What’s Next in Wine?

Research has shown that women are by-in-large greater consumers of wine compared to men, with some wine producers estimating that 60 percent of their consumer base is women(Kennedy, 2018). This is in part due to women tending to by the primary grocery shopper for their household, but also due to the simple fact that some people enjoy the atmosphere associated with drinking wine(Kennedy, 2018). Given the current national effort to re-open various facilities and businesses, will wineries still be able to keep up with demand for wine? This blog will provide some insight into the current trends in the supply and production of wine as these are the basis for access to the alcoholic product. 

Based on February 2020 reports from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau(TTB) the supply of bottled wine in the United States increased by over 8,000,000 bottles since February 2019(TTB, 2020). In contrast, the supply of bottled wine decreased by over 16,000,000 bottles from February 2018 through February 2019(TTB, 2020). To me this suggests that people are trending to drink less wine over the past 2 years and less wine may be being produced as demand decreases. Further reports by winery stakeholders in Washington and California confirm that they have an oversupply of wine and that overall consumer demand has been on the decline even prior to the current pandemic situation(McMillan, 2020). This decline in consumption could be due to the fact that the U.S. population that owns the most discretionary income, Baby Boomers, are entering their lives as elderly citizens(McMillan, 2020). 

While millennials are consuming wine, they have not met the predicted consumption rates made by many wineries(McMillan, 2020). This could be attributed to generational differences in wine culture. Older generations may relate wine to expensive bottles from prestigious wineries from the Napa Valley as an example. Meanwhile, the millennial and younger generations may consider canned wines as a quality purchase in terms of cost and ease of access. 


My interpretation of these findings is that given the lack of overall demand for alcohol wine companies are greatly incentivized to find creative ways to promote and move their products to increase consumption. Wineries may benefit from innovations in the design and packaging of their bottled products in ways that appeal to and capture the millennial and younger audience. A strength these stakeholders have to accomplish this goal is their access to a high supply of wine. More importantly consumers may be susceptible to new models of alcohol marketing and in turn increasing their risk for alcohol consumption. 



Women and Alcohol: What can be done?

Alcoholism is a growing public health concern among women. Physical, psychological, and social effects of alcohol differ among women and men and present challenges when considering diagnosis, treatment, and prevention2. According to the CDC, gender differences such as body structure and brain chemistry can cause women to absorb more alcohol and take longer to remove, or metabolize, from their system. If women and men were to drink the same amount of alcohol, women would be more impacted and as a result would have detrimental effects from the alcohol quicker than men. Women who misuse alcohol are more likely to experience psycho-sexual dysfunction, anxiety, shame, low self-esteem, and bulimia than women who do not misuse alcohol1. The negative emotion of shame and guilt is experienced more by women than men and can affect treatment1. In 2013, 40% of White women, over 10% of Hispanic women, and less than 10% of African American women were found to binge drink, which for women is considered as 4 or more drinks in a 2 hour time-period.


What are the risks…

Misuse of alcohol includes a number of serious risks, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Unintentional injuries (car crashes, falls, burns)
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Chronic diseases
  • Violence
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)
  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Liver disease




What are the treatment options…

As new generations experience acclimation to social, economic, and cultural characteristics, the gender gap in drinking behaviors has become less significant2. This can be due to several factors including a decline in impact on known psycho-socio-cultural factors and the consequences of alcohol-related disorders. It’s important to note that these factors have an influence on alcohol use and can be used to determine effective treatments.

Other treatments include motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, brief therapy, and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and can be women-only based. Studies have shown that women prefer treatment geared towards their specific needs in relation to low self-esteem, poor self-image, self-harm, and depression, instead of an overall therapy1. Drinking behaviors related to cultural perceptions, social drinking patterns, and private rituals are considered when treating alcohol misuse4. Even among a pandemic, there are programs that have switched to online group sessions to help those in need through professionally led discussions, support groups, and video counselling.


What can be done to reduce this global concern…

What options are there for reducing harmful alcohol consumption? The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends three “best buys” which consists of enforcing bans on alcohol advertisement, restricting alcohol access, and increasing alcohol taxes. These strategies have the greatest potential for improving public health, along with formulating and implementing policies that reduce alcohol consumption.

With the global pandemic, we have seen an increased number of alcohol advertises on social media, TV ads, and the internet. They have different catch phrases but are all coaxing the audience to buy their product. Some businesses even advertise the fact that they deliver pre-made to-go alcoholic drinks. Earlier this month, almost three-quarters of alcohol ads (71%) referenced the COVID-19 pandemic, while two-thirds (66%) had a coupon/offer button that linked directly to the businesses online store.

Enforcing alcohol policies and reducing exposure to alcohol marketing can decrease alcohol consumption, not just in the United States but globally. Some countries have a reduced or weak alcohol regulatory system which provides opportunity for corporations and alcoholic industries to market their product3. Other high-income countries use creative techniques to target women drinkers using fruity or fun beverages, or “healthier” beverages for the health-conscious drinkers3.

Overall, the three recommendations by the WHO should have the most promising lead for enhancing the regulation of excessive alcohol consumption. Leaders, countries, and organizations should band together to implement alcoholic policies and improve the public health infrastructure. Unfortunately, with a global pandemic, it will be harder to enforce the recommendations.




