Dealing with addiction of any kind starts with looking for the root of the problem. Furthermore, it’s necessary to explain all the factors that led to the issue, and one of them seems to be the gender of a person. Women appear more prone to addiction issues, and there are several reasons for it. Understanding what makes women more vulnerable to addiction can make it easier to help them and get to the heart of the problem. That’s why we will go through all the factors that make women more prone to drug abuse than men – and ways to prevent the problems.
Unfortunately, women tend to have more traumatic and stressful experiences than men. It’s not just about emotional intelligence. It’s also because of general discrimination and similar factors. These traumatic experiences can happen earlier or later in life and be why a woman would use substances later in life. This makes them more likely to try to find hope in drugs, alcohol, or other substances – more often than men.
Stress is a common cause of distress and is usually one of the reasons why women seek comfort in alcohol or illegal substances.
Lack of family support
Women are often seen as mothers, pillars of every family. They are the ones who provide mental and physical support to other family members. And not everyone can endure that kind of stress and responsibility on a daily level. Their mental health issues, including kids, are often overlooked or considered a lower priority than other family members’ problems. This results in women trying to take a shortcut in curing their emotional distress, and that’s substance abuse. This should serve as a reminder to always check up on the strong ones in our family – mothers. They are always taking care of everyone around them and need attention and care for themselves.
While men fall to substance abuse due to peer pressure, women often reach to alcohol or drugs due to the failure to meet social expectations for them. Society often creates a burden for women, assigning them different roles and responsibilities many of them can’t fulfill. It depends on the individual, but it usually ranges from being a good mother, supporting wife, good caretaker of the family, and successful at work to looking good and having a mess-free home. These are all pressures that come towards women and are less likely to be pointed at men. Failing at some of these roles leads to mental and emotional distress, which results in substance abuse and addiction.
What can we do as a society?
It’s important to reevaluate our expectations regarding women’s looks, behavior, motherhood, and similar aspects. Each woman is an individual that finds certain roles better than others, and we need to respect that and support women around us no matter what. Lack of support makes the process even more difficult.
Let’s not forget the main difference between men and women –hormones. Estrogen, the hormone responsible for the female reproductive system, makes it easier for women to feel better after taking any substances. It facilitates drug taking and immediately connects it with the feelings of reward and relief. That suggests that biology makes women more vulnerable to addiction and prone to substance abuse.
How to cope with addiction
Being a woman with an addiction is never easy. The pressure is everywhere, so it’s often easier to sink in rather than get up and fight. Here are some main tips to follow if you recognize signs of addiction in yourself or someone you love.
Be aware of the problem
Denial is one of the typical phases of recognizing an addiction. However, if you start being aware that something is off, you need to take early steps in dealing with addiction. It’s never too early or too late to seek help, and recognizing the problem is the first thing to do. If someone gives you suggestions or advice, try to understand why they are doing that – it’s probably your loved ones expressing concern and care for you. Denying the signs and feeling attacked won’t lead to good results, so try to be supportive and recognize the early signs of a problem.
Know why you’re doing this
It’s essential to have a goal in the process. Something that will keep you going through addiction recovery. Having one can get pretty challenging, and you may want to quit on several occasions. Define a clear goal and a reward that will wait for you at the end – happy, healthy, and addiction-free life.
Get ready for the process
Starting to deal with your issue begins with creating proper conditions for healing. This means you should create an environment that will support recovery, Furthermore, make sure there are no addictive substances around you, but also remove everything that triggers addictive behavior. This could be different things, situations, and even people. It’s okay to distance yourself from toxic environments and people who make you want to get alcohol or drugs. Eliminate everything that makes you think, ‘I’ll have just one’, which produces cravings. Cravings can be more or less intense, so learn how to cope without relapse.
Find the support of an expert
Addiction is a severe issue. Therefore, contacting a professional is vital to get the help that you need. Experts have enough experience with all kinds of substance abuse, so they can show you the best way to deal with an issue. Recovery center professionals use different approaches to the problem and adjust them to your needs to achieve the best results. Therapy is efficient with the support of the right people.
A couple of reasons make women more vulnerable to addiction – and that’s why they need all the support in the world. Apart from reaching out to a professional, the final, most important factor is the support of her loved ones. A woman going through the recovery process needs the support of their family and friends so the results come faster. Family therapy is one of the options. It includes all the members and ensures a supportive environment for the struggling person.