Feature

Author of the week: Gabrielle Glaser

Journalist Gabrielle Glaser didn’t have to look very far to pick up on a troubling new trend.

Journalist Gabrielle Glaser didn’t have to look very far to pick up on a troubling new trend, said Jeff Baker in the Portland Oregonian. Around 2000, the 49-year-old author remembers, more and more female acquaintances started showing signs of alcohol dependence. “Women around me started joking about ‘needing’ their wine,” she says. And when Glaser began digging into the numbers, she learned that her friends who’d developed a new passion for viniculture were hardly outliers. In her new book, Her Best-Kept Secret, she reports that women are increasingly likely to engage in binge drinking, get arrested for drunk driving, or show up in emergency rooms dangerously intoxicated. “It’s not just one statistic,” says Glaser. “It’s pretty much everywhere.”

Glaser too started hitting the bottle hard a few years ago, said Barbara McMahon in The Times (U.K.). “I was drinking too much during a stressful time—a cross-country move with three kids,” she says. “Wine seemed like an excellent idea, and it was. But I would overdo it.” She has since set herself strict limits—no more than two drinks a night, plus a few dry nights each week—and she argues in her book that many women with drinking problems should aim to achieve a similar level of moderation. To Glaser, Alcoholics Anonymous’s insistence on lifelong abstinence makes little sense for many drinkers who’ve experienced dependence on booze. “The word ‘alcoholic’ is something we really need to move beyond,” she says. “It doesn’t really mean anything.”

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