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Is alcohol Mom's stress-relieving secret?

One expert suggets women are drinking more ?to cope with exhaustion, anxiety, isolation and the stress? or being moms and caregivers.

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Is the stress of balancing work and home driving more mothers to drink? An article in Working Mother magazine cites statistics that suggest that the number of American women between the ages of 30 to 44 who abuse alcohol has doubled in the past 10 years. (And not just alcohol: The magazine also reported statistics that show prescription drug abuse has increased by 400 per cent in the past 10 years.)

The article, entitled Addicted Moms: Everybody Knows Somebody, profiled women who harbour alcohol addictions - in one case while holding down a successful career and raising her kids as a single mother.

Women are more likely to hide an addiction, experts told the magazine, because they worry about the people who depend on them. "Everyone might think they're doing fine - their kids might be getting straight As. But inside, they're dying," said Robert Smith, an addiction counselor in New York.

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Alcohol consumption, in general, has also been found to be on the rise in Canada. And last year the Daily Mail reported a similar trend in Britain, calling it "the wind-down wine alert," after a survey showed that half of all mothers drank at home three or four times a week. Ian Gilmore, the president of the Royal College of Physicians, suggested in the story that women were using alcohol "to cope with exhaustion, anxiety, isolation and the stress" or being moms and caregivers.

It's a dangerous trend, not least because excessive alcohol has been linked to breast cancer.

What do you think: Are stressed out parents turning to alcohol more often to ease the stress? And when does it become a problem?

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