The summer edition of Fashion magazine has a sobering story by a woman who, after a decade of being a party girl, finally acknowledged that she had an alcohol addiction and that she needed to do something about it. She’s wonderfully honest about her drinking, which far exceeded the low-risk drinking guidelines, and talks about the risks excessive drinking brings to both a woman’s health – an increased risk of breast cancer, for example – as well as safety, which can leave a woman vulnerable to sexual assault. She also talks about the personal cost, that it took nearly the end of her marriage for her to quit drinking. This is an important discussion. While we can put a dollar figure on the overall cost of alcohol in Canada – $14.6 billion in lost productivity, health care and enforcement costs in 2002 – the personal costs are harder to calculate and a lot harder to talk about.