Alaskans face some alarming statistics regarding alcohol consumption in their state. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reports that the state has one of the highest per-capita consumption rates in the nation, with dependence rates running at twice the national average. Some 21,000 cases of alcohol dependence were reported in the past year among Alaskans age 12 and over. Among Native Americans (including Alaska Natives), more than 1 out of every 10 deaths is alcohol related. Alcohol dependence is a serious problem here — and women may suffer from it even more severely than men.
Effects of Alcohol on Women
Women react differently to alcohol than men on a physiological level. They tend to weigh less and carry less water in their tissues, which means that the alcohol has less chance of being diluted and expelled efficiently. This means that they get drunk faster and experience health problems after fewer drinks than their male counterparts. These problems may include liver disease, heart disease, and breast cancer. In fact, as little as one drink a day raises the risk for breast cancer in women.
Alcohol consumption among pregnant women is also responsible for a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS. FAS, which can afflict a fetus as early as one month after conception, causes growth problems and brain damage. It is worth noting that Alaska has the highest incidence of FAS in the United States, forcing the introduction of a recent state-funded program to make pregnancy tests available in bar and restaurant bathrooms. Pregnant women who cannot avoid alcohol risk doing serious harm to their children as well as themselves.
Why Women-only Treatment?
If you need help overcoming a dependence on alcohol, you may wonder what advantages a gender-specific treatment program has over a mixed-gender program. Women-only treatment centers can address many issues specific to a woman’s drinking patterns and causes, such as body image or other self-esteem problems that might prove awkward or embarrassing to explore in front of men. These programs also take into account certain gender-disproportionate problems and pressures such as child care, balancing work and home life, and eating disorders. If you are a woman trying to break a dependence on alcohol, you’ll find these programs uniquely well equipped to help you, not just through the dependence itself but also through the various factors that may have contributed to that dependence.
Women-only Treatment Programs in Alaska
Alaska has several women-only alcohol treatment centers dotted throughout the state. Available resources include 6 in Anchorage: 2 each in Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, and Wasilla; and 1 each in Fairbanks, Saint Paul Island, Seldovia, Bethel, Homer Kenai, Petersburg, Sand Point and Shungnak. Many of these programs offer sliding scale or facility payment assistance to ensure that women have access to much-needed help. Some facilities, such as Akeela Inc Stepping Stones in Anchorage, can even provide residential beds for your children so you do not have to endure a painful separation during your treatment. Long-term treatment typically includes a 3-month or 6-month stay.
Free Yourself from Alcohol Dependence — Starting Today
Alcohol dependence can rob you of your health, your relationships, your personal safety, and your ability to fully enjoy life. But you can turn the table of alcohol dependence with skilled help from caring professionals. Contact AlcoholTreatment.net to learn more about your options — and take the first step toward getting your life back.