When actress Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the hit 1970s TV series, recently revealed her decades-long battle with alcohol addiction, it was not the first time she went public about her substance use disorder. Carter has talked about her past struggles with alcohol from time to time. Only this time, her public recounting at a Library of Congress celebration carried more significance. And not because it came on the heels of the blockbuster success of a new Wonder Woman motion picture. What made her rear-view mirror introspection so relevant was the fact that woman’s excessive alcohol consumption is quietly trending upward at an alarming rate.
Women Now Drink as Much as Men
The Guardian reported that women have caught up with men in the amount of alcohol they drink and are doing increasing amounts of damage to their health as a result, according to a global study that looked at the consumption habits of four million people over a century-long period. The researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center of the University of New South Wales, Australia say the conclusion is that public health efforts need to focus more on women.
Alcohol Abuse is Still Viewed by Many as a Man’s Affliction
When Carter was dealing with her drinking issues, alcohol abuse disorders were viewed primarily as a man’s problem. But when she went public about her alcohol addiction, it challenged the commonly held belief that alcohol abuse is gender-specific. Carter laid the foundation for more women suffering from alcohol abuse to come out of the shadows and seek help.
Whether or not women were accurately being accounted for and diagnosed with drinking problems prior to the release of the New South Wales study may never be known. But what is crystal clear is that alcoholism is no longer a “male problem.” It is a “people problem” that devastates the lives of both men and women.
Another study by the University of North Dakota confirms that alcoholism crosses gender lines and has definitely found its way to the female population. According to Preeminent American alcohol researcher Sharon Wilsnack, of the University of North Dakota, we are now witnessing a “global epidemic” in women’s drinking.
According to John Tozi in an August 9 2017, Bloomberg News article titled: “America’s Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century,” JAMA Psychiatry conducted a study that revealed women showed a larger increase than men in alcohol abuse.
A “Global Epidemic” in Women’s Drinking
So once again Carter is here to carry the torch and save humanity from a sinister villain. This time around, though, she’s not wearing her Wonder Woman garb and squaring off against a dark nemesis. Carter is now fighting with her voice — through a public awareness campaign — that involves simply talking about her past alcohol addiction.
If Carter is going to be successful in raising awareness about the dangerous trend between women and alcohol misuse one thing is sure: she can’t depend on Wonder Woman’s magic lasso or invisible airplane. She will have to fight women’s alcoholism with her mortal powers of celebrity.
About Scott Brand
Scott Brand is a prominent digital marketer in the addiction recovery industry, where he works with Inspirations for Youth and Families teen treatment center as well as its adult counterpart the Cove Center for Recovery. Scott has also been a contributing columnist for Consumer Health Digest, one of the fastest growing health information websites. He has authored hundreds of health related articles in over 80 publications including the peer reviewed International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience where his piece on Alcohol, Depression and Genetic Disposition: The Chicken, the Egg and the Gene Syndrome was critically acclaimed by leading industry professionals.