Why Do Bisexual Women Drink So Much?

Drinking and substance-use are wide-spread in the LGBTQ+ community. The higher rates are due to queer people using drugs to cope with homophobia and discrimination as well as the relative lack of sober, queer spaces. Some of the most prominent queer spaces are gay bars or clubs, and Pride events are often sponsored by alcohol companies who show off their support through rainbow-colored vodka and beer bottles. There’s growing attention to address alcohol-abuse in queer communities but there is still a long way to go, especially when it comes to bisexual women.

Promotional event by Smirnoff

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), bisexual women are more likely than any other group to report recent binge drinking. This is a stark finding when considering that men, both gay and straight, are much more likely to drink than women. While the gender gap has decreased, straight women are still much less likely to binge drink than men are.

Percent Reporting binge drinking in past month according to NSDUH 2018.

So why are bisexual women out drinking everyone? Unfortunately, there has not been much research on the subject since research on sexual minority health tend to group bisexuals with other queer people or with straight people if they’re in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. However, the few studies on this topic suggest that this tendency to forget about bisexuals or group them with other sexualities is part of the problem. This tendency is called bi-erasure or bi-invisibility, and it’s present in research, media, and personal lives.  Bi-erasure often takes the form of assuming that bisexuality doesn’t exist, is a phrase, or shouldn’t matter if someone is in a relationship. Other forms of bisexual-specific discrimination include assuming that bisexuals are promiscuous or will leave their partner for someone of a different gender. Many bisexuals report bi-erasure and discrimination from both heterosexuals and the gay community. 

Meme about bi-erasure

The double discrimination of dealing with general homophobia as well as bisexual-specific discrimination is a major reason why bisexual health disparities are so large. Feeling validated about who you are is important, and bisexuals who do have support in their lives show lower rates of substance use and better mental health. We need a society where all people can feel supported in their sexuality. If we want to stop LBGTQ+ health disparities then we need:

  • Legislation that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender presentation. Georgia still allows jobs to fire someone because of their sexuality.
  • Better media representation – especially for bisexuals who are underrepresented and often shown in stereotypical roles.
  • More sober queer-affirming spaces.
  • More research on LGBTQ+ health disparities that separately examine bisexual health disparities. 
  • Queer affirming counseling and substance-abuse treatment. While there are a growing number of guidelines, workshops, and classes on being an LGBTQ+ affirming counselor, many queer people still report sub-par experiences with mental health treatment. This is likely exacerbated in religious-based substance-abuse treatment facilities.

Until we address these issues. LBQTQ+ people, especially bisexual women, will continue to suffer. 


What Can We Expect?

According to Barefoot Contessa food mogul Ina Garten, “It’s always cocktail hour in a crisis!”, as she consumes her super-sized cosmos and posting on Instagram. [1]

Ladies and gentlemen, we are definitely experiencing a crisis now, however, is it coronavirus, alcohol consumption, or a mixture of both? Since this coronavirus pandemic began, there has been a great increase in alcohol sales and consumption in this time of self-quarantine and the provided stay-at-home orders. Alcohol has been the go to item during this pandemic as most people have switched to working at home, and finding that they can drink at the end of their work day, and not have to worry about catching an uber ride home and waking up early to journey to work the next day. Drinking during the day now does not seem as inappropriate as it did to most people when their schedules were so rigid and tight.  In lieu of this pandemic, alcohol sales have jumped from 25 to 55%, and this seems to be attributed to people wanting to take this opportunity to relax and enjoy their time at home, however, it can also be seen as a factor of stress that some people are under due to the toll of the virus on their daily lives. [1] Those that never used to drink in the past, have started seeing a new pattern where they now have either three to four beers or glasses of wine a day to pass time or to drown their stressors out. Will people keep up this habit even when the pandemic is over? Will working from home become something that most companies realize can be done permanently, therefore allowing people to drink more? This is what we as the general public have to worry about when it comes to asking the question, “What’s next?”

While we know and understand that heavy and binge drinking are dangerous for our health, will the effects of the quarantine lead people to struggle with alcohol use disorders that will outlast the pandemic’s timeline and become destructive in the future?  According to Dr. Sarah Wakeman, an addiction doctor in Boston, “I expect that we’re going to see pretty significant increases in what I call unhealthy alcohol use, which means drinking above recommended limits, however, I would see this as a risk more in people who are already drinking and then their alcohol use escalates” [2] 

There are multiple examples of quarantine leading people towards  path of alcohol use and abuse during this time of the pandemic, and most can see that it was a problem that they did not have in the past, but could see this problem being exacerbated, and leading them to having a problem that lasts even longer than quarantine. In an article by Maria Cramer, several women were interviewed, talking about their experiences with alcohol while in quarantine as a result of the seemingly unending pandemic. These women seem to have taken to alcohol to fill their time during isolation, however, were able to catch themselves on the way to a detrimental path of alcohol abuse. One of the interviewees is a novelist in England who states that she had been thinking about cutting back on her alcohol intake before the pandemic began, but once the stay-at-home orders were put in place she began to have three to four drinks a night, increasing her alcohol use and leading her down a path to alcohol abuse. She then noticed her behavior and began on a sobriety journey. An opera singer in Philadelphia expressed that she normally drinks wine but due to isolation has been experimenting with cocktail recipes and gin. She notes that drinking has been a salve during this difficult time, and also notes that since nothing else is under her control, the least she can do is make a cocktail. [2] This is a very serious issue in which we must figure out how to reach the people who feel as if the rest of the world is collapsing and they cannot do anything else but drink to curb their feelings.

In this time of need, influence and positive media outlets are most definitely the key to be able to help all of those who have been seriously affected by this pandemic and have felt the need to indulge in excessive alcohol use. Through supportive commercials and limited alcoholic ads, providing helpful and healthy tips that do not require alcohol can also be very helpful in our fight to reduce the prevalence of those who have developed alcohol use patterns during this pandemic and are in danger of keeping these patterns long term. Another suggestion in this time of need would be to possibly limit how much alcohol people are purchasing at a time, and although it does not stop them from coming back and purchasing more, it could help in allowing them to be able to think about the choices that they are making and also help them to understand that these provisions were put into place for their health and well-being. Participating in these regulations, while also monitoring how often and how often one is drinking can help to lessen the number of people who might be affected by this pandemic through alcoholic use.

