Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse
For a long time addiction was considered a man’s disease. Today it is well known that addiction affects women too. Women have different reasons than men for using drugs and tend to become addicted faster and after using smaller amounts of drugs than their male counterparts. Reasons women relapse are different as well. Here are the top five reasons that women relapse:
Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse: Getting into Romantic Relationships Too Soon
Romantic relationships, especially in early recovery are one of the most significant and common causes of relapse. If or more likely, when, a relationship in early recovery goes awry, the loss can send recovering addicts into an emotion spiral downward. Until they develop new coping mechanisms it is not unusual for many women to relapse every time a relationship goes sour. Researchers at the University of Nevada even found that women are at a particular high risk of relapse as a result of interpersonal conflicts and low self-worth connected to intimate relationships. Early recovery is a time of self-discovery for most women and when thinking is clouded or emotions run high women are at risk of finding an unhealthy relationship instead of who they are which can cause relapse.
Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse: Unrecognized Love, Relationship or Sex Addiction
In some cases, being drawn or attracted to unhealthy romantic relationships in early recovery can be a sign of a bigger problem such as a love, relationship or sex addiction. Both these things and drugs stimulate the reward centers in the brain which can put the person who is struggling to recover from drug addiction at a greater risk of having other addictions.
According to Robert Weiss, an internationally known author, sex addiction specialist and educator “Sex, love and relationship addictions commonly co-occur with substance abuse and are often an unrecognized cause of relapse.” “Women who stop using drugs or alcohol but have not fully addressed their underlying emotional challenges may find themselves transferring their addiction to the obsessive pursuit of love, romance, sex or relationships.” The challenge of being alone, feeling worthless or unloved when not in a relationship or need attention to boost self-esteem can all point to deeper issues. Women may start using drugs with their partners or looking for partners in bars, clubs and other places. This can be a definite cause of relapse.
Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse: Undiagnosed Psychiatric Disorders
More than half of all the people struggling with drug addiction also suffer from a mental health disorder. For women, negative feelings and depressed mood are very common right before a relapse, whereas men are more likely to relapse as a result of positive emotional states. (according to a University of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia study)
Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse: Stigma and Lack of Support
One of the most unique things about women and drug addiction is their barrier to getting help. These barriers can include care-giving responsibilities, the stigma of being a female addict, lack of resources and inadequate support from loved ones. For instance, marriage seems to reduce men’s risk of relapse, women are at a greater risk for relapse because of marriage or marital conflict. This could be because women are more likely to be married to heavy-drinking men who continue to imbibe after their spouse completes treatment. Studies also show women are more likely to start drinking again with a friend or romantic partner. Women need more encouragement and emotional support from friends and loved ones to stay sober. Or else the opposite could lead to relapse.
Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse: Inadequate Coping Skills
Women tend to have a weaker belief in their ability to handle difficult situations as well as poorer coping skills. Because depressed mood is a risk factor in women, relapse prevention strategies must emphasize skills that help them cope more effectively with unpleasant emotions and interpersonal problems or else they run the risk of relapsing. In the case of clinical depression or other psychiatric problems, medication may be necessary component of treatment.
Despite what causes women to relapse multiple studies have shown that women are less likely to relapse than men in part because they are more willing to engage in group counseling etc. Women are more willing to admit a problem with drug use too which helps with the healing process. The outlook for women in recovery is bright if they are willing to have self-knowledge and find treatment.
If you or someone you love has relapsed, please give us a call us at 1-888-672-4435 now.