NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Troubling new statistics reveal that more women are partaking in risky drinking habits. 

Stacey Bridges dealt with alcohol and substance abuse during the early stages of her teen to adult life.

“Every time I tried to remove myself from those situations, I found another situation that got me access to something else, and so it just kind of shifted and changed,” Bridges said.

She is one of millions of American women in the same spot.

What was once a 3 to 1 ratio for risky drinking habits in men versus women is now closer to 1 to 1, according to new research from the National Institute on Abuse and Alcoholism.

“Addiction doesn't stop, it just gets worse — and not treated it just gets progressive and it gets worse and worse and worse,” Bridges said.

Stacy now lives a sober life. She says for her, alcohol allowed her to suppress things going on.

She says many women have multiple roles to fulfill and that can play a factor in some over-indulging.

“We serve often as mothers, we served in the pandemic as teachers, as childcare providers, we're employees, and whether or not someone is telling us externally, these are the roles we have to play,” she said.

In addition to more roles, Dr. Kristopher Kast, assistant professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, says alcohol is being used as a coping mechanism for women even during the pandemic. 

“There is a disproportionate burden on women in our country — traumatic experiences, sexual violence, and a lot of new stresses that are disproportionately felt by half of our population,” Kast said. “I know from our perspective in the hospital we've definitely seen a rise in individuals being admitted to the general medical hospital with more severe consequences of their alcohol use than what we would normally expect and at a young age.”

Despite the statistics, Stacy says there are resources, like Cumberland Heights, for women who need to deal with alcoholism.

“I always encourage women to seek treatment because there are options and there are things that we can do, and we don't have to suffer alone.”

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