Study shows binge drinking on the rise among Silicon Valley women

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) – A major new study finds that Santa Clara County has one of the highest increases of binge drinking in the country and women are the worst offenders.

KTVU found mixed reaction to the study. But all agreed that alcohol is an easy stress reliever in the high pressure world of Silicon Valley.

‘Work hard, party hard' is a common practice, and more so in Santa Clara County than other counties in California, according to the new study by the University of Washington.

"I see a lot bartending. Girls get wasted," said Jen Bell, a bartender at Double D's Sports Grille.

She says often, she sees young women having 10 drinks during one night.

"It's not popular thing to just have one drink. They just want to go, go, go. It's really popular to try craft drinks or beer pong," said Bell.

The study defines binge drinking for women as four or more drinks on a single occasion. For men it's five or more.

One working mother says expectations of women are increasingly high to be able to do it all with a career and children.

''There's a lot of pressure to perform and look great and feel good all the time, exercise, raise your kids and be at work. They want to let their hair down," said Heidi Heether, the mother of two who works in retail.

Researchers found that in Santa Clara County, binge drinking among women increased almost 36 percent; while among men - 23 percent.

Drug and alcohol therapist Chris Packham with New Life Recovery Centers in San Jose says he's seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in clients during the past year.

He says half are women, and many work for tech companies.

"We're working harder, longer hours. We know where to decompress - alcohol right? Women are in the field just as much as men now," said Packham.

The study was done over a 10 year span from 2002 to 2012 .

Researchers examined data on 3.7 million Americans - ages 21 and older.

Experts say to reverse the trend, women and men need to find balance in their lives such as maintaining a good diet and exercise plan.

When asked what she would do to relieve stress, attorney Krystal Tate said, "I work out. I go to the gym."

Addiction experts say most often people don't seek help until they get a DUI.