Is the Women & Wine Connection Harmful?

two women enjoying wine

As the “wine mom” trope has gained popularity, high-risk drinking among women is on the rise. 

It’s Wine O’clock. Time to Wine Down. I need some Mommy Juice. Corks are for quitters.

We’ve all seen the t-shirts, the plastic wine glasses, and the social media memes. And while it’s easy to laugh these memes off as a joke, Wine Mom culture points to a darker punchline. By some estimates, high-risk drinking among women has soared by over 50% in the last decade alone. This type of peer pressure is an alarming trend that, if it continues, is nothing short of a public health crisis waiting to happen.

quote about the connection between wine and women and that it is no surprise that there is a strong correlation and it is on the rise

With the strong connection between wine and just about everything in a woman’s life—from work stress and me-time to parenthood and socializing—it’s no surprise that rates of drinking and alcohol addiction are rising among women.

What’s Normal Drinking Anyway?

One reason that the women and wine narrative is so prevalent has to do with our culture, which normalizes excessive drinking. Drinking wine is portrayed as something that is inherent amongst women, something women need to survive.

Everything from the local book club and work events to family outings and weekend getaways all tends to revolve around alcohol. In many settings, alcohol dependence isn’t the thing that sets you apart; being the one who’s sober does.

Normalizing Excessive Drinking Impacts on Youth

The ongoing normalization can have a big impact on our kids as well. In a teen’s eyes, it can seem hypocritical when you tell them not to drink when you have a glass in your hand every night.

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Research seems to indicate that kids are more likely to drink in excess as adults if they’ve been predisposed to it growing up. And because excessive drinking enables you to “check out” as a parent, it has the potential to create attachment injuries that can have a real impact later in life.

How to Tell if Your Drinking Has Become a Problem

When does drinking turn from a fun, social, once-in-a-while activity into a real problem with alcohol addiction?

You may have a problem if you:

• Crave alcohol

• Keep using more and more

• Find yourself using more and more often.

• Can’t cut down (or stop)

• Are being impacted financially

• Don’t have time for anything else

•  Being impacted in your work performance

 • Are losing friends and relationships

•  Fighting with your family

• Still drinking even though you know it’s hurting you

• Are in denial

Read more about the 12 signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction.

How to Model a Healthy Relationship to Drinking

Whether you’re a parent having a few drinks in front of your kids or a woman sharing wine among friends, most people realize that others are there taking it all in. What they sometimes forget to think about, however, is the message they’re sending by how they treat their own consumption and how they treat those around them. Modelling a healthy relationship with alcohol empowers others to do the same.

quote about modelling a healthier relationship with alcohol empowers others to do the same

Here are some things to consider:

Think about why you drink.
Many of our habits are automatic. Before defaulting to a drink, pause for a moment to consider why. Am I doing this because I’m upset about something? Am I having a drink because I always do at this time or during this activity? This makes it a conscious choice.

Do something else.
If you decide not to have a drink, you can replace the activity of drinking with something else. Going for a walk. Calling a friend. Doing a hobby you love. Over time, you may find that these new healthy activities replace the default of reaching for a drink.

Drink something else.
If it is about what you’re going to consume and not the activity of drinking itself, substitute your beverage with something non-alcoholic. There are many delicious options to choose from. Sometimes just having something in your hand is enough to make the activity still feel ‘normal’.

Connect in other ways.
Often going to the bar or having a few drinks at someone’s home develops as the default activity amongst a friend or peer group. Mix things up by suggesting some other activities. You’ll find you get to know people better by simply engaging in something else.

No matter what you choose, the most important aspect of developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol is approaching your drinking consciously.

Recovery is possible. We can help.

Struggling with alcohol addiction? You can begin your recovery journey at our facilities across Canada and through virtual programs. Find out more about what we treat.

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