A recovering alcoholic herself, it has been more a decade since the award-winning journalist-author Ann Dowsett Johnston, realized that she had a drinking problem. Even after the realization set in, it took “two family members and a sweetheart” to confront her and get her to join rehab.
According to Ann, “Alcoholism is marked by denial and progression.” She says that while her dependency progressed quickly, she denied it until she couldn’t. In her 50s at the time, Johnston fell into deep depression and used alcohol to self-medicate and became the “poster girl for the modern alcoholic” owing to her high-functioning professional status.
Having gone through the drinking problem, and consequently the rehab and sobriety, Johnston understood the connection between women and alcohol better. It was after realizing that she was medicating with alcohol that she wrote the book titled “Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol” in which she discusses not only her personal story of recovery, but also examines the rise in risky drinking among girls and women.
Marketing and drinking in women
Johnston feels that marketing has a huge role to play in the rising instances of drinking among women. According to her, while traditional marketing focused on helping the women keep up with men, recent trends seem to be shifting people’s behavior, manipulating women to consider drinking as fun rather than a substance that can be harmful.
The author further emphasized that women are at a greater risk than men of suffering from the side effects of excessive drinking given their body’s chemistry and the way their body reacts to alcohol, and are at a higher risk of dying from cognitive defects, liver diseases, brain damage and heart damage.
While writing her book, Johnston discovered that she was not alone in her experience with alcohol. The richer the country, the narrower the gender gap was on drinking. As per Johnston, women nowadays want to do just about everything that men are doing and feel that they have earned a drink to relax, after a hard day at work. She feels that while men drink to get social and heighten the positive feelings, most women drink to drive away the negative feelings – loneliness, anxiety or depression.
Consequences of alcohol marketing
As per Dr. Sheri Fandrey, Knowledge Exchange Lead at Addictions Foundation Manitoba, marketing of alcohol is also viewed by the younger generation as a drink being used as a coping mechanism by their mothers.
According to her, the children get influenced into thinking that their mothers find it difficult to cope unless she has had her drinks. She also stressed on the fact that media is using women’s insecurities to not only market alcohol but many other products and in a way is “shifting people’s behavior.” As per Fandrey, there has also been an increase in risky drinking behavior among women and girls.
Path to sobriety
If you know someone who is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, please do not hesitate to give a call to the Alcohol Addiction Get Help, a 24/7 alcohol addiction helpline. Our experts can help you get connected to an addiction treatment specialist and assist you in locating the best treatment programs, based on your needs.
To find out the reputed alcohol addiction treatment centers near you, call at our alcohol addiction treatment helpline number (866) 281-3014. Alternatively, you can also chat online to let us help you in your journey to sobriety.