It is currently estimated that over 4 million women throughout the United Sates use illicit drugs on a regular basis. 9 million women have experimented with or abused illicit drugs within the past year. An average of 3.7 million women abuse prescription medications on an annual basis, and roughly half of all women aged 15-44 have abused drugs at least once in their lifetimes. Most women who have abused drugs (or still do, currently), abuse more than one substance at a time. Clearly, drug addiction and abuse is widespread throughout the female population of the country.
Still, the vast majority of women who struggle with substance dependency issues fail to seek the professional help they so desperately need. It has been found that women face more barriers than men when attempting to seek treatment – barriers ranging from perceived obligations at home to fear of judgment from peers and relatives. However, it has also been proven that women who do seek professional treatment will experience high success rates, maintaining sobriety for extended periods of time long after treatment comes to an end. A study which was published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism focuses on and explains the apparent differences between men and women when it comes to the progression of the disease and the differences in treatment approach and success.
Women and Drug Addiction
“Conversely, when women do develop substance abuse problems, they tend to develop them faster than men do. For example, although women tend to be older than men, on average, when they begin a pattern of regular drunkenness, women’s drinking-related problems (e.g., loss of control over drinking, negative consequences of drinking) appear to progress more quickly than those of men (Randall et al. 1999). This faster progression also means that women experience shorter intervals than men between onset of regular drunkenness and first encountering the negative consequences of drinking, which include physical problems, interpersonal difficulties, negative intrapersonal changes (such as in personality or self-esteem), poor impulse control, and reduced ability to maintain normal social roles and responsibilities. Women also experience shorter intervals between first loss of control over drinking and onset of their most severe drinking-related consequences, and shorter intervals between onset of regular drunkenness and treatment-seeking (Randall et al. 1999). Women report more severe problems and experience more health-related consequences from substance use (Bradley et al. 1998), and their substance-related problems interfere with functioning in more life domains compared with men (Fillmore et al. 1997).”
Recovery for Women
Women need treatment for drug addiction, and because of a clear increase in demand, hundreds of female-specific rehab facilities have been opening up throughout the US, offering recovery for women at rates never seen before. Sadly, many addicted women are still failing to seek the help they need – despite the fact that such help is readily available. Why is this? Perhaps because women feel a sense of obligation to their children and spouses, and believe that their families will fall to pieces without their constant supervision. Perhaps because a woman believes that if she admits she is struggling with something is stigmatized as drug addiction, she will face criticism and misunderstanding. It is important that women suffering from drug addiction give themselves the opportunity to heal. For more information on women and drug addiction, recovery for women, and a comprehensive list of every Florida drug treatment center geared towards helping women, please give us a call today.