A recent study by the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions reports that Americans are drinking more alcohol than ever. The highest increase in drinking has been among women, minorities, and older people. Over the last 10 years, the alcohol industry has increased their focus on targeting their advertising to women.
I am a woman in long-term recovery who was once addicted to partying, binge-drinking, and prescription pills. I started my drinking in college and didn’t see anything wrong with passing out at the end of the night. All of my friends were drinking heavily and every event I went to revolved around drinking.
As a sober woman – I am highly aware of how the alcohol industry is targeting women. From mommy drinking memes to ‘Rose all day’ shirts – the message to drink is constant. We are sold a lie that we need alcohol to function. We are told that it’s normal to drink copious amounts of wine at our mommy get togethers. Even our Yoga studios are putting on classes that promote drinking. We lie to ourselves and say “we deserve this.” We don’t deserve alcohol. We deserve to feel safe and loved.
3 Alcohol Addiction Facts You Can’t Ignore
1. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Over 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes annually. In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for over 31 percent of overall driving fatalities.
2. Alcohol is ethanol – it is a poison. Alcohol is the common term for ethanol or ethyl alcohol, a chemical substance found in beer, wine, liquor, and some medicines, mouthwashes, and household products. Ethanol is a colorless volatile flammable liquid which is produced by the natural fermentation of sugars. The largest single use of ethanol is as an engine fuel and fuel additive. When you drink alcohol, you are drinking gasoline.
3. The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. In other words, alcohol use can cause cancer. The more alcohol a person drinks – particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time – the higher their risk of developing an alcohol associated cancer.
I, as a woman, never knew these statistics or this information before sobriety. I had no idea how dangerous drinking was to my health. I didn’t know I was drinking grape flavored gasoline or that the alcohol industry viewed me as an emerging market. Pre-sobriety, I viewed drinking as glamorous and fun. I never looked at alcohol as a drug. Binge drinking was my norm.
Today, as a sober woman, I hope to increase awareness about the truth of alcohol. I want more women to pay attention to the messages we are being sold about alcohol. In reframing my thoughts around alcohol, I have discovered that I don’t need or deserve a drink – I deserve sobriety. I deserve life.
Alcohol Addiction Rehab for Women at Footprints Beachside Recovery
At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we offer private, separate living arrangements for women to help ensure a more personal experience that is specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of our female clients. Learn more about our gender-specific alcohol addiction treatment program for women, and start your journey to recovery today.
This piece was contributed to our blog by Lara Frazier.