Addiction affects everyone. Substance abuse in women can be unique, though biological differences can impact drug abuse and addiction. Women’s health and drug abuse are distinctive because studies have had a history of not including women in research for various reasons, such as believing that women’s biology was more complicated. They are too busy taking care of their families to be involved in a study. With the inclusion of women in studies, rehab centers have adjusted treatments according to their specific needs, not just a generic process for everyone. The biology and gender aspects of women on drugs impact their individual needs during recovery.
You do not have to stay on the path of addiction. Medical professionals can help guide you through all the recovery steps at a rehabilitation center, from detox to treatment. Addiction is a challenge, but some people care. Call today at 385-327-7418 to connect with a treatment center that is right for you.
Addiction can affect anyone at any time. Keep reading below for more information about how it affects women. If you require additional assistance please reach out to our experts today.
Social Aspects of Women and Addiction
Approximately 5.2% of women aged 12 years old and older had a substance abuse disorder, as a study done in 2017. 7-12% of women suffer from alcohol abuse, making it the leading substance during drug abuse cases. Some commonly used treatments for men might not work efficiently for women, such as the nicotine patch. Women’s health and drug abuse are distinctive and should be considered when entering rehab. Women have unique reasons for using gender roles, such as using drugs to control weight gain. Women also tend to use smaller amounts of their substance for a shorter time before addiction than men.
Since women’s inclusion in research studies for substance abuse, educating ourselves about new information regarding addiction is essential. For example, women are more likely to transition between substances during addiction, such as jumping from alcohol to cocaine. They are also more likely to self-medicate with illegal drugs and more likely to suffer from the side effects of abuse, such as liver damage or overdose.
Women have also been reported to experience more intense cravings, a higher risk of relapse after treatment, and experience more significant highs and more intense hallucinations. Social problems unique to women (such as motherhood, being a good wife, and having a career) are all unique aspects of a woman suffering from addiction. This needs to be an educational tool in rehab. These issues are essential because we must include all aspects of a person’s living in the rehabilitation process, and everyone’s journey is different. This is why rehab centers cater to women’s individual needs on drugs and many other life walks!
Physical Addiction and Women’s Health
Aside from the social issues surrounding women and substance abuse, women’s physical addiction also needs to be addressed. Women tend to be more sensitive to certain drugs, and substance abuse can severely affect the heart and blood vessels. Some items that can be physically affected by drug abuse and addiction are:
- Menstrual cycle
Addiction affects the menstrual cycle by leading to a loss of a period altogether, known as amenorrhea. There are also risks to a fetus or baby during pregnancy when the mother uses drugs. Miscarriage and stillbirth are higher risks associated with addiction, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and congenital disabilities.
Additional Health Concerns
Other health issues are associated with drug addiction that isn’t specific to women but still impacts their lives and the kind of treatment they require. Some of these issues include:
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
- Mental health conditions
- Dental problems
- Destroyed nerve cells
- Hepatitis C
Various forms of cancer link with drugs that users inhale, such as nicotine. Dental problems often arise in cases of using meth. HIV and hepatitis C are risks when sharing needles and having unprotected sex. Skin infections can also occur when there are unclean practices, and sometimes just from injecting in general. Mental health conditions often coexist with addiction, such as depression or anxiety. Other times, habit makes the mental health issue worse. Many people use drugs to try and relieve some pain they are experiencing from a mental disorder, but in the end, it just makes everything get worse.
Services in rehabilitation centers work to treat mental health conditions. These services can include one-on-one therapy or group therapy. Hobby and peer groups may also be beneficial for recovery in these instances. The addicts can participate in a setting that will allow them to work with other people with similar issues. This has been a higher success rate. Mental health issues and addiction should get treatment simultaneously, so a rehabilitation center must fully understand all patients.
Call us today if you need help with addiction. We are here to help anyone who needs it. We have the tools and resources you need to get a jump on a happier and healthier life.
Mental Health and Addiction in Women
Women’s mental health is a significant factor when understanding addiction in women. Women are more likely to experience a mental disorder, with 23.8 percent of women in America having a diagnosable condition. Half of all people who suffer from substance abuse also experience a mental illness and vice versa. Women are also more likely to self-treat emotional problems with substances, linking mental health and addiction at its core. Mental health can drastically make addiction and the road to recovery much more difficult. Underlying factors, such as schizophrenia or anxiety disorders, may be why some women drink or use other substances.
We can also relate substance abuse to a history of trauma. Women who have experienced any form of trauma or violence, such as domestic abuse, are likely to have substance abuse issues. Without treating the source of these addiction problems, addicts cannot fully overcome their addiction. Learning about triggers and reasons for using is a core component of rehabilitation and drastically reduces relapse risks.
Some common mental health treatments are:
- One-on-one therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Social detox
- Medical detox
- Educational programs
- Behavioral changes influenced by rehab centers
Consequences of Addiction
The most common consequences of substance abuse are arrests, violence, and sometimes death. Drugs and other substances can make people commit crimes, leading to their arrest. Jail or prison time may be necessary, and this majorly affects the patient’s withdrawal process and puts a halt on their personal lives. Substances, such as alcohol, can make sure people angry or violent. Potentially leading to verbal and physical fights, sometimes even with loved ones. This may also contribute to arrests for some individuals.
Death is a genuine threat when dealing with substance abuse. Physical addiction works by building up a tolerance of the substance over time, leading the patient to use it more and more frequently and potentially leading to an overdose while using certain substances, such as alcohol or heroin. Rehab centers work to make you lead a clean and happy life by addressing and acknowledging these challenges and working towards sobriety.
Addiction Affects Loved Ones
Those who love and care for a woman struggling with addiction can suffer the consequences of substance abuse, both emotionally and financially. It can be challenging to watch a loved one go through addiction. Fights can arise, leading to a loss of contact with family and resentment. It might be tiring to deny them money or space, as it enables them. Drug abuse might make some individuals violent, furthering the repercussions to loved ones due to drug abuse.
During rehabilitation, family therapy aims to help communicate with loved ones and understand each other. Allowing the patient to learn how they have affected people and their families can be supportive. Interventions, a step some, but not all, take in the recovery process, is where family and friends set up a meeting to inform the addict of how they have hurt their loved ones and themselves. This is to get the individual to enter a rehab center. Call our experts today to know what rehab option is best for you.
Rehabilitation for Women in Recovery
The entire process of rehabilitation caters to individuals and their unique situations. Being a woman struggling with addiction is extremely important in choosing a rehabilitation center and treatment plan. Women have unique health risks, and reasons for using that need to be considered before treatment begins. Health risks include infections and cancer, which are more likely to occur in women who suffer from addiction.
Social and psychological aspects need to be a part of the recovery process, and we need to look at any other mental health disorders. Mental health is a crucial component when dealing with substance abuse, as mental disorders may be a reason for using in the first place. Many services are involved in the treatment plan, such as therapy, which addresses the psychological issues and psychological addiction. These factors work together to help women with their unique problems with drug abuse and the consequences.
Do not lose hope! Addiction is challenging, but no one has to battle it alone. At these centers, it is their goal to make sure you reach sobriety. Call today to start your recovery journey.
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