According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, while men are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol, women tend to hold on to their dependency longer because they are less likely to seek specialized treatment. Over the last few decades, there has been an unfortunate rise in drug and alcohol usage among women. It has become more socially acceptable for women to turn to substances to cope with the fast-paced environment and high pressures of life.
Common Causes of Drug and Alcohol Addiction:
Peer pressure: Many adolescent girls and younger women first get introduced to drugs and alcohol in a peer pressure type setting. They see their friends doing it, so in an effort to appear cool, they try it also. As a side effect of trying it once, their easily-susceptible, under-developed bodies quickly become aware of the substance and they keep feeding the habit until it becomes an uncontrollable addiction.
A form of self-therapy: Drugs and alcohol may act as a destructive form of self-therapy for many addicts. Some people pick up the habit to cope with losses, disappointments, anxiety, stress or a poor living environment. Others get addicted to a substance as a result of poor self-esteem, depression or loneliness.
Physical injury: Prescription drug addiction can form as a result of a painful physical injury. The injured party may have been prescribed strong pain medications and as a result, he or she became addicted to it.
Hereditary: Children of addicts are more likely to become addicts themselves. The self-abusive behavior is subconsciously learned.
Treatment Options for Drug and Alcohol Addiction:
Recognizing you have a problem: Many women refuse treatment because they are living in denial that they are addicts. Because they have managed to function somewhat normally while under the influence, they often fail to realize that they have a problem. Admitting that there is a problem with addiction may take painful soul-searching and intervention from family members. However, once you realize that you have a problem, you will be on the road to recovery.
Seek help: People that attempt to kick their addiction on their own are more likely to return to the substance than those who seek specialized help. Women may find more support and comfort in a womens recovery center where personalized treatment and counseling is offered in a warm environment.
Self-love: A big part of beating an addiction is learning to love yourself enough to see the value in living without the substance. You need to recognize your self-worth and realize the beautiful unclouded life that lays ahead once you get rid of the addiction.
Re-entering the world, anew: A big problem that many women and men face once they have managed to beat the addiction is the ability to re-enter the world without getting sucked back into the abusive lifestyle. It is important to continue to seek outpatient care to cope with temptations and to continue to see progress. Additionally, you will need to introduce positive reinforcements into your life such as enrolling in school, getting a good job, fueling a passion and forming healthy relationships.
Drug and alcohol addiction can literally steal your life away if you let it. Therefore, it is important that you seek help right away or rally around a loved one that is suffering.