-“Doctor…Got to have my drink before I go to bed…Can’t sleep if I don’t!”
Carol X. is a divorced middle-aged mother of three that looks older than her chronological age due to her longstanding and resilient abuse of alcohol. Paradoxically she had quit her marriage because her husband was a heavy drinker but “the bottle” ( a mendacious and impromptu counselor to her husband that eventually destroyed his social and family life) lingered on, hidden in a top shelf of the kitchen’s cupboard, refusing to leave the hearth.
Like an increasing number of women she can’t relinquish the bad habit that she picked up in her cohabitation with a chronic alcoholic, even after a stay in a detox clinic and joining Alcoholic Anonymous. She is concerned that her teenage daughter might pick it too in college as many women recur to “the bottle” to alleviate their emotional frustration.
A study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that 60% of US women have at least one drink a year; 13% of the latter group have more than seven drinks per week. This level of drinking is above the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”, issued by the HHS department.
Women are more prone to have alcohol related-problems than men because they have a different body composition: less water to disperse the substance. As a result a woman’s body is exposed to much more toxic by-products in her brain, liver, digestive tract, kidney, which can make her sick much faster.
Women are at higher risk of being involved in car accidents and becoming the victims of sexual assault if they drink even a modest amount of alcohol. Even though underage drinking is illegal in all states, there is widespread alcohol abuse in young women, especially in college campuses and schools.
Alcohol does not eradicate depression or all other emotional problems; it just temporarily blunts the sensory input to the brain, which brings a fallacious sense of “well being.” Moreover it does not ease the recalcitrant insomnia of most alcoholics as it enables the first superficial phase of the sleep process but it decreases the critical amount of REM.
-“That’s no good,” I said to Carol. “Let me refer you to a specialized place—”
-“Oh, forget it,” she told me, “it doesn’t work for me…”
-“First of all, you’ve got to raise your self-esteem,” I shot back. “These folks will start loving you until you can you can do it on your own… Don’t you care about your kids?”
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.