Women More Susceptible to Drug Addiction Than Men

by AdamS on July 3, 2012

Normally when a person thinks of a drug addict, they almost always picture a man before picturing a woman, however new evidence shows that drug addiction in women is increasing.  The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University put together a 10-year long research effort and found that women become addicted to drugs easier than men.  Recently more and more girls and women in the United States have been checking into residential drug treatment programs.  These rehab facilities are now starting to offer womens addiction programs to help get more of these women off of the drugs they have become addicted to.  You can find quality treatment programs at https://www.thewatershed.com/resource/residential-drug-treatment-programs/ to help your loved ones.

What the Research Showed

The research conducted by CASA found that drugs and alcohol have a much more profound effect on women than they do men.  This is due a lot to the different biological makeups between men and women.  A man’s body is comprised of a lot more water and less fatty tissue which makes alcohol and most drug absorption take longer in men.  Additionally, a woman’s body has lower levels of certain enzymes like alcohol dehydrogenase which breaks down alcohol in the body.   This can be especially dangerous because without the ability to metabolize hazardous chemicals in the blood, the risk of overdose is increased.

Drug Addiction in Women

Even though statistically, there are more male drug addicts than female, the risk of addiction is actually greater in women.  Women and men tend to have different root causes for their addiction. For example, emotional or sexual abuse is less common in men, but a prevalent reason for addiction in women.  Women are also a lot more prone to eating disorders which usually co-occur with other mental disorders like depression or anxiety.  These women may turn to appetite suppressant drugs like cocaine or crystal meth and end up getting hooked.

Treatment Options

Often, different treatments work more effectively on women than on men.  While the normal straight forward medical treatments have a pretty decent cure rate in men as well as women, women additionally tend to respond better from psychotherapy and counseling sessions because a lot of their addiction is more psychologically based.  Getting to the root of the issues that cause the women to turn to drugs and then addressing the original issue is very effective.  Women also respond very well to group sessions where they can openly talk about their problems with other women who are suffering from addiction.

Drug addiction in women is definitely rising in the United States right now, and needs to be carefully monitored.  Women are more prone to becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol even when using lower amounts than men.  By setting up more womens addiction treatment programs, residential drug treatment programs will be able to provide better care for women who often require much different treatments than men.  As medical professionals begin to understand these differences in men and women, better treatments will become available.  It is important to get help for anyone struggling with a drug or alcohol problem.  Check out https://www.thewatershed.com/treatment/individualized-programs/womens-program/ for more info on women’s programs.

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