Women Can Control Their Drinking: How to Do It Yourself

Rarely does a book appear that is both readable and highly informative. Such a rare gem is Gabrielle Glasser’s Her Best-Kept Secret. Why Women Drink – And How they Can Regain Control. The sub-title suggests the practical value of evidence based techniques. Women (and men) can use them to either control their drinking or to abstain.

control their drinkingThe author examines the current status of drinking among women. Her look at how women’s’ drinking has changed over time is insightful. It also provides context.

Glaser shows that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for everyone. She explores why a program might be effective for one person. Then she shows it may not be ineffective for another. Or why it can be counter productive for others.

Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)

Her Best-Kept Secret explains why A.A. tends to be especially ineffective for women.

A.A. was developed by men. Studies show that men feel more powerful when they drink. Women, by contrast, feel calmer and less inhibited.

A.A. urges members to surrender egos to a higher power. This might work for men. But women don’t typically have an excess of hubris. Many of them are drinking because they feel powerless in their lives.

Sponsors in A.A. are not doctors. They’re simply other members. This may have made sense when A.A. formed in the 1930s.

It’s not good to give other members such power. Often it leads to a dark aspect of A.A. That is, the 13th step of sex.1

Her Best-Kept Secret is great for anyone seeking help to control their drinking. Or that of a loved one.

A.A. and other 12 step programs help some people. But they fail about 95% of people. This is lower than the natural cure rate. Using no program is successful for about 36% of alcoholics. That’s according to U.S. federal government research.

Other Options

There are many non-12-step options available. They help many women control their drinking.

Resources: Women Can Control Their Drinking


1. Her Best-Kept Secret.


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