Why She Drinks – My Take

why women drinkI got two emails concerning the Wall Street Journal’s article, Why She Drinks: Women and Alcohol AbuseActually the second was an excerpt of the article without any credits posted on a private forum I belong to – it’s been taken down.

I’m never quite sure what to make of the rediscovery that one segment or another of our population drinks. In this case it seems that after a fairly concerted marketing effort women are drinking more wine. Marketing works.

I’ll admit to being slightly surprised at the mention of two facebook pages (which have websites listed on them) about mom’s drinking wine as a way to escape, but only because I’m so far away from both drinking and raising kids it simply hadn’t occurred to me to look for such things.

I was startled by the article’s unreferenced  assertion that:

Women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol’s toxic effects. Their bodies have more fat, which retains alcohol, and less water, which dilutes it, so women drinking the same amount as men their size and weight become intoxicated more quickly.

Which is, I suppose not too far from my thinking it was harder for women to drink more than men because we tend to be smaller. That didn’t stop me from getting drunk.

Why I drank

I’d been sober several years before I really got that the reason I drank was to change my perception of myself and my reality. I didn’t really like the taste of scotch, or throwing up on pool tables, or having horrid hungover mornings over and over again. I didn’t like myself and drinking was the quickest way I’ve ever found to change that perception.

Does that mean that every woman or every person with poor self-worth will, if they drink, become an alcoholic. I don’t think so. There’s something else, some X factor that made my drinking different from the way most people drink. It may indeed be that my brain chemistry is slightly different and it might be I inherited that tendency; I certainly come from a long line of alcoholics.

The Author and AA

The article eventually gets to the story of a woman who started attending AA after deciding hiding her drinking wasn’t working.

The rest of the article is really a description of the author’s view of the problems in AA – I felt tricked actually, going from women drinking to questionable ‘facts’ about AA and who might be going to meetings.

The woman apparently did stop drinking entirely after spending over $8,000 on a treatment program aimed at, well, helping her either moderate or stop drinking.

Blatant Self-Promo?

I finally googled the author. It turns out she’s written a book due to be released tomorrow. It’s supposed to be aimed at helping women gain control of their drinking.

Now the whole article makes sense to me.

It’s a fabulous piece of book promotion. And it’s working – currently 128 on Amazon’s Best Seller list- the day before it’s released… I’m green with envy.

How it landed as a Wall Street Journal Saturday Essay just points out how poor traditional journalism and fact checking has become. Or maybe I misunderstand the purpose of the Saturday Essay.

Whatever, since the author is touting a book at helping women moderate their drinking or “gain control of” I shouldn’t expect much – I just wish I’d understood the purpose of the article before I even started reading.

What’s your take? What do you think of articles like this? Let’s talk about it in comments.

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