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.
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.
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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