Substance abuse and gender differences

Substance abuse treatment differs for men and women. Due to a mans and woman’s chemical makeup substances affect men and women differently. Issues specifically related to women include menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,

“It is important to note that treatment for substance use disorders in women may progress differently than for men. Women report using some substances for a shorter period of time when they enter treatment. However, women's substance use tends to progress more quickly from first use to addiction. Withdrawal may also be more intense for women. In some cases, women respond differently than men to certain treatments. For instance, nicotine replacement (patch or gum) does not work as well for women as for men.”

Women who suffer from substance abuse may continue the abuse during pregnancy. Reasons women continue abusing substances during pregnancy include fear of legal actions, drug dependency and an inability to find proper treatment. “If a pregnant woman attempts to withdraw suddenly from addictive drugs and alcohol without medical help, she can put the baby at risk.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of treatment center to turn to and some women suffering from substance abuse have little to no income for professional treatment.

There are a good treatment centers, like the Women’s Treatment Center in Chicago. Treatment centers can help thousands of women, who suffer from substance abuse and are pregnant. The treatment center will typically have programs for Children. The programs allow children to remain with their mothers while their mothers are seeking treatment.