Drug Addiction: Women and Men 

Although there are many similarities between men and women when it comes to drug use and addiction, there are also many differences.  Differences that are important to take into consideration both in understanding the addiction as well as in treating it.

Some of the differences for women center on the physical effects of addiction while others focus on how women relate to their families, their communities and their children.  All of these factors can affect how women respond to treatment, recovery coaching, and even mutual aid programs like AA.  Many of the symptoms of addiction for women tend to be “inner directed” including anxiety, shame, and depression.  For men, the symptoms tend to be more visible and external — aggressive or drunk driving, fighting and assault.  As a result, there is a need for, and benefit to, gender-specific services for women who also recognize the important role that trauma may play in her addiction behaviors and as a result, in her recovery.

Your best friend, your child, your mother, your sister, your co-worker, your lover, yourself.  Addiction and recovery is a women’s issue that is as different for them as a man is physically different from them.

Women, Drugs and Pregnancy:

Drug use for a pregnant woman is doubly dangerous because it can interfere with her health and ability to support the pregnancy.  And, research has shown that some drugs, legal and illegal, can be harmful to her child.  For her own health and the health of her baby, a woman should avoid using alcohol and all drugs, legal and illegal, unless prescribed by her physician from the time she plans to become pregnant or when she becomes pregnant.

Women and Prescription Drugs:

A recent research study reported that women are more likely than men to be prescribed an abusable prescription drug, particularly narcotics and anti-anxiety drugs—in some cases 55% more likely.  Many of those prescriptions are refilled for decades.  As a result, a medication that was originally prescribed for a temporary anxiety problem and has been used continuously for years can now pose a serious risk for physical addiction and dependancy.

How Can I Be An Addict, My Doctor Prescribed It?

Many women do not realize that they are addicted to medications and that some of their physical illnesses or emotional complaints may be the result of addiction. The same goes for men, however as stated above, women are more likely to be prescribed mood-altering substances over time.

The first step in true wellness and recovery from mood-altering and life-threatening substances is the one ONLY the individual can make, the decision. The decision to seek healing change and life changing sobriety. Just as important is the “safety step”, which is to see a primary care or specialty physician right away. Have an honest and forthright conversation with your medical professional about your substance use including your alcohol intake. Seek and follow recommendations for any detoxification protocols which may be necessary to safely taper off medications that your doctor deems unnecessary and that may threaten your ability to attain and sustain real recovery. There are doctors who are trained addictionologists who have an in-depth understanding of the effects of mood-altering medications.

Once you have professional medical support in place, seek help in your journey to recovery. There are many options available to both men and women.

You can access available resources online, through your medical doctor, on my website, and from your local health department.

Be safe, be well and Trust the Journey,

Coach Chris

 

The Recovery Journey to Addiction Freedom Online Course is Now Available as a Fully Digitized and Interactive Program Experience on All Mobile Devices and Computers.

Recovery Begins With Acceptance and A Commitment to Coach Chris’s 21 Day Self-Paced At-Home Course. This Amazing Course was Developed over Many Years with the Coach’s Experience as a Trained and Licensed Addiction Counselor and 3 Professional Coaching Certifications. This Solution-Focused Course Is Not Like Costly Rehabs or Treatment Centers, Does Not Require Group, In-Person, or Virtual Sessions. Includes Daily Coaching Videos, Medical Expert Video Interviews, Celebrity Recovery Video Interviews, Self-Searching Worksheets and Interventions, Relapse-Proof Guidelines, Early Recovery Craving Solutions, Safety-First Guidelines, Daily Relaxation and Wellness Video Productions, Goal and Intentions Worksheets, Art Therapy Modules, and many more Interventions in Perfect Order and Alignment for a Full and Sustainable Journey to Freedom from Addiction to All Mood-Altering Substances.

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Asking for Medical Help

If you or someone you know exhibits withdrawal symptoms, psychological problems, or any signs of self-harming behavior, contact your medical professional, call 911, or reach out to SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

 

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