Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why Women May Be More Prone to Drug Abuse

Women are among the fastest-growing segments of drug users in the United States — and they may even be more prone to addiction than men, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report. 

Here’s a summary of some of the reasons listed in the article: 
  • Women are more vulnerable to mental illness. And mental disorders, including depression, eating disorders, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, have been linked to an increased risk of substance use disorders. 
  • Women have more chronic pain. The result: greater susceptibility to opiate and prescription drug abuse. In fact, women are given higher doses and for longer periods of time than men -- and they become dependent more quickly, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
  • Women have higher incidents of trauma, discrimination and stress. These are all intertwined with addiction. As many as 80 percent of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault, according to studies. Women are also more likely to experience gender discrimination – and this is linked to higher stress, which is also a risk factor of substance abuse. 
  •  Women tend to develop addictions faster. And they often enter into treatment programs with more severe dependence than men.
Gender Differences in Substance Abuse
Luckily, more and more research is focusing on the differences between women and men when it comes to addiction. These findings can only help women get the treatment they need and deserve. 

Here are a few more telling facts about women and drug abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
  • Women use smaller amounts of certain drugs for less time before they become addicted.
  • Women may have more drug cravings and be more likely to relapse after treatment. 
  • Sex hormones can make women more sensitive to the effects of some drugs.
  • Women may experience more physical effects on their heart and blood vessels.
  • Women may be more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety or depression.
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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