According to the findings of a new study, stress alone can cause women to engage in excessive drinking. Men who were subjected to the same stress only drank excessively after they had already begun to consume alcohol.
According to the findings of the study, which was published in the journal ‘Psychology of Addictive Behaviors,’
Female alcohol misuse is on the rise, despite the fact that male alcohol misuse is more prevalent. A study found that women are at greater risk of acquiring alcohol-related issues than men.
Stressful and non-stressful circumstances were shown to the participants while they were drinking alcoholic beverages in the simulated bar. Women, but not men, consumed more alcohol than they meant as a result of stress, a finding that highlights the relevance of investigating sex variations in alcohol use.
“Some people want to drink one or two alcoholic beverages and then quit, whilst others simply continue to consume alcoholic beverages. We know that stress relates to both impaired control over drinking and dysregulated drinking, and that impaired control over drinking is one of the earliest signs of alcohol use disorders. Women, in particular, are understudied when it comes to the impact of stress in impaired control over drinking “Julie Patock-Peckham, assistant research professor at Arizona State University and the study’s lead author, explained how the study came to be.
There was a bartender, barstools, and bustling conversations in the research facility, which was created to imitate a bar. The study took place in this environment. There were a total of 105 women and 105 males who took part in the study. They were divided into groups according to randomization, with some being exposed to a stressful setting and others being exposed to a non-stressful situation.
Following that, half of the participants were given an alcoholic drink that was equal to three cocktails, while the other half were given three non-alcoholic drinks to drink instead. All attendees were then given 90 minutes of unfettered access to alcoholic beverages from the bar following the conclusion of the session.
“We now understand that genetics and the environment both play a role in harmful drinking behaviors. We have no control over the genes, but we do have control over the environmental factors that influence them. There is a strong link between stress and impaired control over one’s drinking, and because stress is something that can be controlled, we investigated whether stressors cause dysregulated drinking “Patock-Peckham is the director of ASU’s Social Addictions Impulse Lab, which studies social addictions.
Due to the experimental design, the research team was able to identify whether stress, the first drink, or a combination of the two contributed to the amount of alcohol drunk by the participants. The researchers measured alcohol consumption by counting the number of drinks taken and by measuring the amount of alcohol present in the breath (BAC).
All of the volunteers drank more heavily after being exposed to stress. In one study, men who received the first drink that included alcohol and experienced stress drank more than men who received a placebo drink.
It didn’t matter whether the first drink was an alcoholic beverage or not for women: being under stress resulted in excessive drinking.
“The fact that women only need stress, whilst males required the additional push of already having alcohol on board demonstrates how crucial this type of research is. The consequences of alcohol consumption differ for men and women, and we cannot continue to apply methods that were established for males to treat women, says the World Health Organization “Patock-Peckham made the statement.