Pro~Wine Marketing is a Seductive Killer

By Boozemusings Co... 05/30/19
model-2193153_1920.jpg

I started blogging my way sober in a private community back in 2015 and have written many posts these last 4 years. On my one year "soberversary" I earned the opportunity to reach a wide audience by publishing in Huffington Post which was inspiring to me because I hoped to expose the media campaigns that encourage women to drink dangerously. By the end of 2017 though, when I submitted my last "toxic culture" post to Huff, the project had begun to feel like slogging around in hip-deep mud. It was exhausting, depressing and demoralizing because fighting the Goliath that is alcohol marketing was going nowhere. Last summer's sexy campaign to drink giant glasses of pretty pink alcohol all day long didn't just come from the makers of rosè but gin and vodka as well. The alcohol industry makes a fortune encouraging addictive behavior through advertising and popular media and they will continue to do so as long as they are allowed. 



Now that I am four years sober I've decided to focus my energy on the positive. Rather than trying to expose the culture that encourages addiction I'm working to reach out to people like me who are caught in the trap. In my writing, I'm sharing my experience of sobriety as empowerment and I'm working with friends to create the kind of safe, creative community that helped us work through our own issues with alcohol. A place where we can focus on individual truth and growth and where we can write, and think and share. A place where productive ideas and free thought are encouraged because no one, much less the alcohol industry, is trying to sell anything or manipulate anyone. But last night on the eve of my four year "soberversary"  this article came up on my Facebook feed and this morning it was troubling me still..


U.S. deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide hit highest level since record-keeping began

 


 

It wasn't the first time in these four years that I've seen a headline like that. The first one I read was in the New York Times back in 2015...

 


 

 Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds                

"..rising annual death rates among this group are being driven  by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abusealcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids."

 


 

Then a few months later in the Washington Post...

 


A New Divide in American Death

"Deaths of rural white women in their early 50s from cirrhosis of the liver have doubled since the end of the 20th century, The Post found."


These articles about the increase in alcohol-related death toll have popped up consistently these past four years as have reports that the studies of the health benefits of alcohol were tainted by funding from the alcohol industry and reports that alcohol does indeed cause cancer, yet we continue to glamorize and glorify drinking and sober continues to be an awkward word in the English language. 


So on my four-year soberversary today I asked the FIX to republish the last post I spent energy on that was AGAINST the alcohol Goliath rather than FOR the empowerment of living sober. I don't want to write AGAINST alcohol marketing anymore or read about it for that matter but I would like to say, please, if you are feeling that you have to drink to fit into your culture or your family or your world don't stay trapped. The stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much but it's NOT. 


 

Rethink the Drink. 

You'll be glad that you did. 


 

Everywhere you look in our world today people will try to sell you addictive behavior as normal . If you become addicted you will most likely feel ashamed and isolated and someone will try to sell you a cure. But that cure has to come finally from you. Only you can choose to stand up for yourself and fight back. A strong community at your back will help immeasurably. There are a lot of us on the internet today offering community and support and a place to work it through. Some are free and some charge a fee for the mountains of resources and specialized support they offer. Come check us out. Look around and try the online groups on for size until you find your perfect fit. 

 


 

Here are a few on-line groups starting with my Community and the communities that helped me get going. 

BOOM Community Rethink the Drink  

Soberistas

Tired of Thinking About Drinking 100 Day challenge

and a thorough article listing many more both online and in the outside world

The Top 19 Sober Communities Beyond Traditional AA

 


 

Here is my last indignant rant on toxic media and alcohol marketing

 


 

Pro~Wine Marketing is a Seductive Killer 

 

I still remember the first reports around the year 2000 that wine was heart healthy and should be included in our daily diet. I was thrilled to be able to justify drinking wine at night as a healthy choice. My first glass of wine would go down easily while I prepared dinner for my family and I’d often continue to sip throughout the evening. When generous glasses of dark red wine became common props in my favorite prime-time TV shows, it seemed that everyone was drinking as much, and as often as me. 

With the exception of the Prohibition years, drinking has always been an accepted part of American culture and we like to laugh about the downside. Most of us can relate to a good joke on Facebook about drunk texting and have an endless array of humorous words to describe the condition like; hammered, sloshed, stupid, tipsy, pissed, wasted, smashed, potted, dopey, bombed, and blitzed. But since hearing those first reports about the health benefits of daily wine drinking our culture has been swept up in an enthusiasm for daily drinking that is turning our drinking culture, into an addicted culture.

 

Our wine glasses have gotten bigger and bigger over the last 16 years, and we now have glasses that hold an entire bottle. Wine is an accepted part of most meetings from book clubs to church communities to the PTA. Girl’s Night Out has evolved into Mommy’s Time Out and wine is commonly served for the parents at pre-school play dates. We glamorize drinking, glorify drinking and joke about getting drunk. It’s no wonder that our teens and twenty-somethings see no problem in getting annihilated, plastered, legless, paralytic, tanked, plowed, legless, blind, sh&t faced, and f#$ked up. Maybe it’s time we stepped back and looked at the message we’re sending our kids (and receiving ourselves)  about a healthy relationship to alcohol.

 

 

 

 The generation of young women who went through adolescence watching America’s sweetheart Courtney Cox drink a bottle or two of wine every night on the comedy Cougar Town; watching the gorgeous gang of like-able twenty-somethings bond over round after round of drinks on How I Met Your Mother; and watching Kathie Lee and Hoda celebrate mid-morning with a glass of white, a glass of red and the occasional shot of vodka on the Today Show Happy Hour, have been reported to be among the world’s most self destructive binge drinkers.
 

 

Television shows reflect our culture, but they also influence it and the 21st-century subplot that women can drink heavily every day without serious consequence has definitely reached America. Not only young women but their mothers and grandmothers as well are increasingly likely to be addicted to binge drinking.

 

 

 

I retired from my illustrious drinking a few months after my fiftieth birthday. My nightly de-stress drinking had gradually turned into regular bingeing as I traveled through middle age and I knew it was time to stop. I consider myself lucky that I was able to rein it in and sobriety agrees with me more than I ever imagined possible. I don’t worry anymore if I’m drinking too much. I am free because I now, simply do not drink

 

CNN and Cosmopolitan magazine, at opposite ends of the media spectrum both, reported in 2017  that alcohol use disorder or alcoholism was increasing dramatically in the United States. A few weeks ago it was reported that over the past 10 years, liver cirrhosis deaths have risen by over 60% among women and millennials.

 

If you’re questioning your drinking and aren’t sure how to stop or cut down Talk to Us  ReThink the Drink 

Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don't HAVE to drink. Don't stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much. 

We provide a private, anonymous, community where you can start thinking it through 

 BOOM Rethink the Drink  

Related articles:  

How the Alcohol Industry Polishes its Tarnished Halo

Breaking Down the Myths: What can Alcohol REALLY do for You?

Pringles Wine Tumblers Exist, so Now You Can Channel Your Inner Walmart Woman


Do moms need too much wine? Women's drinking habits spark concern

 

Alcohol-related liver failure deaths rising among U.S. young adults

 

New Study Finds Nearly 1 in 4 Americans Under the Age of 30 Is an Alcoholic

 

Study finds 1 in 8 Americans struggles with alcohol abuse

****************
Join the conversation, become a Fix blogger. Share your experience, strength, and hope, or sound off on the issues affecting the addiction/recovery community. Create your account and start writing: https://www.thefix.com/add-community-content.