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Do Women Develop Cocaine Addiction More Easily Than Men?

There are new research studies out that support the notion that women more quickly develop an addiction to cocaine after casual use and have a more difficult time quitting use of the drug. How do they know? Well, one of the latest studies took a look at the behavior of rats; it was found that female rats worked harder for cocaine than did male rates

Male rats with a high stress response and high impulsivity also were more motivated to track down cocaine – so it may not be entirely based on gender, according to the Biology of Sex Differences journal. But female rats, from the first introduction to cocaine, were quicker at learning how to administer the drug to themselves and will work harder to get the drug. As the dose increased and the rats’ addiction increased, the differences between male and female response was lower.

Jennifer Cummings led the study. She said that though personality type may reinforce a predisposition toward addiction, “an individual’s sex continues to increase the likelihood of drug abuse.”

Why Women Abuse Drugs

It’s not always a matter of gender when women abuse drugs, but women do report some different reasons for the development of drug addiction than do most men. For example, women are more likely to have experienced sexual trauma or abuse in their lives, an issue that often precipitates drug addiction. They also struggle with the many responsibilities and expectations that are placed on them – to work, maintain the home, care for children, maintain their husband’s schedule and still find a little down time for themselves. Especially when stimulant addiction is an issue, this particular issue can push many women to abuse diet pills, their children’s ADHD medication or cocaine. They appreciate the extra energy and positive mood initially provided by the drug, but end up having to seek more in order to maintain their level of output.

Why Women Avoid Addiction Treatment

Choosing to go to drug addiction treatment means two things: 1) that things have gotten out of control for the woman getting help and 2) that drug addiction is the reason. There is a stigma attached to drug addiction that few women embrace, and especially those who develop cocaine addiction do not want to even allude to the idea that they may not have it all together.

Other women avoid treatment because they don’t want to leave their children or husband alone for an extended period. It’s true that children need their parents, but they need parents who are well. They will fare much better if their mother gets the treatment she needs and comes back to them a healthier person than if she continues living with an active cocaine addiction.

Woman-Centered Drug Addiction Treatment

If you would like to learn more about our drug rehab program for women here at The Orchid, contact us today.

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