How Addiction Is Different For Men and Women

5 mins read

Women have some unique issues when it comes to the reasons for drug or alcohol abuse. For men, it’s socially acceptable, a tradition even that has come to be expected no matter the occasion. They gather in the cigar room, puffing away and drinking the finest scotch, and it’s fine to see men drinking. However, it is considered unacceptable for women to drink like the men. Perhaps a glass of wine at dinner but not more. Women have a heap of expectation, life pressures and the potential shame of not being what is “expected” of them.

How Addiction Is Different For Men and Women

Some common reasons why women use drugs and alcohol are related to these pressures. They are

  1. To Reduce Stress

The stress of being an ideal woman can be painful All at one time you have to be a great mom, have a nice career, housekeeper, social partner or anything else.  Where is the time for yourself? The allure of drugs and alcohol to escape become more and more appealing, the higher the pressures are.

  1. To Deal With Sexual Trauma

Women are almost always the ones who are physically abused. Three-quarters of all women have been physically or sexually abused, so this is an issue almost completely dominated by women. Suffering a trauma of that level can leave a huge hole inside of a person that gets filled up with alcohol or drugs, instead of the counseling needing to heal it. If you have been sexually abused and never received counseling for it, please go to a women’s recovery center as soon as you can.

  1. To Impress Men

Women, particularly young women sometimes feel a need to impress a man. This can be in the form of “keeping up with the guys” or doing something because you want them to like you. Like yourself above all else or no one else will.

  1. To Lose Weight

Let’s face it, women have a lot of pressure to look good. Being skinny might land you that man you wanted, or stop the cruel stares from other people that make you feel ashamed. The image of beauty is everywhere, advertising, celebrities, and the pressure is a lot. Many women don’t leave the house without putting on makeup when they shouldn’t care.

  1. Self-Medication

Women tend to self-medicate at a higher rate than men. This is due to the tendency to hold onto things more and ruminate in them. In addition, women have more hormones in play, which can interact with anything else to create triggers, depression, anxiety or something else. Women are also more likely to abuse prescription pills. If you are consciously self-medicating, you need to arrange for a consultation at a rehab for women.

Women’s Health

For biological reasons, drug and alcohol abuse affect men and women differently. Generally, men are at an advantage as far as our bodies holding up to the harmful effects of alcohol. Women weigh less than men and have less water in their bodies, which dilutes alcohol levels. Women also tend to have more fatty tissue, which holds alcohol. In addition, chronic alcohol consumption leads to much higher levels of breast cancer and other diseases.

There is another danger, overdosing. Women’s bodies aren’t as physically suited to alcohol or other drugs, and so overdosing is a real risk. The bloodstream is smaller, and drugs and alcohol run through it faster. Not only that but because it’s easier to get drunk or high, the desire to use more goes up in a shorter period of time.

Rehabs for women specialize in these different facets of addiction.  If any of this looks familiar to you, please reach out and arrange a free consultation with a facility in your area.