60 different medical conditions can be attributed to alcohol misuse. For example, 3 glasses of wine a night increases the risk of breast cancer by 40-50%.
52% of children now living with a harmful or hazardous drinker. 30% binge, 22% dependent.
The current available facts are the tip of the iceberg. Professor Gilmore, points out, these are hidden drinkers, and because of that there is little data apart from the consequences that are now presenting. None of the women I treat will be honest to mainstream agencies or GPs, because of fear, guilt, shame. My local surgery even calls them niche drinkers, which is rather a quaint attitude considering the actual size of the problem. They just want empathy and support along with a non-judgemental way of breaking the dreadful cycle they are now in. Many are not alcoholic yet, just habitual or dependent, and they want control back. We must de-stigmatize this. Openness has to be key, and wellness must be celebrated not scorned just as it is with giving up smoking. Attitudes have to change, among professionals and employers. The majority see this as a lifestyle choice or terrible weakness that is far from the case, being out of control was never a lifestyle choice.
We have a successful, 89% recovery rate after six months. Empathy and a real understanding is the only way for good outcomes. No-one feels vulnerable with me, nor do they have to beat themselves up for the rest of their days for a problem that they once had.
There is plenty of help for the disadvantaged, and for those time rich enough for eight week rehab, but not for middle class women, middle aged women, many Mothers. It takes tremendous courage and humility for them to face their problem. They have so much to lose, their drinking is a taboo subject and will remain so unless attitudes do change. Many are able talk online anonymously which is great, and can be a useful tool.
We juggle so much. We wanted equality, for the most part we got it. But we are just not physical able to drink as heavily as men without expecting consequences. The simple, biological fact behind that is that women have more fat than men, who carry more water, hence the dilution of alcohol. It all starts with having a drink to relax. We use it to self-medicate, stress buster. Wine has become social oil. Then a drink to forget, and slowly it isn’t fun anymore. No cup of tea at teatime, a glass 250ml glass of Pinot instead. These women never drink in units, just glasses.
Its legal acceptable and everywhere. Minimum pricing will not affect problem drinkers.
Mother’s drinking usually is more chaotic to the family, without being sexist generally speaking the Mother is the lynchpin. The family suffers all the symptoms of the illness, except for the physical need. I truly hope that we can start to celebrate clarity and moderation with openness and honesty, only then will we start to see a dramatic change.