Women and Alcohol: You want to know about my drinking? I lost my friends, my children, my mind. I did not want to be.

In a stunning series, Ann Dowsett Johnston reports that women are driving an unprecedented surge in alcohol consumption. How close to the limit are you?

It’s 11 a.m. on a radiant morning in the Studio Café, a picture-perfect moment in the signature room of Toronto’s Four Season’s Hotel. Bright wedges of sunlight illuminate dozens of polished glass tables. The room is virtually empty. By noon, the café, perched high above Yorkville, will be full. But for now, there is just a handful of twosomes: Belinda Stronach deep in conversation with a grey-haired gentleman, a well- known film producer huddled with an actress in a corner. People who mean business.

My guest is no exception. “You want to know about my drinking? I lost my friends, my children, my mind. I did not want to be.”

But for her clear-eyed beauty and a stunning turquoise necklace, Beata Klimek is an undistinguished presence. To me, however, this 46-year-old is remarkable: a woman willing to tell her story with unflinching candour, name included. A mother of two, comfortable sharing the details of her serious alcohol abuse, her recovery and her life in the aftermath. (Excerpt taken from Women and Alcohol).

Take a read of Ann Dowsett Johnston’s series ‘Women and Alcohol: A Special Report’.

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