Women's increasing economic power has encouraged the promotion of their drinking as fashionable. However, women are more vulnerable to the impact of alcohol, and the stigma attached to alcoholism is greater for them than it is for men. As a consequence, a woman — and those around her — will deny her alcoholism until she has lost much more than her male counterparts. When, or if, she seeks help for this devastating disease, she finds a lack of woman-specific programs and facilities. This article notes the barriers to recovery for women and offers some suggestions for breaking them down. Two case studies demonstrate how alcoholic women, recovering in support groups, are empowered to go forward into new and successful lives and become role models for others.



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