It is no secret that millions of Americans struggle to control excessive use of alcohol. In fact, the CDC estimates that around 16% of the US population may abuse alcohol at any given time.
We have known for centuries that excess alcohol consumption has dire consequences for human health. Prior to the early 20th century, the phenomenon of alcoholism had undergone only a little study and was largely a mystery. What we did know was that people who drank a lot often suffered serious health problems, especially later in life. More recently, science has been studying not only the long-term effects of alcoholism on the body but also the brain.
In the past, men reported higher rates of addiction and substance use disorder than women, but in the past few decades women have swiftly closed the gender gap. Today, men and women experience roughly equal rates of these issues. However, women’s rates of progression, experiences, reasons for use, and stigmas can vary greatly from their male counterparts.