More Moms Are Drinking to Cope With Stress of Motherhood

More Moms Are Drinking to Cope With Stress of Motherhood

Posted on May 5th, 2014
Posted in Alcohol Abuse

A 2013 study that appeared in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research reported that college women now drink more than college men. But it’s not just college coeds who are drinking more – young moms are also part of the growing demographic of female drinkers.

An survey sponsored by The Today Show looked into the phenomenon of mommy drinkers, finding that close to 40 percent of participants reported using alcohol to cope with parental stress. Over 30 percent of respondents said they know other mothers that may have an issue with alcohol.
When moms drink they reach for wine more often than not. Better than 50 percent of those who took the survey said wine was their alcoholic beverage of choice. The wildly popular Facebook page Moms Who Need Wine also points to this preference.

The trend is far from lost on alcohol manufacturers and their marketers. Labels such as Mommy Juice, Mommy’s Time Out and Mad Housewife reveal that the mom crowd is a burgeoning niche for vintners with a 25 percent rise in sales.

Nowadays it’s not unusual to find mothers sharing a glass of wine on the park bench while Johnny and Susie climb on playground equipment. Mothers who work and those who don’t both feel they deserve a little liquid break. Some mom groups are careful to limit drinking to a single glass of wine and walk rather than drive to and from the park. That’s great if everyone can adhere to the agreed-upon self-limits.

The trouble is that some moms have a harder time than others corking the wine bottle after a single glass. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one in five 25-34 year old females regularly binge. Binge drinking for women is defined as four or more drinks in a two hour time period. The CDC report is backed up by addiction treatment facilities who report increasing numbers of young moms coming in to ask for help with alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports an increase in the number of women arrested on drunk driving charges.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offers the following set of questions to help drinkers determine whether they’ve crossed the line into problem drinking territory:

  • Do you ever think you should be drinking less than you do?
  • Has anyone ever bothered you by commenting on your drinking?
  • Do you ever feel guilty about drinking?
  • Do you ever drink upon rising in the morning? To calm your nerves? To deal with a hangover?

The NIAAA says that a “yes” answer to any of the above could signal that there is a problem with alcohol. Regardless of whether or not the person feels like they have a problem, a “yes” should prompt a discussion with their personal physician. And those who could answer “no” to every question should still examine work-related drinking habits, social drinking patterns and potential health risks associated with drinking. If someone has had a brush with the law due to alcohol, it’s time to ask for help.

The growing number of moms turning to the wine bottle has gotten the attention of news reporters and researchers. How their example of drinking will affect the next generation is yet another concern.

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