It is important that we as public health advocates express to the public the importance of protecting themselves from alcoholic use both during this pandemic and for after the pandemic has subsided as well. Alcoholic use and abuse can lead to several different health factors that can affect the quality of one’s life through several health issues and can weaken one’s immune system enough to where they could become more susceptible to COVID-19. Other health issues that can occur are high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems, as well as damage to the heart muscles which can affect women at higher rates, at lower alcohol levels, as well as cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, esophagus, colon, and breast which are higher in women as well. [3] It is important to be able to get this situation under control now and while we are in quarantine so that we do not have additional health issues to worry about in the long run once the pandemic is over, due to alcohol use and abuse. Hopefully, once this is all over, we will all come out happy and healthy and ready to adapt to the new norm.

Stay safe and thank you for reading!



  1. Dewey, C. (2020, April 27). ‘Quarantinis’ and beer chugs: Is the pandemic driving us to drink? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/27/coronavirus-pandemic-drinking-alcohol
  2. Cramer, M. (2020, May 26). Could All Those ‘Quarantinis’ Lead to Drinking Problems? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/health/coronavirus-alcohol-addiction.html
  3. Polakovic, G. (2020, April 15). Pandemic drives alcohol sales – and raises concerns about substance abuse. Retrieved from https://news.usc.edu/168549/covid-19-alcohol-sales-abuse-stress-relapse-usc-experts/

“The future is uncertain but the end is always near.” –Jim Morrison

womens reflectionThis quote can be interpreted in many different ways. However, I always use this quote to guide me through a goal whenever I’m insecure of my ability to accomplish it. The end can mean one of two things: success or failure. When it comes to the goal of understanding why women are drinking more and engaging more on risky drinking behavior, I can only hope for success. The end outcome of leaving this growing problem untreated could mean life or death for many women all around the globe.

Thankfully, more research is being done throughout the globe to understand women’s motivations and attitudes towards drinking. A publication posted on the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) gives an overview of different past, ongoing, and future research studies with different aims all related to reducing alcohol consumption in women. This publication mentions the International Research Group on Gender and Alcohol (IRGGA) which was formed in 1993, which includes more than 100 researchers in 35 countries. This research group had to develop standard reporting units for alcohol consumptions since countries had different ways of measuring data, and once that task was completed, different research between countries was performed.

The most important research mentioned in this published article is The GENACIS Project, a study where than 40 different countries participated, across all continents except Antarctica. This project aimed to understand how gender and culture affected alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among men and women. The study found that biological differences between men and women were not enough to explain why men drink more alcohol or why women are more vulnerable to effects from alcohol. However, cultural differences explained more of these concepts, because different countries would have vastly different male to female ratios between abstainers, current users, and binge- or heavy-drinkers. The study also found that in Europe and North America, drinking among women declines with age, but for other countries of the world, this pattern was not observed. Women either did not change their drinking habits, or in some countries, they might drink more with age. More interesting results are on the published study, and I would strongly suggest for you all to read it by clicking on the link.

research clip artAdditionally, the project suggests multiple intervention frameworks that could be used, based on the results. Considering that drinking among women does not decline in age for most countries, attention and services should be provided for women of middle-age and older. Most policies and interventions tend to focus on youth drinking, and this is concerning because drinking presents higher risks for women at older ages. Another intervention method should focus on those with higher risk to consume and use alcohol, which include women who cohabit, highly-educated women in lower-income countries, and women who do not have meaningful social roles. Beyond interventions, follow-up surveys are to be conducted in 4 of the participating GENACIS countries, which will provide more future direction on how to intervene the problem. Future research needs to be performed to examine how sexuality affects drinking globally, as such studies have been done in the United States, but not in many other countries.

Another study that will be useful for the future is one conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the HealthyWomen organization. These organizations conducted a survey that included the responses of 1,097 women and it asked a variety of questions. However, the part I was most interested in was the responses to the attitude these women had about drinking. 40% of the women reported at-risk drinking, 24% binge drink, and 16% drink heavily. Only 20% of the women agreed that addiction is under people’s control, yet 55% of these women said they would feel embarrassed if they had a drinking problem. Most importantly, 53% of the women said that women are viewed more negatively than men when it becomes to drinking problems. This suggests that women are scared of the stigma, and this may be preventing more women from getting the help they need to prevent or overcome addiction. This means that more work needs to be done to teach women the benefits of getting help versus allowing alcohol to take over their lives. More work also needs to be done to understand this stigma. Thankfully, public health organizations like the CDC have implementation guides for screening risky alcohol use and for interventions that medical providers and public health officials can use. Hopefully, these implementation guides will be used and adapted globally to reduce the impact of alcohol in male and female health.

Hopefully, all the research completed and ongoing will be used properly to intervene on the narrowing gap between men and women on alcohol consumption. I have hope that the future will not look as grim as it is looking now.

The “New Normal”

A lot has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay at home orders were issued, stocks declined, businesses were forced to close, hospitals were running out of PPE, and even essential supplies like toilet paper were getting sold out. People were and still are, also encouraged to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. A lot of people are wondering “when will things just go back to normal?”. Though, what is normal? Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church talked about how when individuals are put in situations that they are unfamiliar with, they tend to go back to what they know. To some, that may just cause more harm than good. Hopefully, the outcomes post-pandemic are more positive than the circumstances prior to the pandemic.

Source: https://www.amazon.com/RECTANGULAR-REAL-GLASS-BRIGHT-LIGHT/dp/B015QO7Z7U

Large amounts of money were given to students, those who filed for unemployment, small businesses, and more via the CARES Act. It makes people wonder what actions could have been done by the government previously to stop other issues, especially the issues affecting women. The gender pay gap, treatment gap, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDS), depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse are just a few things that heavily affects women [4]. 

