Sunday, January 12, 2014

Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnston

Book: Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol
Author: Ann Dowsett Johnston
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: From

While the feminist revolution has allowed women to close the gender gap professionally and educationally, it has also witnessed a disturbing rise in equality in more troubling areas of life as well. In the U.S. alone, the rates of alcohol abuse among women have skyrocketed in the past decade. DUIs, "drunkorexia" (choosing to limit eating to consume greater quantities of alcohol), and health problems connected to drinking are all on the rise, especially among younger women-a problem exacerbated by the alcohol industry itself. Battling for women's dollars and leisure time, corporations have developed marketing strategies and products targeted exclusively to women. Equally alarming is a recent CDC report showing a sharp rise in binge-drinking, putting women and girls at further risk.

Anne Dowsett Johnston illuminates this startling epidemic, dissects the psychological, social, and industry factors that have contributed to its rise, and explores its long-lasting impact on our society and individual lives, including her own. In Drink, she brilliantly weaves in-depth research, interviews with leading researchers, and the moving story of her own struggle with alcohol abuse. The result is an unprecedented and bold inquiry that is both informative and shocking.

My rating: 4 stars
My opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed this book on female addictions and feel it is an incredibly important topic. I would disagree with the author's premise that female addiction is on the rise. Although, I do feel that abusive drinking, such as binge drinking, particularly among young women, are definitely on the rise. I think the social acceptance of addressing one's addiction has become more socially acceptable. Female addicts have always been present, but always kept within the shadows. Marketing and product development directed towards female drinkers has also steadily become more acceptable, especially as women tend to gravitate towards "libations" with higher profit margins.

The author managed to balance data with a personal story masterfully. She includes a strong personal story, particularly related to familial history of addictions on the female side.  This was balanced with excellent, well researched data. Most books written on the subject are normally heavy on one side or another.

One criticism that I had that I feel really bogs down the book is that I thought the author had SOME moments of interjecting the story down with personal opinion (social commentary) on topics outside the focus of the book, which had the feeling of being irrelevant and partisan. Had this not have been present, this would have been a 5 star read.

As a former addictions counselor (working with adolescent female addicts), I felt this book was more targeted toward the "professional" female alcoholic and felt this would be beneficial with portions of the book being used in a therapeutic setting with such clients. 
Source:  HarperWave for review
Would I recommend? : Already have
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

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