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Underlying Issues Lead to Women’s Drug Abuse and Addiction

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Underlying Issues Lead to Women’s Drug Abuse and Addiction

What Could have Caused Your Mother’s, Daughter’s, Sister’s And Girl Friends Chemical Dependency: Women’s Drug Abuse and Addiction

SAMHSA reports that men tend to have higher rates of drug abuse than women, in all categories of drugs except prescription painkillers.  In addition, abused women who experience trauma in their lives tend to have a higher rate of addiction needing women’s addiction treatment that also takes into account their situations. Their small stature, in comparison to men and smaller bones means that whatever they become addicted to, women tend to find the path towards addiction much faster and harder than men. Yet, they have a harder time being able to commit to inpatient women’s addiction treatment for 30, 60, or 90 days due to familial commitments. Women’s addiction treatment takes into account the need for a safe space for women who are in a domestic violence situation or in the aftermath of sexual abuse. In addition, women’s addiction treatment facilities need specialized programs for depression, trauma, self-esteem, and co-dependency. Women’s drug abuse is prominent at all stages of life and though the difficulties may change slightly, the underlying issues often revolve around the same emotions including loss, depression, abandonment, and eventually self-hate. 

How Women’s Needs Differ From Men’s

Drugs can impact females differently and more rapidly than males. One is example is cocaine. Cocaine, in particular, has been shown to work on women’s physiology much faster than men and is highly addictive to women. Cocaine is a stimulant and can loosen inhibitions enough so that women end up engaging in high risk sex with multiple partners, exposing them to sexual abuse as well as STDs. So drug dependency can happen as a way to self-medicate for anxiety, depression, or pain issues, but it can also occur because of traumatic events going on in their lives. Different events and conditions can influence women to seek relief in drug abuse.

The Most Common Underlying Issues Behind Addiction 

  • Loss – Loss of a loved one, child, spouse, or a parent can catapult women into clinical depression. This can lead to an increase in alcoholism or drug abuse as a way to hide the depression. They may decide that popping a few pills is a low price to pay to keep them on the job, taking care of their kids, or managing their many responsibilities. Women’s drug abuse tends to be a mechanism to escape pain and seek relief from constant self-doubt. 
  • Abuse, Trauma, and PTSD – Women coming out of violent situations will need specialized treatment. Rape and domestic violence survivors will not trust men and will need to be isolated from them in a safe space during recovery and rehab. Otherwise, it can trigger more anxiety and panic attacks and jeopardize their treatment. 
  • Parenting Issues – The stress of single parenting and/or economic hardship while parenting can lead some women into drug abuse. When domestic violence is added to the mix, it can be a way to self-medicate for a bad situation. Parenting issues can be addressed in facilities that help by offering childcare and a safe space away from domestic violence. 
  • Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence Issues – After being in a codependent or an abusive relationship, a women’s self-esteem and confidence can drop dramatically. Also, teenage girls are more prone to experiment with drugs when they are at a stage where they haven’t developed enough self-esteem and confidence to keep from going with the crowd. Programs that teach assertiveness and setting boundaries can target self-esteem and confidence to help empower them. Individual counseling and therapy can help females by helping them adopt new behaviors to old problems. 
  • Social Phobias – Anxiety and panic attacks can result from social phobias and women are prone to these types of mental disorders more than men. They can be difficult to treat as a dual diagnosis and require specialized treatment programs with psychotherapy and sometimes pharmacological help too. 

Recovery Tools for Women’s Drug Abuse

Women also have far more demands put on them in their relationships and it may make it difficult for them to go to an inpatient women’s addiction treatment center to get help. They may be pregnant and using or have multiple kids that depend on them. They may not be able to leave their job for 30, 60, or 90 days to go into rehab as they may be the sole provider for their kids. Thus, women’s drug addiction treatment centers have to be flexible with outpatient programs as well as inpatient programs that might offer childcare or specialized prenatal care for drug-addicted mothers.

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