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Arizona State House to ban alcohol consumption in House offices post harassment investigation
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Arizona State House to ban alcohol consumption in House offices post harassment investigation

In a recent case of sexual harassment involving a senior legislator, Arizona state House Speaker J.D. Mesnard has called for an implementation of new anti-harassment policies and a formal ban on alcohol consumption in House offices in Arizona state legislature.

In the statement issued recently, Mesnard said that he would strip Rep. Don Shooter of his assignments as the chairman of the House Appropriations committee for violating the sexual harassment policy. He also seeks to censure Shooter for his behavior. In addition to the alleged sexual misconduct cases, Shooter was also known for holding after-hours parties at his office that included alcohol. Calling forth other changes to improve the institutional culture at the House, Mesnard has also called for a “formal behavioral code of conduct” for all House members and a human resource department for the chamber. He also indicated prohibition of alcohol consumption on House premises during his tenure as the Speaker.

Allegations against Shooter

The first woman to publicly accuse Shooter is Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita who had earlier posted a public letter on a social media site, stating that she had been harassed by male lawmakers and was rebuked for reporting her experience. According to her, Shooter had told her that “he was in love with her.” She also accused him to once “show up uninvited” with “a six-pack of beer” at her hotel room at an out-of-state conference. According to her, Shooter even left her a bottle of tequila and a note that referred to a Kenny Chesney song indicating a woman driving a man crazy. When probed, Shooter did not deny the allegations.

Post Rita’s allegations went public, eight other women came forward with stories of inappropriate, sexually charged comments, and unwanted touching and sexual advances by Shooter. The allegations prompted Mesnard to launch an investigation. After finding credible evidence, he introduced a resolution formally censuring Shooter though refrained from calling for his resignation.

Alcohol consumption causes more harm to women

A long-term disease and a leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects approximately 16 million people in the America. When left unchecked, alcohol abuse can harm one’s relationships, disrupt professional life, cause legal troubles and accidents, and even lead to unemployment and homelessness. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can cause more harm to women. As their bodies do not have the same tolerance levels as men, women are more vulnerable to long-term side effects including various types of cancers, liver diseases, brain damage and heart damage. Excessive drinking by a woman makes her susceptible to sexual assault, marital discord and divorce. It is estimated that 60 percent women drink at least one alcoholic beverage in a given year in America and 13 percent take more than seven drinks per week, which is above the recommended limits. Female drinkers surpass men in terms of deaths from suicide, stroke, liver cirrhosis and alcohol-related accidents. Addicted mothers are more likely to miss work, ignore childcare responsibilities, hurt a pedestrian while driving in a drunk state and getting arrested for driving under intoxication.

Path towards comprehensive recovery

It’s important to understand that alcohol abuse and addiction is a chronic disease and a comprehensive treatment involves medically assisted detox followed by psychotherapy under the guidance of trained medical health professionals.

Sovereign Health of Chandler, Arizona is a women-only residential rehab facility to treat substance abuse problems among women and address any other underlying problem that plagues them. We understand that compared to men, the needs of women are different and therefore, offer customized treatment in a relaxing and serene environment. Our expert team of doctors and therapists provide the highest level of care for long-lasting recovery. Our women-only alcohol program in Chandler combines a host of evidence-based treatment modalities along with behavioral counseling and experiential therapies.

For more information on our top-notch alcohol treatment for women in Arizona, give us a call at our 24/7 helpline number and speak to one of the counselors. For instant help, you can chat online with a representative now.

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