in smaller amounts. Unfortunately, not much has been done to discourage women from drinking and to lead them to the path of sobriety.

Like other substances, even alcohol can turn into an addiction and create a havoc. Alcohol addiction is bad, and if you or your loved one is suffering from it, the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California can help you find one of the good alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. Our experts can guide you to the treatment option that best suits your needs. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online for alcohol rehab centers in California.

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