Drug abuse is rampant all across America. While it was initially thought to be restricted to the lower income group, drug abuse has now become all-pervasive, comprising people from all walks of life. However, when it comes to certain classes of drugs, such as prescription pills and painkillers, women have higher probability to get addicted to such drugs than their male counterparts.
According to a 2014 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 15.8 million women, or 12.9 percent of women, aged 18 years or older had used illicit drugs in a year prior to the survey. However, a lot of women have to encounter several challenges when it comes to dealing with substance abuse. In the absence of appropriate treatment and care, a majority of women addicted to drugs succumb to an overdose.
Women are likely to progress more quickly toward an addiction soon after the first use. Apparently, even treatment for substance use disorders tends to differ between men and women. Even withdrawal symptoms can be more acute in women as compared to men.
Detox referrals more common for men than women
Women are at par with men when it comes to drug addiction; however, there is a huge gap in the way they are referred for detox. A 2016 study titled “Gender differences in emergency department visits and detox referrals for illicit and nonmedical use of opioids” found that women were less likely to be referred for detox programs, irrespective of whether they sought a detox or not.
During the course of the study, the researchers observed the emerging pattern of drug abuse in both men and women. The data collected from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), comprising periods between 2004 and 2011, revealed that of the 27.9 million emergency department visits related to substance abuse, men were 2.69 times more likely to be admitted for an illicit drug use than women.
Further, men had a significantly higher probability for getting a referral for each of the major illicit drugs, such as cocaine or prescription opioids. While the apparent reasons for the gender difference are still unknown, its impact on overall health care costs is estimated to be significant.
Seeking professional help
When it comes to detox, the primary procedure, i.e., removal of toxins through medically assisted treatment, remains the same for both men and women. However, women are more likely to suffer from chronic withdrawal symptoms. Women do better in therapies and detoxification programs that specifically cater to their needs, primarily due to presence of bonding in such a setting where women feel free to talk openly about their specific issues with other women. However, it is important to ensure that secrecy is maintained, especially if the woman in question has a child at an impressionable age. In case of trauma-induced drug disorder, it is essential to understand the root cause of stress and devise specific treatment strategy to mitigate the condition. Many women take to drugs to cope with pain associated with the past experience of physical abuse or loss of a loved one. Therefore, psychological counseling and group therapies are essential to treatment, apart from detoxification.
For those wanting to recover from addiction-related problems, detoxification is the first step as it removes the toxins accumulated in the body from long-term abuse. If you know someone suffering from an opioid use disorder or is dependent on any other harmful substance, the Florida Detox Helpline can help with the details about the best detox center in Florida where comprehensive treatment programs are offered to help a person regain control of his or her life. Chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 855-920-9869 to know more.