New research has given a grim insight into the lives of middle-aged Australian women as studies show more are turning to binge drinking than ever before.
The study, published in the Drug and Alcohol Review journal on Thursday, revealed that one in five women aged between 40 and 65 binge drink.
‘Katie’, who has chosen to use a pseudonym, revealed to the ABC what these statistics truly mean to the women effected.
Katie will usually drink half a bottle of wine at the end of most days for ‘stress relief’ after struggling with her full-time work and raising two children.
New research has found one in five woman between 40 and 65 binge drink and 11.7 per cent will have an average of two drinks per night (stock)
She said she began drinking after the birth of her second child but her habits grew worse with the onset of the pandemic.
‘I feel like I’ve lost control,’ she said.
Katie said she feels ‘guilty’ about her drinking and said while it makes her anxiety worse and effects her sleep it gives her ‘something to look forward to.’
‘I feel naked without it,’ she admitted.
The data was collected from a group of 40,670 women over the course of 19 years with surveys conducted every three years.
Katie said despite her drinking causing her anxiety and sleeping difficulties she feels ‘naked without it’ (stock)
In 2001 data showed that only 8.8 per cent of women drank an average of two standards drinks a day but by 2019 it increased to 11.7 per cent.
Lead author Mia Miller, a research officer and PhD candidate at The George Institute for Global Health said stress was a leading factor for most women who overindulged.
‘We know there are more women in the workforce now than ever before, but they still take on a disproportionate burden of labour in the household,’ she said.
‘It is not about blaming the individual for their alcohol use.’
The authors of the research have said alcohol can have more harmful side effects in women and stated stress from workplace and home environments is likely the cause of overindulgence (stock)
‘The policy response to increased alcohol use in this group therefore requires a comprehensive approach that includes addressing mental health and stress and facilitating ways for women to unwind and socialise without alcohol.’
Study co-author Cassandra Wright from the Menzies School of Health Research said that women are also at a higher risk of experiencing long-term effects from alcohol.
‘Women experience alcohol harms more quickly and at lower levels of consumption than men,’ Dr Wright told ABC.
‘We have to remember that alcohol use is associated with more than 200 diseases and conditions, so this does mean more women experiencing harms.’
The research found that women without a university degree, from regional or rural areas, or who are single were more likely to engage in harmful drinking.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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