Alcohol abuse is one of the most common issues we deal with. Whether people come to us via a supervisor’s referral, a family member’s referral, or their own volition, there is one unifying thread: alcohol is taking a tremendous toll, not just in the drinker’s life, but in the lives of all the people around them: family members, work colleagues, and friends. And nothing is harder than when the drinker in crisis is a parent.

Drinking Moms have a particular stigma in society. Alcohol abuse in men is often shrugged off with a nod and a wink, while with women, it is perceived as unladylike and unfeminine. And when motherhood enters the picture, the stigma is intensified. Women face other unique challenges in overcoming addiction, as well. According to a recent Harvard Mental Health newsletter on Addiction in Women, men are more likely to be substance abusers than women, “But in other respects, women face tougher challenges. They tend to progress more quickly from using an addictive substance to dependence (a phenomenon known as telescoping). They also develop medical or social consequences of addiction faster than men, often find it harder to quit using addictive substances, and are more susceptible to relapse. These gender differences can affect treatment.”

Some high profile, celebrity cases are bringing the issue of women and alcoholism to public attention. And this past week, ABC’s 20/20 focused on alcoholic Moms. Several video clips from the series can now be viewed online.
Life for stay-at-home mom goes from Pinot in park to Merlot in morning (video)
Mom looks to rehab after hitting bottom (video)
Drunken moms: the fear of quitting (video)
‘Cocktail Crusader’ falls to earth (video)
Moms face uphill battle to stay sober (video)

Related stories
Mary Karr, alcoholic mother, recalls shame of addiction
Mom kept drinking a secret from loved ones
Children of Alcoholic Mother Open Up
Drinking Mom’s Resource Guide

Alcohol, A Woman’s Health Issue – from the NIAAA
Are Women More Vulnerable to Alcohol’s Effects? – from NIAAA


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