AN ESTIMATED FOUR-MILLION AMERICAN WOMEN ABUSE ALCOHOL AND MANY OF THEM HAVE MASTERED HIDING THEIR PROBLEM FROM LOVED ONES.
NOW STATISTICS SHOW ALCOHOL ABUSE AMONG WOMEN IS REALLY ON THE RISE.
TONIGHT'S HEALTHCAST INTRODUCES US TO TWO WOMEN WHO SAVED THEIR FAMILIES BY ADMITTING THEIR SHAMEFUL SECRETS.
HEATHER FANNING FEELS LUCKY. SHE KNOWS HER DRINKING COULD HAVE KILLED HER... OR SOMEONE ELSE.
"Around my house there would be stashes and I'd drink when people weren't watching."
AT HER WORST - THIS WORKING MOM WAS DRINKING THREE SHOTS OF VODKA, TEN BEERS AND TWO GLASSES OF WINE... EVERY DAY.
ACCORDING TO A FEDERAL STUDY, 6 OUT OF 10 WOMEN BETWEEN 18 AND 44 DRINK ALCOHOL.
FEMALE ALCOHOLICS HAVE DEATH RATES 50 TO 100-PERCENT HIGHER THAN MALE ALCOHOLICS...AND THE NUMBER OF WOMEN ARRESTED FOR D-U-I IS UP ALMOST 30 PERCENT.
PSYCHOLOGIST BARBARA KELLY SAYS FAMILIES NEED TO LOOK MORE CLOSELY FOR SIGNS OF A FUNCTIONING ALCOHOLIC.
"They hide the alcohol in places that they know people wouldn't typically look or it sometimes is even in the nursery where their baby sleeps."
STAY-AT-HOME MOM MICHELLE MCCLENNEN KEPT AN IMMACULATE HOME - TOOK CARE OF TWO KIDS - AND STILL MANAGED TO JUGGLE DAILY DRINKING.
"There was also Bunko, that's a dice rolling game that's actually called Drunko because you definitely drink a lot."
MICHELLE WORKED WITH A COUNSELOR TO KICK HER HABIT...HEATHER FOUND HELP THROUGH AN IN-PATIENT ADDICTION CENTER.
BOTH SAY ADMITTING THEY NEEDED HELP WAS THE TOUGHEST PART...BUT THESE MOMS ARE SHARING THEIR SHAME - AND HOPING TO REVERSE THE TREND OF WOMEN TURNING TO ALCOHOL.
WHILE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN ARRESTED FOR D-U-I INCREASED 30-PERCENT IN THE PAST DECADE, MEN STILL OUTNUMBER THEM FOUR TO ONE.
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