In Canada (and many other countries), women of childbearing age (i.e., between the ages 18 and 35) are consuming more alcohol than ever before. Despites the potential health and social consequences associated with alcohol consumption, its use is increasingly being normalized as part of a stress management regime to cope with day-to-day life.
I am writing as a long-time parent of adult sons who live with the challenging impacts of trauma and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and who have been affected by the multi-generational legacy of Indian Residential Schools and colonial treatment of Canada’s First Peoples. I am writing to share my profound personal experience after a week of sadness when I was struggling to find words.
While engaged in my research, I often reflect on questions such as why do people feel that they need alcohol? What does alcohol mean to people in the context of their individual lives and circumstances? What fuels someone’s desire to drink? My own research, as well as popular culture writing such as Ann Dowsett Johnston’s book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, has made me think long and hard about how alcohol use in society is normalized.
When our son was twelve, he exploded with a vengeance. Without warning, amidst a crowded outdoor concession stand, he power-kicked a soccer ball directly into his sister’s head. So I loaded him into a van for a road trip to explore, “why the anger?” Every few seconds he said something chilling, then contradicted it in the next sentence. I remained … Read More