Frightening statistics show dependency and addiction is one of the leading health concerns for Australian women. Yet, it is a topic that rarely comes up over a coffee catch up or spa afternoon.
Ruth Limkin shares tips for women to reduce alcohol use in recent keynote
CEO of The Banyans, Ruth Limkin, is contributing to the wellbeing movement spreading awareness of the risk of addiction and dependency for Australian women. At a recent women’s conference, Ruth delivered two engaging keynote sessions addressing the integrated nature of health and wellbeing, and the highlighted the unspoken issue so many Australian women are facing every day.
Crisis as Australian women more likely to die of overdose than car accident
Statistics imply that Australian women aged between 30 to 50 are four times more likely to die of an accidental overdose than to die in a car accident. One in four Australian women are drinking alcohol at levels that are harmful to their short or long term health.
The Banyans Health and Wellness is a private treatment and rehabilitation centre in Brisbane, Australia. Offering one of the most qualified treatment programs for addiction, dependency and mental health, The Banyans holds extensive insight into the challenges faced by women from Australia and the world.
Removing shame from alcohol misuse
Often portrayed as a secret, a failure, or a joke, addiction and dependency is a topic often shrouded in unneeded shame and guilt. At The Banyans, the leadership team is passionate about removing the unhelpful connotations that so often relate to addiction – whether to illicit drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol. Ruth always highlights that help is always available.
We live in a culture that reinforces the idea of alcohol as being a coping mechanism or a way to find comfort.”
“We live in a culture that reinforces the idea of alcohol as being a coping mechanism, or a way to find comfort,” Ruth explains. This is reinforced through women being particularly targeted by alcohol advertising, whether that is social media memes or different marketing campaigns.
The Banyans explored the phenomena of working mothers and alcohol in more depth in our blog post Mummy Needs a Drink.
Ruth equips women with six sustainable tools for change
Throughout her keynote presentations, Ruth was able the educate women on the six major areas of wellbeing, and highlighted some of the most common hijackers to our health. She was able to demystify some of the unspoken areas that relate to alcohol and women, while equipping delegates with sustainable tools and strategies for positive change.
Ruth focused on six interconnected facets of wellbeing designed by the National Wellness Institute: intellectual, occupational, emotional, social, physical and spiritual. You can read more about any of these facets of wellness on The Banyans blog.
Counter-intuitive effects of alcohol on sleep and mood
“Alcohol is a depressant, so can exacerbate various mental health concerns such as depression or anxiety,” Ruth elaborates. “This is often the opposite to why we consume it, which is relieve stress.”
Alcohol can also contribute to significant sleep disruptions. “This can decrease our day time energy and be partly responsible for several follow-on consequences.” Peter Hayton, the senior psychologist at The Banyans expands on six unexpected effects of a poor sleep routine here.
While the media encourages women to use alcohol to self-medicate, it ends up doing more harm to our health.
Ruth pointed to social media, and the irony that while the media encourages women to use alcohol to self-medicate, it ends up doing more harm to our health.
Are you at risk of alcohol addiction or dependency?
“At The Banyans, we see many men and women with a psychological or emotional reliance on alcohol,” she says. “Many of these individuals began this pattern of behaviour by turning to alcohol as a stress management tool.” She says that many women she speaks to often chose wine.
The Banyans has created a short seven question quiz that can help you identify whether you may be at risk of alcohol misuse. If you answer ‘yes’ to three or more of these simple questions, it may be worth reconsidering your relationship with alcohol.
The Banyans advocates for prevention
“It’s so important to get the message out, and simply share some of the facts around women’s health,” said Ruth. “By shining a light on simple strategies to start to address areas of wellbeing, we are providing prevention opportunities before a crisis develops for an individual.”
With years of expertise treating women of all ages for mental health, alcohol misuse, and chronic stress or burnout, the team at The Banyans reiterate the age old proverb that prevention is better than cure.
Would you be interested in having a senior team member from The Banyans present a keynote presentation or seminar at your next event?