[2] Angove, R., Fothergill, A. 2003. Women and alcohol: misrepresented and misunderstood. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 10, 213-219.

[1] Erol, A., Karpyak, V.M. 2015. Sex and gender-related differences in alcohol use and its consequences: Contemporary knowledge and future research considerations. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 156, 1-13.

[5] Esser, M.B., Jernigan, D.H. 2018. Policy Approaches for Regulating Alcohol Marketing in a Global Context: A Public Health Perspective. Annual Review of Public Health. 39, 385-401.

[3] McCrady, B.S., Epstein, E.E., Cook, S, Jensen, N.K., Ladd, B.O. 2011. What do women want? Alcohol treatment choices, treatment entry and retention. Psychol Addict Behav. 25, 521-529.  

Burden of Alcohol consumption- COVID-19 Awareness!!!

Each year alcohol claims the lives of 3.3million people worldwide as 1 in 4 deaths occur among people under 50yrs. It causes over 200 types of diseases and affects the families and economies of nations. In developing nations, the numbers are not different irrespective of the paucity in data but a lot of male deaths is linked to excessive alcohol intake.

ALcohol deaths

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. For more information, visit https://www.niaaa.nih.gov.

One wonders what the statistics may be in relation to COVID-19 Pandemic? What are the statistics on females as well!!!

It is worth the mention that binge drinking not only increases the risk of unintended pregnancies among women, their babies are at risk of health issues like sudden infant death syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Additionally, binge drinking increases the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and sexually transmitted diseases, among other health and social problems.

Presently, COVID-19 has directly claimed tens of thousands of U.S. lives, but conditions stemming from the novel coronavirus includes rampant unemployment, isolation, mental health sequelae and an uncertain future. The uncertain future has been projected that it could lead to 75,000 deaths attributable to drug or alcohol abuse and suicide, new research suggests. The deaths from these causes have been described as “deaths of despair.” And with the number of deaths in the U.S. exceeding more than 100,000, the COVID-19 pandemic and its sequelae may be accelerating conditions that lead to such deaths.

Though abstinence is the key to curb the alcohol menace of the problem. However, it is worth the mention that policy changes have made alcohol available and affordable to the global appeal, even in this contemporary time of the pandemic. Hence, it is a very difficult behavior to curtail in our present environment. All we can do is to continue to educate and re-educate on the dangers associated with it.

ALcohol & COVID 19

Alcohol control during COVID 19


  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arcr352/155-173.htm
  3. https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_p0xim6x3
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/bingedrinkingfemale/index.html
  5. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-deaths-suicides-drugs-alcohol-pandemic-75000/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32221278/

Pushing Campaigns and Movements for Women and Alcohol

Authors: Symone Richardson and Christine Nguyen 

As we think about how we can move forward and intervene in the rising public health issue of increased alcohol consumption among women, there are many different campaigns, movements, and social reform that come to mind that we can use to combat the issue! 

In the recent years, social media has been used more often for health communication and health campaigning. Successful social media health campaigns include #movember#BellLetsTalk and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. While these positive health campaigns are prevalent, there is also a large presence of negative health communication on social media such as alcohol marketing (with the exception of TikTok and restrictions on others). To combat negative health communication, social media users from Facebook to Twitter to Snapchat could create a hashtag and promote healthy relationships with alcoholraise awareness about the dangers of alcohol, and reject any inappropriate or misleading alcohol advertisements. In addition to being free, social media communication and campaigning can reach a very wide range of people from different countries and ages.  

Another step towards reducing the burden of women and alcohol could be ending the stigma of women and alcoholism. In our society we are used to seeing mainly men having an issue with heavy alcohol use and alcoholism. As we have learned throughout this course, that is no longer the case. As mentioned before, social media campaigns could aide in the widespread education of the dangers of women and alcohol. There could also be in increase in informative advertisements on television and magazines as well as increased research on the topic in academic journals. Some of this education and research could revolve around how women metabolize alcohol differently than menwomen have different adverse effects to alcohol than men, and women require different approach to treatment than menThe sooner alcohol use among women is seen as a global public health issue, the sooner we can implement more effective policies and interventions.  

As mentioned in our last blog post, women are more likely to use alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism for issues such as anxiety disorders and depression. By offering different way to cope, we can hopefully decrease alcohol use among women. Examples of different coping mechanisms are exercisemeditation, and support groupsThese alternative methods or coping have been found to help manage stress and anxiety as well as help individuals in maintaining sobriety or healthy relationships with alcohol.  

Another way in which we can change the issue between alcohol and women could be a push for mocktails or other types of social beverages. Mocktails are non-alcoholic beverages or party drinks that mimic cocktails, just without the alcohol. With the rise in popularity of boozy brunches with bottomless drinks, consuming alcohol earlier in the day has become a sociably acceptable trend and almost glamorized among women. Virgin cocktails, or mocktails, offer aalternative to alcoholic beverages and can help reduce ones drinkingMocktails can also be used to reduce discomfort that comes with social drinking culture since they look like cocktails! Mocktails can be easy to make as there are many articles and recipes available online as well as recipe books you can order. Here is one article that offer40 different non-alcoholic beverage ideas 

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