The statistics are sobering. In the United States alone, almost 15% of children have an alcoholic parent. Almost 20 million in the US do drugs. For women, especially young mothers or single parents, the number of alcohol and drug abusers is on the rise. Experts are torn as to the reason but women are more prone to hiding their alcohol or drug abuse as opposed to men. More men are open to seeking help. One reason could point to the fact that women nowadays have so much pressure on them that they feel as if they need to turn to drugs/alcohol just to keep their lives and families intact. Stories of women who secretly down copious amounts of alcohol are no secret: it seems as if everybody knows somebody who is an alcoholic.
Since the 1980s wherein women were suddenly welcome in huge numbers at the workforce, the pressure to perform became a huge burden. Although a lot of women became empowered, a lot of people still resorted to thinking inside the box and delegated all the housework to women. Or we could simply say that the women folk’s burdens increased twofold. Not only did they have to cook, clean, and tuck the kids to sleep, they also had to juggle 9 to 5 day jobs that sometimes extended until the wee hours of the morning. This translated to less sleep and less output so the women had to do something. Some women turned to Valium, some to coke, while some thought that a whiff or two of marijuana at the end of the day was a good idea.
The good thing though is that all is not lost. For the women (especially mothers) who seek help, they are usually able to keep to the clean and sober path. A lot of women are eligible to enroll in 12 step programs and sober living environments. Not all women had to enlist the help of detox programs because a majority of these women were thought of as very functional and seemingly without addictions. In fact, most of these women were considered “too functional”.
For women and mothers who are trying to get back to being completely sober, they have motherhood on their side to help them stay on track. Motherhood itself is a great driving force to help keep the women to stay focused on recovery. A lot of mothers think they are superhuman and society reinforces this belief by putting a lot of stress on women. They must work, nurture, and do the cleanup afterwards. There are unique challenges and hurdles for recovering mothers but it is not at all impossible. Motherhood involves a certain kind of madness so it’s completely okay to have a spa day or two. Those who have tight budgets can always ask a girlfriend or a loved one to look after the kids for a day so that mom could concentrate on work or take a mini vacation. Little by little, the media, which enforces double standards for women, is also helping out at the same time by encouraging women to get help. Most women are afraid to get help because they do not want to be separated from their kids. But the thing is, when mothers get help, they’ll be able to recover and enjoy the present. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.