Source: https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/almost-alcoholic.htm

Women that are already faced with such hardships had to make difficult transitions to discover a reasonable “new normal” during the pandemic. The transition post-pandemic may not make things any easier. With jobs opening back up while schools and daycares remain closed, how are these women coping with such difficult situations? Treatment centers and clinics are starting to allow in-person appointments. Many clinics are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of patients and hospital staff. Gwinnett Clinic is one place that is taking necessary precautions like enforcing a 3 step screening process and large waiting rooms for social distancing [1]. Though, with the high demand and the fear that some women have, there is a decreased chance of women being able to get the proper treatment that they need. This can lead to women trying to self medicate themselves with the use of alcohol. There are many negative effects associated with alcohol as a stress mechanism in response to COVID-19. Alcohol abuse is one negative outcome that could occur. Especially for women who had previous occurrences of alcohol abuse. 

We previously discussed alcohol abuse but what about recovery? Recovery can be different for every person. Though, it is important that you take time to not only heal physically but also mentally. Psychiatrists anticipate an increase in mental health needs due to COVID-19 [2]. Some of those needs even relate to alcohol-related issues. Also, physically, detox from alcohol may take only 4-5 days[3]. Though, liver damage can take years to repair or can even be irreversible. There are a few resources available to help women dealing with these types of issues. Amatus Recovery Centers is a good place that provides treatment to overcome addiction. “Women are less likely than men to seek professional help for addiction”[5]. So their Women’s Rehab Center provides services and plans specially focused around the needs of women.

Source: https://amatus-health.business.site

Overall, take these last moments in quarantine to reflect on what you learned about yourself. We may not know what’s exactly next for us or what our new normal will look like. Though, aim to surround yourself with positivity by keeping in mind what works best for you. Don’t revert back to old negative habits that just end up holding you back. Whether its seeking treatment, getting into a support group, or picking up a new hobby, find something to incorporate into your new normal that will transform you into a better you.


  1. Gwinnett Clinic. CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Updates: Gwinnett Clinic – Atlanta, Georgia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2020 from https://www.gwinnettclinic.com/coronavirus/
  2. Hlavinka, E. (2020, March 24). Psychiatrists Anticipate Mental Health Needs With COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85576
  3. Nall, R. (2019, June 10). How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? Timeline and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/how-long-does-it-take-to-detox-from-alcohol
  4. National Institutes of Health (2016). What health issues or conditions affect women differently than men? Retrieved May 26, 2020 from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/womenshealth/conditioninfo/howconditionsaffect 
  5. Women’s Rehab Center: Women’s Addiction Treatment Programs. (2020, May 26). Retrieved from https://www.amatusrecoverycenters.com/addiction-treatment-center-programs/womens-rehab-center-program/

Is Family Responsibility a Crucial Barrier to Accessing Alcohol Abuse Treatment ?

  Alcohol addiction is one of the leading causes of illness, disability, and premature death in the U.S. Almost 30% of U.S. citizens will suffer alcohol abuse problems in their lives but only one in five people will access any form of treatment (1).Thus, only about  20% of the individuals who need substance abuse treatment can access it (4).

Alcohol abuse is characterized by a low incidence of affected drinkers seeking treatment, especially when they are women  (3). Women face several specific barriers to accessing treatment, particularly concerning stigma, child care and financial issues.


Several studies have evidenced gender differences in the type, strength, and number of barriers people encounter while considering and attempting to access treatment. For example, in 2005, an article demonstrated that women are more likely than men to experience economic barriers while seeking treatment because they may be less educated and earn lower wages(4) . Additionally, women are more likely to have more trouble finding time to attend therapy due to family responsibilities and transportation issues. Furthermore, women may lack the support of family and friends to enter treatment, so they face more discrimination and stigma for their addictions  (4). While men and women face discrimination associated with seeking treatment, women are more susceptible to feeling stigmatized (6).

Identifying and resolving common barriers to women accessing treatment is essential since they experience more health-related consequences of alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems which interfere more with the functioning in different areas of life compared to men  (5). However, being responsible for the care of dependent children is one of the primary and most significant barriers for women to access treatment due to the impact this could have on the family nucleus, especially on children. (13).  Previous research has shown that children living with alcoholic parents are at increased risk for anxiety disorders, depression, problems with cognitive and verbal skills, and parental abuse or neglect. Additionally, they are four times more likely than other children to develop alcohol use disorder symptoms (12). 

Thus, the concurrence of alcohol abuse and parenting should be recognized as a significant public health problem that has to be evaluated more because a mother suffering from substance abuse significantly affects the well-being of children and their families (12).

 The National Survey on Drug Use and Health data has estimated that approximately 7.5 million children have lived in households with at least one parent who has an alcohol use disorder. Among children with single mothers, 1.1 million children have lived with a mother who has an alcohol use disorder (12).



Because there are millions of children living with an alcohol-abused mother, removing barriers is essential for mothers to seek treatment to lessen the impact on families, especially on children. Unfortunately, several other studies have mentioned that the responsibility of caring for children is still considered a substantial and primary barrier to seeking treatment, especially among women  (8). In fact, a 2015 survey showed that 73.3% of women responded that they were afraid to ask for help and lose their children due to the possibility of being identified as addicts (10).

Source :https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/with-children

The survey shows that fear of losing custody of their children is still a critical barrier for mothers seeking treatment.Sadly, very little has been done to remove this barrier, as the Child Welfare Workers report shows that more and more children with parents who have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder receive care outside the home (foster care). This chart demonstrates that substance abuse among parents is a worrying factor that has contributed to the increase in the relocation of children in foster care from 18% to over 35% in the past 16 years (12).


This graph indicates that every year more women who suffer from substance disorders are losing custody of their children. The lack of government interest in increasing treatment programs with child care services translates into an increasing number of children entering the foster care system. This problem perpetuates the barrier of accessing adequate treatment and affects recovery time, which could be significantly improved if mothers could have the custody of their children. In fact, the “Substance Abuse Treatment Journal” found that in-patient treatment programs, designed for mothers with substance addiction and their children, had positive results. The study evaluated a residential drug rehabilitation program for around 40 women and their children. The program addressed issues of addiction and parenting among women. When women completed the treatment, the severity of their addiction reduced, they scored better on parental stress levels, and their children scored better on behavioral and emotional functioning. The study concluded that “residential treatment has great benefits for mothers and their children,” an outlook that is incredibly promising and optimistic for a mother who has suffered from alcohol use disorders  (14). Thus, many studies have corroborated that women whose children stayed with them in specialized rehabilitation programs have had a better retention rate and results (2).

