Saturday, October 21, 2006

He Drinks, She Drinks

What would I do without my Wall Street Journal?

Cover story of the Saturday Pursuit (style) Section:

He Drinks, She Drinks.

A story after my own heart. The gender-fication of alcoholic beverages.

There are male drinks, and female drinks, and it's okay for females to drink male drinks (scotch, bourbon, anything straight up), but it is SO NOT OKAY for men to drink Cosmos, Manhattans, Daiquiris. . . women drinks. You get it.

Anything with a hint of pink or cranberry.

But it's okay that women know the nuances of shades of malt.

I'll say it once. Women get sicker, quicker.

We are susceptible to the cancers, the liver disease, more susceptible than our biological converses, males.

I am going to venture a guess, however, that it has something to do with our estrogen and how our fat cells (estrogen's to blame) absorb the toxins of booze. It really doesn't matter why, because statistically, women go down the tubes physiologically over time if they drink too much alcohol. We get sick in our forties if we don't watch it, whereas the guys eek it out longer.

The point of this is to say, really, that it doesn't matter if it's Canadian straight up (thank you) or a Cosmo, Manhattan, etc. It's all the same to your gut.

One of my favorite psychiatric consultants, who never drank at all, not a drop said: "Alcohol is the enemy. In our profession, alcohol is the enemy." That was 30 years ago. I never forgot it and I still repeat it often.

When I see people for alcohol abuse it's because of the trouble that followed a night out, like finding they don't know the person they wake up to in the morning. Women, particularly, hate when this happens. It can cause problems jumping from partner to partner.

A little math lesson: 2 oz of hard liquor = 12 oz of beer, = 6 oz. of wine. The sugary drinks are worse because the sugar zips the alcohol into the blood stream. All of the mixed sugared drinks can feel like doubles. This also blows the, "I only drink beer" fable out of the water. 4 beers = 4 shots.

For most people, a drink or two won't do any damage at all. But who do you know who goes out for a drink or two?

Which is fine if it didn't impair cognition. Getting high with any substance drives the really bad decisions. The dis-inhibition, so liberating at the time, doesn't feel good the next day, when you remember what you did the night before. With whom.

Of course, if you have black outs, you won't remember what you did the night before. Your friends will tell you, assuming they didn't black out, too.

And I don't mind listening, of course, that's what I'm there for. But it's a shame we have to learn so many lessons the hard way.

Copyright 2006, TherapyDoc

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