The Washington Post:
Last year, American novelist Joyce Maynard faced a harsh realization: Her habit of reaching for a glass of wine whenever she felt stressed had crossed the line into an addiction.
“It kind of crept up on me,” said Maynard, 63, whose novel about a single mother with a wine dependence, “Under the Influence,” came out in paperback in November. “The way I was drinking is the way a lot of women drink and don’t see it as any kind of problem. And for a lot of them, it may not be a problem. It wasn’t the quantity; it was the space wine occupied in my life. I could tell it was occupying an unhealthy one. I was using it increasingly as a comfort and a reliever of stress. I would say, ‘I’m not going to drink,’ and then I would.”
Maynard is part of an increasing cohort of women who have been drinking (or abusing) alcohol more than women did only a few decades ago, and in patterns increasingly similar to men’s. Health officials are watching the situation with concern, and some addiction specialists are making comparisons to other dependencies to which women may be more vulnerable, such as food addictions.
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