Another study demonstrated the importance of the mother-child connection for women starting and staying in the rehabilitation program. The study surveyed 1,500 people who had a history of substance abuse. The survey asked what was their biggest motivation to stop using addictive substances. The women overwhelmingly replied that they were their children. The men mentioned several people, but the percentages were not as significant. (11).


Therefore, it is essential to broaden and innovate the gender-specific programs that primarily address barriers related to parenting issues of woman with substance abuse. The goal of increasing mother-specific treatment programs is to motivate women to start their treatment and improve retention rates, and eventually to improve psychological and health outcomes for themselves and their children. Reintegrating mother and child into the community with better rehabilitation programs will eventually pay off through savings in foster care, emergency room visits, medical and psychiatric care,  income, repeated detoxification, incarcerations, and children’s special education needs. For women with an alcohol use disorder, increasing access to treatment and improving mothers’ roles can positively impact the well-being of women, children, and the society.



2.- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83257/

3.- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630073/

4.- https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/treatment-barriers












No Sip Left Behind: Foster Kids and Alcohol Addiction

The foster care system sees an array of cases where children have been entered because of death, abandonment, and even physical abuse. Did you know that there are approximately 400,000 kids within the United States Foster Care System from 2017 to present-day 2020? Probably not. Terrifyingly enough, another underreported fact is that 38% of all “removed children” were placed in Foster Care because of “Parental Alcohol or Other Drug Use Abuse Issues.” Before the children were rehomed, they faced reality drowned in addiction and neglect. Neglect caused by drug and alcohol abuse can resemble:

• Reduced capacity to respond to a child’s cues and needs

• Difficulties regulating emotions and controlling anger and impulsivity

• Disruptions in healthy parent-child attachment

• Spending limited funds on alcohol and drugs rather than food or other household needs

• Spending time seeking out, manufacturing, or using alcohol or other drugs

• Incarceration, which can result in inadequate or inappropriate supervision for children

A quick solution in a perfect world would be to rehabilitate parents addicted to alcohol and drugs and be reunited with their kids. 

Look outside, the world is far from perfect. 

Once these children enter the system, they can become addicted to the same substances that separated their families. It was reported by NCBI in 2012 that 34% of foster children said drinking alcohol at least once per month. Underage drinking can result in many consequences such as unintentional death and injury associated with driving or engaging in other risky tasks after drinking, homicide and violence, suicide attempts, sexual assault, risky sexual behavior, and vandalism and property damage. Although these detrimental factors, drinking is still a big issue for these children. This is the same demographic that also struggles with mental health disorders. Alcohol is a suppressant meaning that it lowers the part of the brain responsible anxiety. When a subpopulation such as Foster Kids is affected when a multitude of hardships such as frequent home changes, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and facing a high potential for homelessness, addiction is more likely. 

This is heavy stuff, right?

As noted by the NCBI, there’s a strong correlation that childhood trauma breeds addicts. They reported that the most abused substance of individuals with childhood traumas is alcohol. When taking into account the childhood traumas placed on foster children, it is hard to imagine a plan in breaking this cycle of alcoholism.   

But breaking the cycle isn’t impossible. 

Organizations such as the National Association of Children and Addiction are fighting for families and children. On their official website, they noted that their primary purpose is to “Eliminate the adverse impact of alcohol and drug use on children and families and create a world in which no child who struggles because of family addiction will be left unsupported.” Organizations like this are increasing the likelihood of re-bonding families and breaking the cycle of addiction. So, what’s next? We must continue to support families with dependencies, eliminate stigmas around addiction, and implement mental health services for Foster Care children, to fully eradicate foster care and alcohol-induced trauma. 

17-yr-old Pakistani boy to reunite with his family after almost 2 ...


About the children. (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.adoptuskids.org/meet-the-children/children-in-foster-care/about-the-children

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. (n.d.). Child Welfare and Alcohol & Drug Use Statistics. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://ncsacw.samhsa.gov/research/child-welfare-and-treatment-statistics.aspx

Braciszewski, J., & Stout, R. (2012, December 1). Substance Use Among Current and Former Foster Youth: A Systematic Review. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3596821/

Is Alcohol a Depressant? – Depressants. (2020, April 29). Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.addictioncenter.com/alcohol/is-alcohol-a-depressant/

Bonnie, R. (1970, January 01). Consequences of Underage Drinking. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK37591/

Edited by Editorial StaffLast Updated: February 3, 2. (n.d.). Children of Alcoholics. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/children

Breaking Up with Alcohol

Nobody likes breaking up, but sometimes it’s for the best. Breakups is something that everyone experiences in their lifetime. However, no matter how many breakups you experience, they never seem to get easier, especially when you have a lot of time invested. There’s a popular saying that says “some people come into your life for a season or a lifetime”. This saying doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, it can include friendships and relationships with certain habits, like the relationships that women develop with alcohol. Often times women identify alcohol as more than a seasonal friend, even though it’s a relationship that should’ve never began. Many women are introduced to alcohol at a young age, which makes it even harder to cut ties. According the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) by age 15, about 29.8 percent of teens have had at least 1 drink. Research shows that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.


After reading the book, “Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol” by Ann Dowsett Johnston, I noticed that many women who struggled with alcoholism started in their early teens. Another common theme that I noticed was that many women were using alcohol to cope with depression, anxiety, and abuse brought on by childhood trauma. Mental health seems to be a common underlying factor that encourages women to turn to alcohol. This isn’t surprising given that research shows that women drink for more negative reinforcement, meaning that they drink to remove or block out an adverse experience. For example, 1 in 4 girls experience sexual abuse in childhood. Women who endure sexual abuse as a child may not know how to express their feelings or may not feel safe enough to do so. Therefore, they turn to alcohol, drugs, or other risky behaviors to block out the experience and numb the pain.  In addition to childhood trauma the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says that depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women. Some of the physical and hormonal changes that impact women’s mental health include, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), perinatal depression (depression during pregnancy), postpartum depression (depression after the baby is born), and perimenopause (the transition into menopause). Whether it’s an adverse childhood experience or a physical or hormonal change, many women have a hard time dealing with these experiences and may resort to unhealthy behaviors, such as alcohol.


