November 3rd, 2011 10:59 EST
Differences Between How Addiction Affects Females and Males
Sherry Gaba, psychotherapist and life coach specializing in individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy shares the Differences Between How Addiction Affects Females and Males
1. Men are more likely than women to have opportunities to use drugs.
2. Men and women given an opportunity to use drugs for the first time are equally likely to do so and to progress from initial use to addiction.
3. Both are equally likely to become addicted to or dependent on cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, tobacco, and inhalants.
4. Women are more likely than men to become addicted to or dependent on sedatives and drugs designed to treat anxiety or sleeplessness, and less likely than men to abuse alcohol and marijuana.
5. Women in treatment programs are less likely than men to have graduated from high school and to be employed and are more likely than men to have other health problems, to have sought previous drug treatment, to have attempted suicide, and to have suffered s(e)xual abuse or other physical abuse.
6. Women predominantly enter substance abuse programs for personal reasons. The majority of men, on the other hand, enter treatment through legal mandate.
7. For men, substance abuse usually commences in their teens or early adulthood. Often alcohol or drug use will begin as a form of casual escapism and will gradually deteriorate into abuse and addiction.
8. Men can often be reluctant to seek help from a substance abuse program, despite the potential affects to their family and their own well-being such as violence, employment issues, depression, suicide and accidents while under the influence.
9. It has been shown that woman become addicted to cocaine faster than man do, even with experimental use. Women need to be aware of the effects that hormones have on them. The female hormone estrogen causes women to become addicted more quickly than men. Especially in young girls that experience a lot of fluctuations in hormone levels this can be risky.
10. Women tend to abuse prescribed medication more often than men do, such as benzodiazepines. Women fear that if they seek treatment for their drug abuse, they will be deemed a bad mother and that their children will be taken away.
11. Women tend to combine their drug abuse with the abuse of prescribed medication. This is a result of women going to their physicians complaining of sleep deprivation, nervousness etc, without mentioning their drinking.
Sherry Gaba is a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy and maintains a private practice in Agoura, CA located near Malibu, Westlake, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, and Moorpark, CA.
By Sherry Gaba
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