How Does Addiction Affect Women?

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Addiction to drugs and alcohol negatively impacts men and women. Substance dependency affects men and women physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally. For women, addiction can have unique physical and emotional consequences.

Mothers who have an addiction will be unable to care for their children in the same capacity as a mother who is not an addict. Addiction can affect the bonding between mother and child, especially if the mother was using while the child was in utero. When a mother enters a recovery program, child care can be a barrier to getting proper treatment. Not every treatment center allows a mother to bring their children to treatment with them.

Women experience unique physical and mental health problems stemming from alcohol and drug use when compared to their male counterparts. Studies have found that women with childhood traumas are more likely to develop substance dependencies. Childhood trauma and abuse can lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be a trigger for substance use. In fact, drug and alcohol abuse is a common coping tool for those with PTSD diagnoses.

In today’s society, women can be looked down on for addiction. Social stigmas often state that women need to take care of children and the household. For this reason, some women may make an extra effort to isolate or hide their addiction from friends, family, and loved ones. These stigmas can create barriers to treatment due to childcare and housing.

Women receive health consequences faster and more severely than men. By comparison, if a women is an alcoholic, she will experience diseases of the liver, kidneys, and brain quicker than men. Women are more prone to telescoping. Telescoping is when substance use moves from recreational to dependency. Women can develop dependence and tolerance at faster rates than males.

Women present with many other challenges related to addiction and recovery. While men and women may have equal risk factors for addiction, women tend to abuse prescription narcotics more than males. Women are also more likely to have fatal consequences from their addictions, especially with alcohol dependency.

If you are a woman with an addiction, there are treatment centers that are tailored to your unique needs. Some treatment centers have child care or special visitations with your children. Treatment centers and addiction professionals are knowledgeable on how addiction can uniquely impact women. Try not to feel shame and guilt. Addiction affects people of all ages, sex, and ethnicities and there is help available.

The Kimberly Center offers the best in partial care programming for the treatment of addictions and co-occurring disorders. Providing a variety of treatment services with love and compassion, our clinical team serves to help clients heal mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: 855-4-KCENTER

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