Women More Susceptible to Addiction Than Men

Women More Susceptible to AddictionMen and women are different in a number of ways, both physically and psychologically. In terms of substance abuse and drug addiction, recent research suggests there are more men addicted to drugs – but more women who have yet to recover.

Statistically, men make up a higher percentage of the drug addiction pool, but women traditionally have more difficult time overcoming their addictions.

Men are surrounded by more opportunities to try drugs, but the time frame a woman tries for the first time to becoming an abuser is significantly shorter than that of men, and they are typically more intensely hooked.

Multiple studies have suggested that women who use drugs experience more difficulties when compared to their male counterparts. In an article in the Journal of Substance Abuse, researchers found that female addicts used drugs more frequently than men, and when they did use drugs, they tended to focus on harder drugs than those men used.

This suggests that women have a tendency to develop much more serious cases of addiction when compared to men.

Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have also recently made a startling discovery: women are more sensitive to cocaine because estrogen intensifies the brain’s dopamine reward pathway.

The study suggested that cocaine has its most potent effects during the menstrual cycle, when release of estrogen is at its highest. This means that women experience the pleasurable effects of cocaine more intensely than men do, which may explain why behaviorally women become more strongly addicted to cocaine in less time.

This breakthrough research also suggests that the use of birth control pills in hormone regulation could be an effective strategy for addiction intervention in women. Further study could also reveal that it’s not only cocaine; estrogen may have similar effects of intensifying the high in other forms of substance abuse.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.

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