ST. LOUIS — “Women love wine.”
You’ve heard it so many times that it sounds like fact, right? Well that very idea is getting some push-back — especially in light of recent data on women and alcohol use.
A national study uncovered alcohol-related deaths among women are up more than 50% over the last 20 years.
As more and more women are making alcohol part of their daily routine, what does this mean for our health? And what’s the difference between an innocent habit — and a bigger problem?
“I found lots of love for sparkling water and lime,” said Danielle Smith.
Smith’s drink of choice pairs well with the bubbliness she says she’s gotten back. Danielle Smith is a writer, a speaker, a mother — and, she knows now, an alcoholic.
“Sometimes I order it in a wine glass so that I feel like I can still sit at the big kids’ table,” she said with a laugh.
Now that she’s six months sober, though, “I have my life back.”
“I could pour myself a glass of wine on a Thursday night while I was making dinner. Not even finish it. Then I hit my early 40s, and there were some traumatic events that happened in my life,” she said. “I found myself doing this. ‘Oh my gosh, I just need a glass of wine to deal with it.’”
She started pouring wine into a coffee cup, back-timing her drinks so she’d be OK to drive her kids — shopping at different grocery stores.
She told herself a lot of things that might sound familiar.
“You deserve it.”
“One more won’t hurt.”
“It’s been a long day.”
“It’s girl’s night!”
“It’s how to feel like one of the guys.”
“You’re more fun this way.”
But these messages — to ourselves, and from the companies trying to sell women more alcohol — have consequences, too.
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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the FASD Prevention Conversation Project, its stakeholders or funders.