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Is it Really About Alcohol? The Truth About Alcohol Abuse in Women

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

SEYMOUR, Tenn., March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Six million women in the U.S. abuse or are dependent on alcohol, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Frequent binge drinking in women's colleges increased by 124 percent between 1993 and 2001. Nearly 21.6 million Americans are in need of but have not received treatment for an alcohol problem, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2003). April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and Brookhaven Retreat, a multidisciplinary treatment facility that helps women overcome emotional trauma and addiction challenges, is working to raise awareness about the number-one drug problem in the United States: alcohol.


"Alcohol abuse is a tool women use to numb out emotional pain, often not realizing that an addiction has developed because they are doing something perceived as legal and social, and therefore okay," said Jacqueline Dawes, the owner and founder of Brookhaven Retreat. "There are millions of American women trapped by alcohol dependency who, because of fear, shame, and the whole stigma associated with alcohol abuse, feel too afraid to seek help. They need to understand that the addiction is treatable and there is hope."

The highly-trained professionals at Brookhaven Retreat strive to help women understand how their need for a numbing-out escape began. What caused them to start using alcohol as a tool to relax, sleep, and hide, when the stress and fear were mounting? And why can they not find the strength to stop?

According to Dawes, alcohol conceals the real issues these women are facing, including depression, low self-esteem, trauma, and disempowerment.

"The alcohol is the tip of the iceberg, and is only a small part of what is really going on with the person," said Dawes. "At Brookhaven, we offer no judgment. It is overwhelmingly frightening to seek treatment, but that is the first step to recovery and is undoubtedly the most crucial."

Alcohol dependency is shrouded by many myths, one of which is that a person chooses to be an alcoholic. Many times, friends and family members think the person should be able to exert self-control, when in fact, the emotional breakage existing within the person has made it unbearable for them to live without their dependency on alcohol. Dawes says that these women have formed a relationship with the alcohol that makes them feel like they need it to function in society, and that once the dependency has been established, women must undergo residential treatment in order to disengage the dependency.

Brookhaven Retreat's philosophy is that each person must receive individualized attention, administered by highly-trained staff in order to facilitate long-term recovery. This recovery grows from an introspective journey to define the emotional breakage, followed by the development of life skills that allow lasting maintenance of emotional wellness.

Realizing that you or a loved one has a drinking problem can be a challenge. The following signs may indicate alcohol abuse:

  • Feeling guilt about drinking
  • Drinking to calm nerves, forget worries or to boost a sad mood
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down/stop drinking
  • Lying about or hiding drinking habits
  • Feeling irritable, resentful or unreasonable
  • Causing harm to oneself or someone else as a result of drinking
  • Needing to drink increasingly greater amounts in order to achieve desired effect
  • Identifying medical, social, family or financial problems caused by drinking

For more information about how Brookhaven can help women with alcohol problems begin the recovery process, call 877-817-3422 or visit

About Brookhaven Retreat

Brookhaven Retreat is a unique, voluntary residential treatment facility specially designed to help women overcome emotional trauma or addiction challenges. The fully accredited and certified dual-diagnosis center is America's premier treatment center for emotional trauma and addiction and offers female-specific treatment. Located on 48 beautiful acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, it offers modern, holistic care with compassion and respect from a highly trained expert staff of licensed therapists, physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Brookhaven Retreat
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