Women are drinking more than ever before. Studies conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that binge drinking is on the rise among college and middle-aged women. Anecdotally, Facebook groups like "Moms Who Need Wine" and "OMG, I So Need a Glass of Wine or I'm Gonna Sell My Kids," suggest that the issue is growing, but unfortunately not being taken seriously.
The "alcoholic mom" trope has become so ingrained in pop culture that it seems harmless and almost comical. According to the Wine Institute, an industry trade group, American women buy nearly 800 million gallons of wine annually and are its primary drinkers. Wine is sometimes jokingly seen as the modern day "mommy's helper" — a way of escaping the stresses of raising children and running a household.
"The baby's crying, they're not getting paid, they're bored and anxious — and feel guilty that they're bored and anxious," said psychologist Mary Ellen Barnes to the Wall Street Journal. "Women need to feel powerful, not like victims of something beyond their control. [Drinking] gives women power to feel they themselves can change."
Women who work outside of the home and especially in male-dominated fields like law and finance may also be influenced by their colleagues to drink since part of the job may entail going out to a bar to entertain clients.
The dangerous drinking habits of some women have moved outside of the home. According to various health surveys, between 1998 and 2007, the number of women arrested for drunken driving rose 30 percent, while male arrests dropped more than seven percent. In addition, the number of young women treated in emergency departments for being dangerously intoxicated rose 52 percent.