Alcoholism in the Latino community is a serious problem, it’s something we don’t like to talk about, but it has serious consequences. In 2015 Elizabeth Peña died from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse. Former Chicago news anchor, Edna Schmidt got fired from Telemundo for showing up at work drunk and even long time talk show host, Christina Saralegui also came forward saying that she had an alcohol abuse problem. Elizabeth Vargas, 20/20 anchor has struggled with alcoholism for several years and most recently wrote a book about her struggles with alcoholism.
Alcoholism affects Latina women at a greater rate than men and it’s about time we start talking about this. One of the things that all of these women have in common, except for Elizabeth Peña, is that they realized they had a problem with alcohol and got the help they need. Plus, they felt the need to use their place of power and popularity to tell their story in order to help others. Elizabeth Peña, on the other hand struggled with alcoholism silently and never got the help she needed, which is very common among Latinos.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the rate of death of women alcoholics is twice as high as men. Plus educated women are more prone to become alcoholics, especially those that are in high-level jobs, where they secretly suffer from anxiety and the pressure of being the best, which is why they find comfort in alcohol.