While addiction can have similar, tragic consequences in both men and women, the two genders aren’t exactly the same when it comes to why they become addicted and how they respond. When we talk with people seeking addiction treatment in Sacramento, we point out that it’s important to understand these differences. That includes getting the facts related to certain myths about women and addiction.
Women and Addiction: Truth and Fiction
Here are some myths and reality when it comes to gender and substance abuse problems.
Myth: Both genders become addicted for the same reasons. False. For a number of reasons including differences in brain chemistry, women have a much higher incidence of anxiety and depression. Their attempt to deal with these conditions often causes them to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, which can lead to addiction. Women also are more often affected by interpersonal violence, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction.
Myth: Both men and women are equally affected by the stigma of addiction. False. Both genders are looked down upon for having an addiction, but the spotlight is often especially harsh on women due to their frequent role as primary caregivers in families. Women who are pregnant and addicted are viewed especially negatively.
Myth: Addiction affects more men than women. Partly true. There was a time when men were much more likely to have an addiction than women. However, studies show that that gap is closing fast as women are one of the fastest-growing segments of drug users in the U.S.
Myth: Drug abuse affects men and women the same way. False. According to studies, women get addicted to substances more quickly than men. The time from first use to dependency is shorter, and they are often dealing with more psychological and medical issues when they enter treatment.
These are just some of the gender-related differences in addiction. It’s critical for people with an addiction and their loved ones to be aware that substance abuse can have a very different impact on a man versus a woman.
Here to Help Women and Men Get the Treatment They Need
At New Dawn, we provide addiction recovery in Sacramento that takes into account all the factors in a person’s situation, including gender. If you’ve got questions about our programs and services, contact us today to learn more.