So what’s the solution? As of right now there is no perfect solution; however, there are things that can be done to help mitigate the increase in alcohol consumption among women. For starters we need to know our audience or what populations are most vulnerable to alcohol abuse. Of course, women are the main concern; however, we need to dig deeper and find out if there are specific age groups, races, or demographic areas that should be targeted more strongly than others. This doesn’t mean all women won’t be targeted; however, this will guide interventions and messaging for specific populations.

 As stated in the beginning, breakups are hard and they can sometimes be messy. Have you ever had a friend who was dating someone that just wasn’t good for them? And no matter how much you warned them, they continued the relationship anyway? Well the relationship between women and alcohol can be similar. In order for women to cut ties with this toxic substance, they have to understand and see for themselves that this relationship is no good for them. Therefore, education and awareness is key. There needs to be stronger messaging about the adverse effects of alcohol use among women. According to NIAAA, women who regularly misuse alcohol increase their chances of developing liver damage, heart disease, brain damage, and breast cancer. Although, the adverse effects of alcohol are talked about, it’s not being pushed with the same level of urgency like tobacco or opioids; however, the effects of alcohol are just as severe. In addition, It’s important to note that alcohol companies and spend millions of dollars on marketing. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, alcohol companies spent $421 million dollars on advertising. Although, public health may not have enough money to compete with the marketing of alcohol companies, it’s important that we leverage our partnerships and think creatively about how we can implement stronger messaging that effective and will influence women to think differently about consuming alcohol.

Mental Health is an underlying risk factor for alcohol misuse and a growing issue in our society. Therefore, implementing strategies to support women and adolescent girls in coping with adverse childhood experiences and physical/ hormonal changes could deter women from turning to alcohol. One example of how this can be done is to normalize the incorporation of mental health check-ups. Just like we go to the doctor every year to check on our physical health or visit the dentist twice a year to check on our oral health, we should also see therapist or psychologist to check on our mental health. Mental health check ups could help psychologist address mental health concerns early on opposed to when it’s too late. It could also help adolescent girls and women learn healthy and effective ways to deal with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. without resorting to alcohol use.

As you can see breaking up with alcohol, is not as easy as it seems. Behavior change is not an easy task, especially when you have to change someone’s way of thinking. Alcohol use is a normalized part of our culture that has become embedded in everything we do. We use alcohol during celebrations, when we’re sad, when we’re having a girls night out, when we’re stressed and so much more. We even have holidays that celebrate and encourage alcohol use, such as Cinco De Mayo, National Wine Day, National Tequila Day etc. A lot of work has to be done in order to change people’s mindset. Therefore, it’s important to note that the relationship between women and alcohol won’t end overnight; however, with persistence and time we can make strides in decreasing alcohol consumption among women through research, education, policies, and effective evidence-based interventions.


An American Addiction Center’s Resource. (2020, April 27). Rules & Regulations About Marketing Alcohol. Retrieved from An American Addiction Center’s Resource: https://www.alcohol.org/laws/marketing-to-the-public/

Centers for Diesease Control and Prevention. (2020, May 1). Sexual Violence is Preventable. Retrieved from Injury Prevention and Control: https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/sexual-violence/index.html

National Institute for Mental Health. (2020, May). Depression in Women: 5 Things You Should Know. Retrieved from National Institute for Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2018, January 9). Alcohol and the Female Brain Video Bank. Retrieved from National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-and-female-brain-presented-niaaa-director-dr-george-f-koob

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2019, December). Women and Alcohol. Retrieved from National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/women-and-alcohol

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2020, January). Underage Drinking. Retrieved from National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/underage-drinking



Trauma and Alcohol Use among Women

Source: enterphoto

Where does the root of drinking stem from?

This is a question that leads to many answers. One thing research tells us, is that women with alcohol use disorders may use drinking as a way to cope with unresolved trauma. Emotional trauma and psychological trauma result from extremely stressful events. Left unresolved, trauma can leave women with feelings of isolation and overwhelming anxieties. These feelings can have long-lasting effects which can be severe and carry into adulthood. There are a number of types of trauma, though this post will just touch on a few [1].

Source: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/trauma

Women who are exposed to interpersonal traumatic events have a greater chance of alcohol-related consequences. Similarly, those who meet the conditions for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to engage in heavy episodes of drinking. Studies show that women may use alcohol to cope with psychological distress and negative affect. These women have expressed symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder [2]. Though women may use them to cope with feelings of distress, it is important to note that alcohol consumption or the use of other substances can increase the symptoms of depression and anxiety and actually worsen trauma symptoms [1].

Other sources of trauma that may increase alcohol use include, physical and emotional neglect, physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse and childhood trauma. More often than men, women tend to self-medicate or self-soothe with alcohol as a way to alleviate or escape memories and thoughts that are upsetting [3].

Will the COVID-19 Pandemic lead to more unresolved trauma and more drinking?

Source: Photo (c) kieferpix – Getty Images

Certainly we will have to wait for the data to come in before we can assess the actual results of how the pandemic has hurt those with alcohol use disorders. But with what we know about traumatic events we can make some predictions and recommendations. We know alcohol use among women is increasing. We also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our economy and in some ways led us into a recession. Women are facing numerous burdens. During a time of uncertainty, women may be worried about employment or unemployment, housing, family safety and security, childcare, bills, food, finances, and a number of other stressors. With no one to talk to about how they are feeling, women who drink are at an increased risk of coping in unhealthy ways thus increasing their stress, anxiety, depression [4].

How do we help women cope without the alcohol?

