Wednesday, June 21, 2017

4 Myths About Women and Addiction

Men and women are far from equal when it comes to substance use disorders – and, thankfully, more and more research is exploring the gender differences. Still, many myths abound when in comes to women and addiction. Here we take a look at a few common ones and the facts that dispel them. 

Myth: More men than women get addicted to drugs and alcohol.
This used to be true, but the gender gap is closing. Experts say that women are among the fastest-growing segments of drug users in the U.S. Some stats, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): 
  • Up to 4.5 million women over age 12 in the U.S. have a substance use disorder.
  • 3.5 million misuse prescription drugs.
  • 3.1 million regularly use illicit drugs.
  • More than 200,000 American women die as a result of alcoholism and drug dependence.
  • More than 4 million women are in need of addiction treatment.
Myth: Women and men begin using for the same reason.
Women are twice as likely to experience anxiety and depression as men – and this often leads to self-medication as a way to manage these mental health conditions. Trauma also plays a role: Seventy four percent of women struggling with addiction reported sexual abuse in their history, according to one of the first studies to examine female addiction. And a large percentage of women seeking treatment for addiction report lifetime histories of emotional abuse and physical assault.

Myth: Pain is an equal driver of addiction for men and women.
In fact, women have been study-proven to suffer more frequently and more intensely from pain – and, in general, they visit more doctors and are more likely to be introduced to opioids through a painkiller prescription. The proportion of women seeking treatment for opioid addiction has grown so much that today the number of men and women in rehab for this addiction is about equal.

Myth: Women and men should be treated for addiction in the same way. 
Women tend to develop addictions faster and more seriously than men. In addition, women have a greater chance of relapse. What’s more, many women are dealing with such treatment barriers as social stigma, co-occurring disorders, trauma and financial constraints – which all make gender-specific treatment even more important. Addiction treatment progresses differently for women, too, and women have a greater chance of relapse.

Women and Addiction Recovery
At Rising Roads Recovery, we know that every woman who comes to us is incredibly unique and needs to be treated that way. One size does not fit all – and one future does not work for everyone. To learn more, call 866-746-1558. 

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