Women Are Drinking More Than Ever Before, According to Study (and Facebook Status Updates)

Wine, the most delicious coping mechanism to be found.

As if women didn’t already have enough on their plates, now we need to worry about how much we’re putting in our cups, too?

Yes, actually, we do…

According to the findings of a study just published in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, people born after 1945 are more likely to binge drink and develop alcohol-related disorders than their predecessors. Women, especially, have upped their drinking stats, getting closer to the average rate of binge-drinking men.

Addiction therapist, Paul Leslie Hokemeyer, in an interview with WebMD, explained why he thinks women are drinking more in the post-WWII era:

“After World War II, the role of women changed. More women entered the work force, but they were also expected to be good mothers and wives. [Some women] latched hold of alcohol as a coping mechanism because it is readily available and socially acceptable.”

The online community seems especially vocal about their love of alcohol. Anyone on Twitter between 7 and 10pm can see a myriad of pithy tweets from moms calling for “More wine, please!” The lighthearted tweets belie a more serious issue, however, indicating an overarching acceptance that alcohol is the best way to unwind after the hectic after-school / dinner / bedtime period of the day.

The study deals with binge-drinking, which is defined as having more than three drinks in a row. It is not a leap to wonder how this also affects alcoholism rates in women. Alcoholism is much more difficult to define, but is characterized by an increased tolerance of and physical dependence on alcohol brought about by sustained drinking of alcohol over an extended period of time. For women, anything over one drink a day is considered to be more than “moderate.”

A recent spate of women online talking openly about their alcoholism speaks to the pervasiveness of the issue. Picking up on what looks alarmingly like a trend, Redbook magazine recently posted an article titled “Mommy Is an Alcoholic” about popular bloggers who have dealt with their alcoholism publicly via their blogs and other social media outlets.

Stephanie Wilder Taylor, of “Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay” and other alcohol-tinged publications-fame, is a champion in the mom-blogger-as-reformed-drinker category. She announced on her blog two years ago that she was quitting drinking. With the words, “I drink too much. I quit on Friday.”, Taylor helped drop the veil on the issue of alcoholism and motherhood and opening up other women to the idea that maybe they ought to think about just how much they need their nightly dose of wine. She noted at the time on drinking, “It was a way to express that we’re still fun people.”

Women develop long-term complications of alcohol addiction more quickly than men and have a higher mortality rate from alcoholism. Alcohol-related complications include higher rates of breast cancer, brain, heart, and liver damage, alcohol poisoning, and becoming the victim of violence.

All of which are enough to give one pause and think twice before uncorking that nightly bottle of pinot grigio.  Perhaps it’s time to start looking into exotic teas as an unwinding agent instead?

Photo credit:© Knut Wiarda –
Credit:Drinking Among Women is Up: Study (Huffington Post)

You can see Stephanie Wilder Tayler discussing “The Warning Signs of Moms Who Drink Too Much” on Momversation here.

Read more from Amy Windsor:
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Don’t miss Babble’s special issue: “Drinking While Pregnant

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