UpstreamPublisher: Feminist Publications , Canada
Year Published: 1977
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX403
Upstream is a monthly newsmagazine published by Feminist Publications of Ottawa. Topics covered in the paper include female unemployment, female political prisoners in Indonesia, Law for Women, the Berger Report, book reviews, and a section on poetry. One feature article is on the female alcoholic.
Abstract: Upstream is a monthly newsmagazine published by Feminist Publications of Ottawa. Topics covered in the paper include female unemployment, female political prisoners in Indonesia, Law for Women, the Berger Report, book reviews, and a section on poetry. One feature article is on the female alcoholic. The author includes common misconceptions surrounding women and alcohol, reasons for increased use of alcohol, and various treatment centres. Now that more research is including the female drinking population, it is evident that women alcoholics are anything but uncommon. "Surveys outside Canada indicate that one of every three alcoholics is female. Dr. Marvin Block, chairperson of the American Medical Association Committee on Alcoholism, reports that 50 per cent of the alcoholics in the United States are women. In Canada, the number of deaths elated to cirrhosis of the liver in women, rose 120 per cent between 1962 and 1973. Two of the reasons cited in the article for the use of alcohol among women are: (1) A radical change in a women's immediate environment - divorce, death, an operation, and (2) Alcohol helps them cope, or at least, lessens their anxiety about being female. A researcher in the United States reported that the words used by women to express how they felt after two drinks were: "warm, loving, considerate, expressive, open, pretty, affectionate, sexy, and feminine." The author states that it is more acceptable to be a male alcoholic than a female alcoholic. This has caused many women to stay hidden, and as a result, there is a great lack of treatment centres. In Ontario, there are 13 detoxification centres, holding 265 beds, of which only 25 are for women. As the use of alcohol by women becomes more apparent, more attention is being focussed on how to best help them. The Donwood Institute for Addiction in Toronto says that "approximately one quarter of their patients are women and recommends that female alcoholics be treated by people who are concerned and informed about the special needs of women". The article concludes by saying "perhaps the most important thing the female alcoholic needs is support. Pity and resentment have kept her down long enough. It's not just her problem; we are all affected. By ignoring the female alcoholic we prevent her from being the integral member of society she needs to be.
Periodical profile published 1977