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Deaths related to excessive alcohol consumption are on the rise across the United States. This is becoming abundantly true for American women, according to a recent study published on July 28 in the journal JAMA Network Open. While men are roughly three times more likely than women to die from alcohol use, the gap is quickly shrinking and the risk to women has grown tremendously.

The study observed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on more than 600,000 deaths linked to alcohol between 1999 and 2020. The data included deaths from alcoholic liver disease, alcohol poisoning, acute intoxication, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and mental and behavioral disorders that can be linked to alcohol consumption, and other causes.

The data showed that alcohol-related deaths steadily increased in the United States over those 21 years. However, from 2018 to 2020, the rate increased by 14.7 percent for women compared to 12.5 percent for men. The study also found rising rates among senior women. Alcohol-related deaths rose in women over 65 and older by 6.7 percent from 2012 to 2020, compared with a 5.2 percent increase per year in men 65 and older.

“One in 11 women suffer from alcohol use disorder, but so do one in seven men. To put that into perspective, based on the 2021 population of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, there are an estimated 400,000 men struggling with alcohol in D/FW,” says Diana Miller, Chief Development Officer of The Magdalen House. “Research has shown that women are about half as likely as men to seek alcohol recovery services.  Women often face more stigmatization, shame, family responsibilities, and socioeconomic barriers than men, they frequently have co-occurring disorders and are less likely to seek treatments. However, they are more likely to seek medical and psychiatric help, but when it comes to alcoholism, they may think the problem will get better on its own; thus, there is a lack of problem recognition. Therefore, alcoholism education to lessen the stigma around what it means to be an alcoholic is crucial.”

Resources are available in D/FW to help individuals achieve long-term, sustainable recovery through the following spiritually-based, comprehensive programs hosted by The Magdalen House. 

  • For Women:
    • First Step Program: A two-week, residential program for an alcoholic woman who wants to stop drinking but cannot. The house can accommodate up to 20 women with rolling admissions.
    • Next Step Program: A three-phase, non-residential program that provides support and structure for an alcoholic woman at any stage of recovery. a non-residential program that provides support and structure for an alcoholic woman at any stage of recovery. This program is a continuum of care to First Step or as a standalone program. The Magdalen House has will offer Next Step for men in early 2024.
  • For Women & Men:
    • Community: Solution-focused meetings and workshops open to any man or woman in the community interested in learning more about the disease of alcoholism and the solution we offer, at any stage of recovery. Services are currently offered for women 365 days a year and the men’s schedule is available online here and is updated periodically as the program grows. Additionally, Family Support meetings are available to the families and loved ones of alcoholics and addicts.
    • Resources and Education: Education about the disease of alcoholism and community partnerships that help connect alcoholic women, men, and their families to resources such as sober living, women’s and men’s health, and counseling.

If you’re an alcoholic who can’t stop drinking or a concerned loved one of an alcoholic, the first step in recovery is education and access to resources. In D/FW, The Magdalen House provides residential recovery, detox, group meetings, structured programs, family support groups, and tools designed to help individuals grow and sustain recovery. For more information please visit, https://magdalenhouse.org/

The Magdalen House is a nonprofit organization helping individuals with alcoholism achieve sobriety and sustain recovery at no cost and based on 12-Step spiritual principles. Founded in Dallas in 1987, The Magdalen House remains the only agency in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to offer comprehensive recovery services – without insurance or state funding – 100% free of charge. The Magdalen House is committed to helping alcoholic individuals achieve long-term, sustainable recovery through spiritually based, comprehensive programming. For more information visit www.magdalenhouse.org.

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