Source: https://www.expatclic.com/expatlang/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Support2.jpg

It is important to acknowledge the burden and level of stress women are facing. While this pandemic may not be traumatic for some, others have experienced life-changing stressors, and we are still in the midst of it. It is important to share and talk about our experiences candidly. That may be with trusted family and friends, or with licensed professionals. During this time, many organizations are offering free and low cost virtual treatment options, there are online support groups and more. It is just a matter of a google search [4,5].

Without checking in with ourselves and the women in our lives, we may not resolve our traumas and begin the healing process. This can be done without alcohol. After all, when the intoxication from several glasses of wine wears off, the trauma is still there. It is time to find a permanent solution!





  1. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/coping-with-emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm
  2. Kaysen, D., Dillworth, T. M., Simpson, T., Waldrop, A., Larimer, M. E., & Resick, P. A. (2007). Domestic violence and alcohol use: Trauma-related symptoms and motives for drinking. Addictive behaviors32(6), 1272-1283.
  3. Frohe, T., Leeman, R. F., Cheong, J., Belton, D. A., & Patock-Peckham, J. A. (2020). Novel Associations Among Trauma, Mindfulness, and Impaired Control Over Alcohol Use. Mindfulness, 11(3), 606-614.
  4. https://www.alcohol.org/resources/coronavirus-and-alcoholism/
  5. https://www.alcohol.org/rehab-centers/free/

Bored in the house and I’m in the house bored


Alcohol consumption has been at an increase since we have all been in quarantine. As we have gotten extremely bored we have invested our time in Tik Toks, cooking, building, cleaning and Virtual Happy hours with friends. That’s right, we were all longing for social aspect of outside without actually being outside so the new IG trend became virtual happy hour through Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams and our trusted favorite Facetime. 


This article on Forbes discuss how virtual happy hours have taken over and how to successfully create your own happy hour with friends with choices of choosing your own theme, setting, tone and even down to your own choice of beverage.

“Alcohol distributors reported a 50% increase in the sales of alcohol from one week in March of the coronavirus compared to a week the same year ago. Home delivery of alcohol has increased dramatically, and one report notes a 300% increase in alcohol sales in March compared to January”. Many health professionals have explained that alcohol consumption can be a result of stress. Stress drinking is the more appropriate term. These are hard times as we have all lost our jobs and incomes. Over 40 million people have applied for unemployment and the small amount of $1200 isn’t enough to uphold a household, WHY NOT DRINK? 


Even though drinking may seem to be the result to dealing with stress, alcohol consumption can definitely do some serious damage to your liver. At first the public health officials suggest that alcohol kills the virus but now they are saying that alcohol consumption puts at you risk for infection. Honestly what are we to believe! I suggest that we all drink within our limits in healthy doses. Be safe, be healthy but I’m not opposed to having a glass of wine or two!








Distancing with Alcohol in Times of COVID-19 by Mike Gallivan

My blog post follows the approach of our book, Drink by author Ann Dowsett-Johhnston. That is to say that I intend it to be a combination of personal reflection and themes that I distilled from an analysis of recent news articles – specifically ones published about alcohol this year in the New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During the first two months of 2020, Covid was regarded as a Chinese problem – not something for US residents to worry about. Despite that belief, it quickly became personal for me – although not in a way that implies contagion and illness.

First of all, I had spent 3 weeks traveling in China during mid-to-late November 2019, as a result of a grant I received from the Chinese government to cover my travel funding to start some research projects and give talks at a few Chinese universities. I had been studying Chinese language off-and-on for nearly 15 years and also doing research with Chinese colleagues and teaching as a Visiting Professor in China for a decade, mostly in Wuhan – that’s right, the epicenter of the Covid virus. I began teaching in 2009 at a university in Wuhan (Huazhong University of Science & Technology), and 2019 represented my fifth visit to Wuhan. In fact, Wuhan was one of five cities that I visited during my nearly 3-week trip, and it was there I spent Thanksgiving a few months ago. Based on the initial accounts of when the Covid virus appeared, the virus had not yet started when I was there in late November. But newer data suggests otherwise – that the Covid virus was likely already present in Wuhan at the time but not yet an epidemic. 

The second reason that it became personal was that, in early March 2020, I heard about the first deaths of US residents – what they labeled as “community transmission” – at a long-term care facility linked to Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, just across narrow Lake Washington from Seattle. I had lived in Kirkland during my high school years over 45 years ago, and Evergreen Hospital was our local, hospital newly-built at the time. These initial deaths were the first ones without any obvious link to travelers from China – so, indeed community transmission. So, Covid situation had some personal links already.

During mid-March, I traveled to south Florida for my “Spring Break” from Georgia Tech. While I was mostly in Miami Beach (southeast corner of Florida), it was at the other corner, southwest Florida, where my story continues.  I spent a few days with my brother, who lives on the border of North Naples and Bonita Beach starting on St. Patrick’s Day. By that date (March 17th), the TV news was already full of Covid reports. Many school districts and universities throughout the country had announced their closings. Even as Georgia Tech started its spring break, it seemed fairly certain that we would not be returning to campus anytime soon. Even in the balmy paradise of sun and beaches in south Florida, the virus was being taken seriously. Local bars had closed the night before (March 16th). In Florida, all closures were on a county-by-county basis. Unlike some states, which made closure decisions by the Governor, at the state level, things were done regionally, by county, in Florida. I rationalized that such localism made sense in certain states – especially ones that are mostly rural, but which have a few big cities or, in this case, huge concentrations of tourists along the coasts, but which are less-densely populated inland and elsewhere.

From my perspective that, week in southwest Florida, it meant there would be no more alcohol served in Lee County bars from then on; however, at that time, restaurants, gyms, beaches, and swimming pools were still open. As we all know, everything would abruptly change in a few days.

On that St. Patrick’s evening, my brother first announced that his wife’s family from Albany (New York) would be joining us for dinner, but then said that he canceled dinner reservations because the restaurants were too crowded. It would be safer for us to have take-out pizza at home. A smart move! But after dinner, we walked to a nearby bar (“Docs Beach House”) for a drink and a view of sunset. Docs was packed – after all, it was St. Patrick’s Day! The outdoor tables on the narrow sand beach were full of people, but we managed to secure a table for our group of six people.

