Smarter Women Are More Apt To Have Alcohol Problems

According to a recent study in England women who have university degrees are twice as likely to become binge drinkers as others. Interestingly, these women are also more vocal about their drinking problems.

We weren’t surprised when we read this news. Based on our clients over the years – about 60% of whom are college educated women and 30% college educated men – we’d also add that smart women are also far more successful at leaving alcohol abuse behind than any other demographic group.


As the study indicated, they are more vocal about their problems than other women or men and hence more apt to look for help. Being smart also means that they are more apt to find actual help instead of settling for the traditional treatment traps and, therefore, they successfully leave alcohol abuse behind.

But why are they more apt to find themselves abusing alcohol in the first place?

We’ve seen a number of factors that contribute to this including a tendency towards adopting men’s behavior patterns as they work their way into what used to be men’s professions.

Also, alcohol is not an “equal opportunity” drug and women suffer the ill effects of alcohol abuse far sooner than men even with all other factors being equal!

On the positive side of this shift, it also means that they are less apt to settle back into women’s traditional pattern of getting together to complain about problems rather than actually doing something about them.

It also means that women are more apt to sign up for real help than their male counterparts and. hence, benefit from early intervention, decreased risks, and the more outcome options than men.

Of course the usual conditions that promote alcohol abuse in both men and women also apply: loneliness, boredom, anxiety, and unbalanced personal and professional relationships. All conditions easily medicated with alcohol, but only resolved through increased awareness and assertiveness.

What does that mean for women seeking help?

If you want to leave the problem behind, seek assistance with developing assertiveness, help in learning cognitive behavioral coping techniques, and coaching that stresses competence and strength.

If you are part of a couple, look for a counseling team, such as we offer, to prevent any imbalances, real or imagined, from derailing progress. Couples need to work with a “couple” if progress is to be made and sustained.

Other questions? That’s what we’re here for so give us a call!

The ideas above are reflected in the e-mail we recently received from a former client, a woman in her 40s from New York City:

“Finally, I feel free of my compulsion to drink! After years of frustration and privately feeling ashamed of not being in control of my behavior, I feel wonderful and productive again. I am a very disciplined person in almost every area of my life, but I couldn’t mobilize my self discipline over my drinking. I couldn’t even believe I became a habitual drinker. No one in my family ever drank. Quite frankly, I was shocked and appalled that I progressively became a daily drinker.

For most of my adult life, I was a mild social drinker and was never particularly interested in alcohol. That changed when I left my well established lucrative career as a banking executive in order to stay at home to raise my young child. I had too much time on my hands and didn’t realize that I was falling into a rut.

I began searching for help, but I never felt that the traditional routes, like the AA system, were right for me. I definitely couldn’t picture myself in the AA environment. I felt so alone and trapped in my alcohol problem but couldn’t find a way out that fit for me. All that changed when I found the Non 12 Step Program. It’s everything I could have hoped for: discreet, confidential, and so intelligently structured.

Dr. Barnes and Dr. Wilson have created a strategic, well planned approach using a masterful blend of behavioral and cognitive therapy plus the support of highly effective medication. They helped me get to the root causes of my compulsion to drink and, even better, they helped me to create new life patterns that make me feel proud and productive again. I’m back in control of my life and it feels amazing!”

Odds and Ends:

For more details on important topics, please click on the following links:

Visit this section of our April 4 Newsletter for a detailed description of our 5 Day Full Recovery Retreat program.

Also see The Real “Steps” to Overcoming Alcohol Abuse – for what actually work.

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Brother Off To Rehab is Mary Ellen’s popular article on what she learned about “them” ten years ago that helped lead to what we do now.

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Programs That Can’t Tell the Difference – and Don’t Care In Any Case.

Women and Alcohol – What To Consider In Treatment and why women need and deserve services built around women’s needs, not just another recycled (and failed) men’s program – which is all anyone else has to offer

Please, if you’re a new subscriber, or if you’re wondering about something you read in a previous Newsletter, most of the newsletters are archived on the website under the tab labeled – you guessed it – “Newsletters”!