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April 1976

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Another Coverup?

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In a 58-page analysis of the literature on women, alcohol, and other legal drugs, Patricia Badiet, an Ottawa social worker, is particularly critical of the dearth of attention to the area of women and alcohol.

She says her nine-month review "clearly indicates that alcoholism among women is a more serious problem than current statistics reveal and. . .despite growing evidence of the severity of the problem of alcoholism as it affects women, their needs continue to be ignored." She refers to one study which found that between 1928 and 1970 "only 28 studies on women alcoholics were published in the English language as compared to the thousands on male alcoholics.

"Because of women's traditional role in society, their alcoholism has been covered by husbands, doctors, families, courts, police, etc. The greater stigma for women has handicapped referral for treatment and caused them to be labeled 'sicker' than their male counterparts.

"It is easier for a husband to decide that his wife is mentally ill and send her to a psychiatrist or hospital than to decide she is an 'inebriate' and send her for treatment for alcoholism."

The fact that women often share the wider society's attitude only exacerbates the situation.

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