Women experience substance use disorders differently than men.
While women are just as likely as men to develop a substance use disorder, there are many differences in the effects of addiction between men and women. They also face unique obstacles to effective treatment.
How addiction affects women differently:
- Women are more likely to start using substances to self-medicate.
- Women develop dependency more quickly.
- Women may experience more severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Women are at greater risk for fatal overdose and relapse.
Biological factors such as hormone production and body composition are responsible for some of differences in how our bodies respond to substances. We can also see the impact of society in how addiction affects women and men differently.
Women bear multiple loads of responsibility like work, childcare, home care, and community involvement. These responsibilities, as well as addiction stigma, relationship dynamics, and more, affect how women access treatment and what they need from it.
Research shows that women are most successful with their recovery when the care they receive is holistic, strengths-based, and addresses the issues that matter most to them. A woman-centered treatment team sees women for who they are and individualizes treatment accordingly
If you or a woman you know are struggling with alcohol or other drugs, we can help you find woman-centered addiction treatment in the Pittsburgh area. Call the POWER Line at 412-243-8755.