When you think of addiction, images of haggard men struggling to cope with drugs and alcohol may come to mind. However, recent years show a significant increase in drug and alcohol addiction in women living in the United States.
Women who have been raped, abused or harmed in some way are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than those who have not experienced these traumatic things. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, almost 70 percent of addicted women have experienced some type of trauma.
What is Addiction and Abuse?
Drugs and alcohol are substances you ingest to make you feel a certain way. Though alcohol and drug abuse can eventually lead to addiction, there is a difference between substance abuse and substance addiction. When you abuse drugs and alcohol, you have some will power to stop or go a long time between episodes.
Addiction is something you cannot control in any situation. It, however, controls your feelings, actions and activities. Everything you do revolves around it. Women who abuse substances of any kind have a higher tendency to become addicted to those substances.
Do You Have an Addiction?
Admitting you have an addiction is the first step to getting treatment. Contrary to what others may say, it is normal for you to deny your problem. At times, you may even become angry and withdrawn from your friends, family and co-workers. You may see a problem but cannot or will not accept that there is one.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction?
Once you understand you have an alcohol or drug addiction, you may react differently – emotionally and physically - to your situation than a male. Although you experience similar symptoms as a man, you may also feel ashamed, depressed or sadden by your dependency. According to Helpguide.org, some people with a drug addiction may feel depressed and isolated from the rest of the world. These feelings are also signs and symptoms of alcohol dependency.
The symptoms of dependency often show through your physical appearance. They generally develop in response to your body not receiving the drug or alcohol you choose to use. Once you drink, inject or consume the substance, your symptoms may go away until the next time you need it.
The symptoms of alcohol and drug addiction in women also include:
- Loss of appetite
Getting treatment will not be an easy task unless you are willing to do so. Women who get treatment are more likely to succeed in beating their habit. Alcohol and drug addiction/abuse treatment centers have the resources, staff and tools to help you get better. You may receive counseling based on your specific needs and type of addition.
You could join others with addictions by contacting: A Forever Recovery