What is Substance Abuse?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines substance abuse as a person continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite experiencing negative consequences. Women are just as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder as men, which includes recreational or illicit drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, and nicotine use. However, substance abuse can look different in women and have different causes.
Mental Health Conditions
Women are often more likely to suffer from mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders. For many women, drugs and alcohol can be a way to escape stress and manage negative emotions. Unfortunately, many drugs and alcohol can interact with medications for mental health conditions, worsening symptoms.
Negative Life Events
When negative life events like divorce, death of a partner or child, or loss of child custody occur, women can be more vulnerable to developing substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Intimate Partner Abuse
Some studies show that more than 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence by their intimate partner. Along with a higher risk of mental health conditions and obesity, it increases the risk of substance abuse in victims.
Why is Preventing Substance Abuse Important?
There are some key differences when it comes to substance abuse in men and women. Although men may be more likely to overdose, women may be more likely to relapse and give in to cravings during the recovery process. This can be dangerous to not only women’s health, but to the health of any children they may plan on having. Additionally, women may be less likely to seek help for dependence on certain substances than men because of various factors. This means that prevention is one of the best ways to address substance abuse.
What Steps Can I Take?
If you feel like you are dependent on any substance like alcohol, nicotine, recreational drugs, or prescription drugs, it’s extremely important to speak with your gynecologist. A medical professional can recommend treatment options and direct you towards the right resources to help reduce your dependence and ensure you remain healthy and risk averse. Our expert team can provide a judgement-free environment to ensure you get the care you need for the long term during an appointment.
Schedule an Appointment
Substance abuse treatment begins with taking small steps. To meet with our compassionate team and discuss your options, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What defines drug abuse?
Drug abuse can be defined as chronic and compulsive seeking and use of drugs despite harmful consequences. Drug abuse or addiction is a complex psychiatric disease.
What makes a drug more addictive?
Drug use can produce a surge of dopamine, meaning that your brain receives a reward signal from the effects of the drugs. Some drugs are considered more addictive because they activate this dopamine signal to a greater extent, the withdrawal symptoms are more severe, or the drug causes significant physical or cognitive harm.
How do drugs affect you intellectually?
Long-term drug use can cause mental health issues including depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, and hallucinations. A variety of drugs can cause these and other issues including cocaine, ketamine, LSD, marijuana, MDMA, methamphetamine, or abusive of prescription drugs.
How do drugs affect you emotionally?
Addiction commonly causes emotional issues including depression and anxiety. Most people will also face difficulty controlling their emotions while using drugs.
What parts of the brain are changed by drug use?
Drug use can affect many areas of the brain, including the brain stem, limbic cortex, and cerebral cortex.