Given the beautiful sunset and the festivity of St. Patrick’s Day, many people were taking photos of sunset.  One well-dressed middle-aged couple with teenaged kids, who were celebrating their anniversary, asked us to take a photo of them with the sunset. My brother’s wife readily accepted their cellphone in order to take their photo and then passed the camera back to them. Something about the whole situation felt wrong! While our group of six people was at least six feet away from other picnic tables and their occupants, the beach scene was really festive – not what we have since come to expect as appriate “social distancing.”  And why was this bar with all its revelers even open – after all, the bars in this county had been closed since the day before – right?  Oh yeah, this place was a restaurant, too, even if that just meant that it served food in another building 40 feet away.  That meant that we were able to order bar drinks on sit at outdoor tables on the beach.  As we walked back to my brother’s house, we commented on the smaller-than-usual number of cars parked in front another waterside restaurant, Coconut Jack’s.  I wouldn’t want to sit at one of those restaurant tables if another patron was contaminated. It seemed that the conflicting signals were all around.

A bar could operate and serve drinks to milling customers, as long as they had a restaurant on the same property. Business was down, but restaurants were still open. Upon returning to my brother’s house, the other family members left, and I announced that I was going out for a drive to buy – what else – some alcohol.  I found a nearby liquor store in Bonita Beach and, as I was leaving, I asked the cashier (who was likely the owner) “How busy have you been today?” He responded that sales were way up that day – just one day after the bar ban went into effect. Already, this was evidence that, if bars were closed, then people were taking care to purchase their alcohol in other ways.  And that was just Day 1 of the new regime.

My next few days in southwest Florida were interesting with regard to recognizing the county-specificity of the closures. My brother’s condo was on the border of Bonita Beach (Lee County) and North Naples (Collier County), which both ended up closing their beaches, but on sequential days. This meant that I was able to bike to one beach, Barefoot Beach in North Naples – basically across the street – to be present for its last day of operation on Wednesday, March 18th  and then do the same the following day at a Lee County beach. The only difference was that, on Thursday, my brother and I drove to a much longer (2 miles long), crowded beach in Ft. Myers Beach. We did a really long walk up-and-back along the white sand. As we returned to our claimed spot at 4 p.m., we noticed a jeep packed with (what seemd to be) Army SWAT team soldiers driving down the beach. We were within just 3 hours of a historic closing of this huge, 2-mile Ft. Myers Beach. We discussed what we saw and both assumed that the “soldiers” (who were really just local police who liked to dress up) were getting into position at the end of the beach in time for the 7 pm closure.


I drove back to Miami Beach the next day to find that similar county-ordered closings had occurred there as well. By Saturday, not only bars, but also beaches, restaurants, libraries, and museums were all closed.  Not only were there now far fewer things to do in Miami Beach now, but all my routine sources of wi-fi for my laptop were now discontinued.  I could survive a few final days of spring break with no beaches or restaurants, but no wi-fi for my laptop? That’s a much more serious problem!


In my first days after returning  back to Atlanta the fourth week of March, I began seeing news articles saying that both alcohol sales and also marijuana sales were way up (www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-weed-marijuana.html?searchResultPosition=23), and the sources I read stated that women were the biggest growth market. As I read such articles about increased substance purchases by women, I wondered whether the data were just anecdotal or whether anyone was officially tracking these changes in sales patterns. One sentence from the article I read March 24th said “Women and young people (Generation Z) accounted for much of the sales growth, according to Headset” – which is a cannabis market research company.


Now that two months have passed and I am writing this blog about women and alcohol during times of Covid, I fondly recall those early stories – which doesn’t necessarily mean that I can find them again via online searches. While I enjoy reading two newspapers on a daily basis (the New York Times and the AJC), that doesn’t necessarily mean that I can even locate the exact same articles online, even after I know I read them in the print edition. (I believe the AJC has a notoriously awful search feature). So, rather than quote those early articles about women’s increasing use of alcohol and other substances to help them with “sheltering in place,” I decided to search for articles in both outlets containing the word “alcohol” – and then do an informal analysis of what fraction of articles specifically focus on women or on Covid. I soon learned that, just because these articles were published during the time of Covid, and our new sheltering in place regime, that does not necessarily mean that all articles about alcohol address Covid concerns.


I first searched the New York Times – finding 11 articles about alcohol since January 1st.  Of course, I did not expect those published during January or February to focus on Covid, since the virus was still considered a Chinese-only problem at that time. What amazed me about the 11 article I found were variations in the length of the articles. The two longest articles by far – in terms of number of words – were ones about celebrities:  Ben Affleck and Jessica Simpson, both of whom have struggled with alcohol addiction. I found the Ben Affleck one a better read, in part, because it previews an upcoming film in which Ben plays an alcoholic coach ( www.nytimes.com/2020/02/18/movies/ben-affleck.html?searchResultPosition=13). It also describes Ben’s struggles with alcoholism, as well as similar struggles by his brother Casey (also an actor), his father, and various other family members. So, the genetic factor is clearly present in Ben’s life – a theme that also appears in Ann Dosett’s Johnston’s book. The companion article about Jessica Simpson was nearly as long, but less interesting, in my opinion (www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/style/jessica-simpson-memoir-alcohol-addiction.html?searchResultPosition=15). I like it when celebrities “come clean” about their struggles with addiction; however, it does help if they have real talent, however, and not just MTV celebrity. Then again, I admit there is huge value in celebrities – even Jessica Simpson – discussing their struggle with alcohol addiction, as it provides positive encouragement for their fans and other readers to seek help.


After reading those two celebrity profiles, I found a unique  Times piece that’s a series of graphics by artist Joe Maccarone, with some reflections about the challenges of being in recovery during Covid isolation (www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/opinion/sunday/op-art-recovery-in-isolation.html?searchResultPosition=5).


