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For Women, Problem Drinking on the Rise

Gisela Giardino/Flickr

This program originally aired on 1-25-18.

"Wine is to women as duck tape is to men: it fixes everything. " "I make wine disappear, what's your super power?" "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, but if the white runs out, I'll drink red."

These are supposed to be jokes, but they may also be indicative of a growing problem. During this hour on Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Ann Dowsett-Johnson, author of "Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol," about women's relationship with drinking culture. 

Americans consumed 949 million gallons of wine in 2016. Compare that with 796 million gallons in 2010. Women aren't the only reason for that increase, but they are a part of it, according to Dowsett-Johnson. She calls the increase in marketing of alcoholic beverages to women the "pinking" of the market. 

"We've been absolutely bombarded with this messaging that alcohol is a way to celebrate and relax," she says. "It's hard to stand up to that messaging. I would argue that we see wine as a food group, not even a drug. When you walk into any social event, the first thing you're going to be asked is 'red' or 'white.'"

During this hour, we also hear from Rebekah Peterson, director of Mercy Clinic's House of Mercy, and Fonda Frazier, clinical director for Prelude Behavioral Services in Iowa City. Both facilities provide both in-patient and out-patient treatment services for women and their families. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa