Australian research highlights a troubling trend: growing numbers of women can’t do without that glass or two to relax of an evening.
Research by the University of Western Sydney shows that more than 500,000 middle-aged women across Australia have problems with alcohol use.
The lead researcher Dr Janice Withnall explains:
“Mid-life women are what we call the sandwich generation. They have parenting, work, partners, caring responsibility.”
The women are anxious, feel they cannot cope and have learned to deal with that emotional distress with alcohol.
In the Australia of the 1990s, around 5% of women could be said to be dependent on alcohol. Today, almost 18% are alcohol dependent. The population that is 45 to 55 years of age is most at risk of suicide. And alcohol and anxiety play a major role.
Australia has the 6th highest alcohol consumption worldwide, and many associated alcohol problems.
The UWS study has been running since 2006. The women taking part are in recovery, says Dr Withnall.
“They appreciate not drinking. They have an amazing life.
“Alcohol does not have to be the be-all and end-all.”