I analyzed the remainder of the articles for their degree of focus on women and the same with regard to Covid. Of the remaining 8 articles about alcohol published in the New York Times this year, just one dealt with both women and Covid.  This article by Corinne Purtill (titled: “Quarantini Anyone? When Everyday Drinking Becomes a Problem”) (www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/us/30IHW-drinking-women-coronavirus-quarantine-habit.html?searchResultPosition=2), discusses the challnenge of women drinking during the Covid situation and describes a recent book by Kristi Coulter with the title, Nothing Good Can Come From This. The latter 2018 books deals with the author’s experience with alcohol addiction.


Of the others, 4 dealt with alcohol amidst the Covid epidemic (but not mentioning women specifically); 2 dealt with women and alcohol (but not Covid), and one dealt with neither. All were fascinating reads!  One focused on drinking and violence in Russia during the epidemic (www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/world/europe/russia-coronavirus-alcoholism.html?searchResultPosition=4), while several others dealt with people who are in alcohol recovery trying to go it alone in the absence of AA meetings – with titles like “Staying Sober During a Lockdown” (www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/coronavirus-alcoholics-anonymous-online.html?searchResultPosition=6) and “With Meetings Banned, Millions Struggle to Stay Sober on Their Own” (www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/health/coronavirus-alcoholics-drugs-online.html?searchResultPosition=8). I guess that Joe Maccarone’s art graphics, above, also belonged to that category.


The ones dealing with women and alcohol, but not Covid, were all fascinating. One from January, analyzed recent medical studies on the dangers of alcohol to women – echoing what we have read in Ann Dowsett Johnston’s book, Drink (www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/health/alcohol-deaths-women.html?searchResultPosition=17) and (www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/sunday-review/alcohol-drinking-problem.html?searchResultPosition=14).


The one article that dealt with neither Covid nor women, summarized a recent article that meta-analyzed 27 studies showing that A.A.’s approach to treating alcohol dependency is more effective than other treatments (www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/upshot/alcoholics-anonymous-new-evidence.html?searchResultPosition=11).


Probably the strangest article in the whole bunch was one about the challenges of drinking bottles of wine alone – when they are intended to be shared.  With the catchy title of “Wine Is for Sharing: What Does That Mean in Self-Quarantine?,” at first, I thought the author was discouraging readers from drinking an entire bottle on their own, but I was wrong. The author took no such position either way. In my humble opinion, I thought that this article failed to make a clear point (www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/dining/drinks/drinking-alone.html?searchResultPosition=9). This article is an opinion piece, but even so, I was surprised that the New York Times published it.  In another course, I had recently been required to write a New York Times-style opinion piece type article, and after reading thr paper’s rules for writing such pieces, combined with how choosy they were about deciding which ones to publish, I was surprised they published this one, because the writer seemed to lack a clear point. Perhaps that is explained by the question mark after the title: “Wine Is for Sharing: What Does That Mean in Self-Quarantine?”



I performed similar searches on the topic of alcohol in the Atlanta Journal Constitutition.  I am surprised at the paucity of articles about women and alcohol in the AJC, especially because I know that the paper has carried many stories about the stress of working from home, challenges of involuntarily home-schooling children, and how people are trying to survive the new regime. None of the articles I found about alcohol in the AJC deal with women.  There were, however, many articles examining how alcohol sales had increased in Georgia (www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgians-stock-alcohol-residents-stay-home-face-virus/CunpBv3qb9xJIqrSmFTCJK/), and also the consumer pressure on restaurants doing take-out and delivery to include alcohol with food, which apparently required a change in laws (www.ajc.com/news/local/demand-for-alcohol-delivery-georgia-highlighted-coronavirus/D4IJePNLDUVCzQsOxHe93K).


Two articles warned readers of the dangers of drinking alcohol during the Covid crisis (www.ajc.com/news/health-med-fit-science/why-who-says-you-should-avoid-alcohol-during-pandemic/ZF533ab97paoRYO30Lo4PM/) and also (www.ajc.com/news/local/alcohol-consumption-may-increase-odds-getting-covid-says-who/PfesOxuCShOtjb3nyiizhI/), but another one alerted readers to “Drink Trends to Watch for in 2020” – OK, so that last one was published in late January, many weeks before we started to take Covid seriously (https://www.ajc.com/blog/atlanta-restaurants/industry-experts-weigh-the-drink-trends-watch-2020/xdFo2TB4qXJ7JCu6Wm3q5L/). While there were no articles about women and alcohol, there was a fascinating piece about a successful restaurateur, Steve Palmer, creator of a many Atlanta restaurants, who shared his struggles with alcoholism. He described alchol dependence as “the dirty secret” of the restaurant industry (www.ajc.com/entertainment/dining/restaurateur-steve-palmer-shares-struggle-with-sobriety-new-memoir/3AaXLS8iNMkUIqHHMFgx2I/).



I found several articles each about an alcohol distillery in Lillburn (Georgia) switching its production over to make hand sanitizer, as well as about a small town called Cleveland in the north Georgia mountains that people are calling “Nappalachia” – apparently a reference to its wines and restaurants. The article about the distillery producing hand sanitizer was preceding by a month with an article saying that the US federal laws porhibit such repurposing (i.e., it is illegal to take ethanol originally intended for drinking to instead use it as an ingredient to produce hand sanitizer) – which sounds crazy – so it’s good that they finally relented and changed the law (www.ajc.com/news/local/gwinnett-distillery-making-hand-sanitizer-for-neighbors-police/mrdmKdjJreAYEcuhIKfPnL/).


In comparing what I found in the New York Times to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, I was urprised that none of the articles I found in the AJC focused on issues about women’s drinking – given all the attention paid to this topic in the Times in recent months.  Among the latter, I count one fall 2019 article about the severity of women’s alcoholism, which I did not mention, above, because it appeared in the Times 10 weeks before the start of 2020. That article, titled, “How Drinking Less Solved a Lot of Problems,” discussed the problem of women’s alcohol abuse and how it has increased in recent years, similar to the data presented in Drink (www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/well/eat/drinking-alcohol-women-psychology-health.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article).


It would be interesting to revisit that liquor store in Bonita Beach (Florida) where I shopped and queried the cashier/owner on March 17th to find out how business has grown – and from whom – since nine weeks ago.