An astonishing four million American women meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. Yet until recently, alcoholism-like heart disease was considered a man's problem. Research, prevention, and treatment efforts were aimed at men. The few studies on women that existed focused on the effects of alcohol on children and families.
Mixing cutting-edge research with moving stories of women who struggled with alcohol problems, this book challenges our assumptions and expands our awareness of the role alcohol plays in women's lives.
Women metabolize alcohol differently from men, more quickly developing such physical complications as liver disease, high blood pressure, and hepatitis. A female alcoholic is likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, which may not go away even if she stops drinking. One stunning fact says it all: Female alcoholics are twice as likely to die as male alcoholics in the same age group - even as male alcoholics die at three times the rate of men in the general population.
Devon Jersild tells the stories of women who fell into a dizzying maze yet moved forward into recovery. Her book began as a journey of understanding when her alcoholic sister edged closer to death. Jersild consulted climclans, doctors, psychologists, and researchers in the field of alcohol studies. What she found is sometimes shocking but always inspiring. Elegantly written and compelling, this book is an important look at the lifelong effects of alcoholism on a woman's health and well-being.