Long a central element of French, Italian, Spanish, and many other cultures, wine has come to be considered an indispensable accompaniment to a good meal in countless places across the globe. At the same time, however, wine has a darker side, being used by many in ways that are no different from other drugs. When consumed in moderation, wine has cultural, social, and even health benefits. But when used in excess as a form of self-medication to escape feelings of anxiety, stress or depression, or simply to escape reality, it can have a profoundly negative effect on lives as surely as any other addictive drug.
Women and wine drinking
While anyone can develop a drinking problem, there is no doubt that women are at greater risk than men. Women account for as much as 83% of all consumer purchases. and 43% of women name it as their favorite drink compared to only 15% of men.
Understandably, therefore, when women are looking for relief after a stressful day at the office, dealing with demanding children, or a combination of both, a glass of wine is often their first port of call. Though wine has a much higher alcohol content than beer, it goes down more smoothly and one glass can easily become a bottle (typically 5 glasses) or more. A significant minority of women have experienced something similar to what Emma Gray records in the Huffington post:
A few months ago on a Sunday I woke up feeling incredibly anxious for no particular reason. As morning turned to afternoon and my entire body was still in overdrive, I made my way to the roof of my building with a neighbor and proceeded to drink a half a bottle of my favorite white wine. It was only after I stood up and went back to my apartment in the early evening that I realized I was drunk. There was absolutely nothing glamorous or relaxing about stumbling into bed and passing out at 8 p.m., only to wake up Monday morning with a pounding headache. I know I’m not the only one of my friends who has had an experience like this.
The dangers of women drinking “too much”
Excessive use of any intoxicant can be problematic. It can lead to risky behavior, damage relationships, and make it difficult to live up to roles and responsibilities. Alcohol is unusual, however, in that it can initially lift a person’s mood, but then within the span of only an hour or two depending on the speed and amount of drinking, one’s mood can turn dark. Because good wine is a often viewed as a connoisseur beverage, it can be easy to drink more than you intend to and end up get more drunk than you may have bargained for.
Help for problem drinkers in Manhattan and Princeton
The Washton Group is a private practice specializing in the treatment of alcohol and drug problems in high functioning men and women. We offer personalized help for people who want to learn how to moderate their drinking within safer levels and those who want to stop drinking completely. Contact us today to schedule your private consultation.