Substance Abuse Develops Quicker For Women

Substance Abuse Develops Quicker For Women

It’s no secret men and women are different—they think differently, learn differently, feel differently, react differently, etc. This difference is extremely prominent when a man or a woman is struggling with substance abuse.

Did you know that women are the fastest growing segment of substance abusers in the United States? As a matter of fact, there are currently an estimated 2.7 million women struggling with substance abuse in America.

The fact that more women are struggling with drug addictions paves way for more evidence that women are impacted by alcohol and drug addiction much differently than men.

Actually, the psychological and physiological effects caused by abusing drugs or alcohol are often times more severe for women. It has been discovered that:

  • The percentage of women who have mental health problems such as depression combined with alcohol and drug addiction, or show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder is significantly higher than it is for men
  • The mortality rate for women suffering from substance abuse is 50 to 100 percent higher for women than men
  • Because of their size and hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, women generally become more intoxicated more quickly than men and become clinically addicted much more quickly
  • Women move through the progression more quickly having a more rapid development of dependence
  • Women become addicted to narcotics faster than men and are more likely to be hospitalized due to non-medical use of prescription and over the counter medications.

Over the course of history, society has also played a pivotal role in gender and addiction. For more than 100 years, women and girls were actually encouraged to self-medicate for emotional and physical symptoms of the hormonal cycle. Still unaware of the dangerous side effects, physicians regularly prescribed women opiates for moodiness, pain, and fatigue; and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, doctors currently prescribe twice as many psychotropic medications for women as they do for men.

However, regardless of gender, one fact remains universal. Substance abuse can and will lead to many extremely dangerous side effects such as risky sexual behavior, driving under the influence, long and short-term health problems, and ultimately death. What people may think is a quick simple fix for their fatigue or stress, actually has the potential to destroy their life.

I hear people say Ecstasy is a harmless, happy drug. There’s nothing happy about the way that “harmless” drug chipped away at my life. Ecstasy took my strength, my motivation, my dreams, my friends, my apartment, my money and most of all, my sanity.”

– Lynn

So many men and women get trapped in an alcohol and drug addiction feeling invincible—as though death is not in their future. But even prior to the physical death is the emotional death, the relational deaths, the spiritual deaths… Alcohol and drug addiction will strip you of every aspect in your life.

If you or a loved one – man or woman – is struggling with this paralyzing disease, take the steps to recovery before addiction continues to prove that no one is invincible.


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