Recovery from alcoholism painful for midlife women

November 4th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 4 (IANS) Women recovering from alcoholism are more likely to relapse as they reach midlife thanks to the pressures they face. “Alcohol inflicts more damage, more quickly on women than on men. For those who have already had a problem with the misuse of alcohol, relapsing can have dire consequences,” said PhD researcher Janice Withnall of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) School of Education.

“Many women in the midlife period, between the ages of 35 and 55, are pulled in many directions with increased family and work commitments,” Withnall, who has just completed the first three years of her study of the experiences of women recovering from alcohol dependency, added.

“For those who have succeeded in abstaining from alcohol for more than five years, there is a risk that they will not continue their treatment for this chronic illness and succumb to alcohol when these pressures become too great.”

According to Withnall, it is crucial for women in recovery from alcoholism to maintain complete abstinence throughout this difficult period of their lives, said a USW release.

“Many people do not understand the extreme and devastating effects that alcohol abuse has on women’s bodies and sense of self,” she said.

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