CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF SUBSTANCE USE IN WOMEN

By: Guest Author

Published: October 13, 2016

Contributed by James Jones- Guest Contributor

Substance use not only affects millions of people on a daily basis, it also has repercussions on their family members and friends.

Adverse effects of substance use in women

Both alcohol and drug use affect women all over the United States and the world. No one is immune. Whether rich, poor or middle class women of every age and ethnicity are vulnerable. The main adverse effects are as follows:

  1. Brain damage

Some studies have shown that women are more susceptible than men to brain damage caused by alcohol or drug use.

  1. Liver damage

Drugs of any kind can damage the liver, but alcohol is particularly detrimental in that it can eventually cause cirrhosis. Women are more prone to liver disease due to alcohol use than are men and die in larger numbers due to cirrhosis and hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

  1. Serious accidents and violence

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death among those who drink excessively or use drugs and drive. Other accidents which may cause injury can also occur due to substance use.Because women reach a higher blood alcohol level faster than men, this may cause women to be more susceptible to drug use related accidents than men.
In addition, violence against women often results from the use of drugs or alcohol. It may be that the assailant is using these substances, but often, both the assailant and the woman who has been abused may have been drinking to excess or using illicit substances for recreational purposes.

  1. Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, whether they drink and use drugs excessively or not. However, when drugs and alcohol are in the mix, heart disease is a much more likely problem.

Causes of substance use in women
A woman may start using drugs or alcohol for any number of reasons, but the following is a list of common causes.

  1. Friends and relatives who abuse substances
  2. Depression or another mental health disorder
  3. A major life-changing tragedy, such as a death in the family, divorce or the onset of a serious disease
  4. Low self-esteem and low confidence levels
  5. Abuse in the family or from a spouse or romantic partner

Getting help for drug and alcohol use in women
The first step in getting help is admitting that the problem exists. For many individuals using drugs or alcohol, the prospect of detox can be frightening. Giving up a substance which may have been used daily for a long period of time is daunting but professional help can ease the process.

Author Bio James is a Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness writer.He got sober 25 years ago as a way to help himself heal. He’s currently working with Sovereign Health Group in hopes of helping others

 

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The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.