Women and Substance Abuse

Many Women Ignore Alcohol-Breast Cancer Risk

Middle aged women in Australia aren't getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, at a time when more are drinking while cancer rates in their age bracket are increasing, according to a new study.

More women aged between 45 and 64 years aren't aware of the potential risks, and indicate negative impacts on their weight, relationships or lifestyle would more likely result in a reduction in drinking, rather then warnings about an increased risk of cancer.

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119,000 Children With FAS Born Each Year

Worldwide, an estimated 119,000 children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows. The study, published in The Lancet Global Health, provides the first-ever estimates of the proportion of women who drink during pregnancy, as well as estimates of FAS by country, World Health Organization (WHO) region and worldwide.

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Alcohol's Effects on Women's Sleep More Pronounced

Researchers have known for decades that alcohol can initially deepen sleep during the early part of the night but then disrupt sleep during the latter part of the night; this is called a "rebound effect." A study of the influence of gender and family history of alcoholism on sleep has found that intoxication can increase feelings of sleepiness while at the same time disrupt actual sleep measures in healthy women more than in healthy men.

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Alcohol Ups Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

A study of early-stage breast cancer patients who were light drinkers found an increased risk for recurrence of breast cancer and mortality. In the Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE) study, 1,897 participants diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 1997 and 2000 and recruited on average 2 years post-breast cancer diagnosis were evaluated for the association between alcohol intake and breast cancer recurrence and death.

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Couples Therapy Best for Alcohol Dependent Women

Barbara McCrady and Elizabeth Epstein wanted to know whether cognitive behavior therapy worked better for alcohol-dependent women when delivered as couples therapy than when delivered as individual therapy. They reported recently that both treatment methods worked well, but women treated in couples therapy maintained their gains a bit better than those in individual therapy. Also, women suffering from depression in addition to alcohol-dependence did better in couples therapy. Their paper appeared in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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