Tag: addiction statistics

The Death of Prince – Highlighting Fentanyl Overdose

The Prince and the Fentanyl Overdose prince fentanyl lighthouse recovery

On what would have been Prince’s birthday today, instead,  headlines scream “How did Prince get his hands on Fentanyl?” In the meantime, people in recovery laugh and say obtaining the drug that killed Prince back in April is as easy as buying a pack of cigarettes. Fentanyl overdose isn’t “new” news.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to morphine, but immensely more powerful. It is used to treat patients with severe pain, but is also readily available as a street drug and often mixed with heroin. It causes a lot of overdose and death, and addiction. To have such a well-known celebrity such as Prince die from it will maybe shed some light on the growing problem.

What is Fentanyl

Fentanyl can be up to 100 times more potent than heroin, and causes more intense and rapid onset of respiratory depression, which gives users a bigger chance of overdose. Additionally, fentanyl is often mixed with or sold as heroin, so an addict will overdose because they don’t know exactly what it is they are getting.

Deaths related to fentanyl overdose rose by 500% from 2013 to 2014, and last March, the DEA classified fentanyl as a threat to health and public safety. The drug is so dangerous because of it’s immense strength and fast-action. However, fentanyl tends to wear off fast, leaving a user wanting more, immediately – and eventually seeking out higher and higher doses.

Prince’s Fentanyl Overdose Remains a Mystery

The question about Prince is whether or not he was prescribed fentanyl, or if he obtained it illegally, through a dealer or acquaintance. He was found unresponsive after a self-administered dose, in his elevator, leaving so many questions. If he was prescribed the medicine for pain, who prescribed it? The fact that there were doctors en route to his house for an intervention make it clear that scary drug abuse was going on. It makes is sad that they were so close, but just couldn’t make it in time to save Prince’s life.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

fentanyl overdose prince lighthouseThe Truth About Drug Overdose

Most people who overdose don’t intend to. Contrary to what it may look like to the rest of us, they aren’t suicidal, and definitely don’t want to die. Overdoses happen fast, and there are a couple of factors that tend to cause them. First, they tend to happen when someone hasn’t used in a while, and thinks they can handle the same amount as they could when they stopped using last time. This isn’t the case – and people OD very easily because of this.

Second, when a person buys street drugs, they never know exactly what is in them. Heroin mixed with fentanyl is a common cause of overdose, and the people who overdose just had no idea.

In the case of Prince, we may never know all the hows and whys, but it’s safe to say he was suffering a battle of addiction, which so many of us have been through. It’s a tragedy that he is now a part of the statistic of people who don’t survive their drug use, but we can only learn from his example and make the dangers of fentanyl overdose known.

 

Addiction Relapse After Long Sobriety

Addiction Relapse LighthouseLength of Sobriety Does Not Prevent Addiction Relapse

Addiction relapse is a part of recovery, and it doesn’t matter if you have one day sober or 30 years. In a recent interview with WNYC, popular actor Jeff Daniels, known for his roles in Dumb and Dumber and The Martian, opened up about his relapse after years of sobriety and is shedding light on an issue few people understand.

Addiction Relapse Can Happen To Anyone, Anytime

If you have been to Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, you have heard the phrase “Just For Today”. What that means is that just for this day we will focus on our sobriety, we will focus on staying away from our drug of choice, we will focus on our higher power and putting our best foot forward. Because, in truth, today is all we have.

An addict or alcoholic who has ten sober years is just as close to a person with one day in the sense that they both canrelapse and recovery lighthouse reach for a drink or drug at any given moment. That is why stringing together days and living in the present is the most we can do to maintain our sobriety. Looking too far in the future will be overwhelming, and celebrating lengthy sobriety to the extreme may cause our guard to go down and the walls to come crashing down.

How Common is Relapse?

In recovery, relapse happens left and right. In the first year of recovery, more than half of people will relapse. The number become more promising after that – with 66% maintaining sobriety after they hit the year mark, and it jumps to 86% after 5 or more years. That being said, relapse is circumstantial and personal, and nothing concrete can predict or prevent relapse, besides having a strong support system and the desire to stay sober.

Addiction relapse can be heartbreaking for friends and family to watch. It’s the last thing we want for those close to us, especially after seeing how far they have come. It is important to support the person and do what you can to encourage them to get help, ideally before the relapse occurs.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

How to Handle a Relapse

If you have relapsed, the important thing is not to get into a huge downward spiral because of it. This is a time to learn from your mistakes, gather yourself up, and move forward. First of all, remove yourself from any situation or people that contributed to your relapse. Make sure to get rid of any alcohol or drug paraphernalia you might have laying around, and if needed, seek a medical detox center to help you recover back into being clean.

If a loved one has relapsed, encourage them to get help before the situation escalated. As heartbreaking as it may be, try not to be terribly outwardly angry with them, because chances are they are feeling very low, and this kind of “attack” may make them use or drink even more.

We only have today. So, let go of your mistakes from yesterday, and forget about tomorrow. Focus on being sober, happy, and positive – just for today.

Searching for a Way Out of America’s Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Use is RampantAmericas Opioid Epidemic

Opioid abuse has become an all-American epidemic, unique to our country and widespread enough to be called a public health outbreak. Abuse covers all ages, races, classes, and genders, however, the most typical victim is a non-Hispanic Caucasian male in his mid-30s.

In emergency rooms, nurses are not surprised when new overdose patients are rolled in on stretchers. Overdose is becoming so widely common that many doctors no longer need to run lab tests to determine which drug caused it. Observations such as dilated pupils mean cocaine, amphetamines, and hallucinogens. Constricted pupils almost always point to an opiate.

Opiate abuse also causes the characteristic “nodding out”, scratching, cold and clammy skin. In the wrong amounts, overdose is always just a few breaths away – and when that breath begins to sound like a rattle – the person is officially in the midst of an overdose that all too frequently leads to death.

The thought of a loved one – anyone – dying like this is terrifying, and reality is that every 19 minutes, one person in this country dies of opioid overdose. Hydrocodone, OxyContin, and Percocet are three examples of this medication, the only one known to man that is routinely prescribed and kills patients so frequently.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

How Did The Opioid Epidemic Get So Bad?

The United States is embarrassingly leading the charge in opioid abuse. 75% of the world’s opioid prescription drugs are prescribed here, and it is the number one cause of preventable death. We can’t point our fingers in one direction to place blame, however, certain pharmaceutical companies and doctors certainly had a heavy hand in leading to these statistics.

The FDA was misled for years about the true nature of opioid dependence so that big pharmaceutical companies could sell more drugs and make more money. Doctors often turn a blind eye to the reality of these drugs, accepting lame scientific data and continue writing out prescriptions, ignoring the obvious red flags.

Some staggering facts include:

  • 259 million opioid prescriptions are written yearly – enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills
  • 91% of people who survived an overdose are able to get a new prescription, often from the same doctor
  • 80% of heroin users started off using pain pills
  • As many as 4.2 million Americans have reported using heroin at least once
  • 94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were more expensive and difficult to obtain.
  • Heroin overdose deaths in women have tripled in the past few years.

 

Opioid AbusePutting an End to Prescription Abuse

The opioid industry has gotten so huge that it will take a long time to shift practices and make a positive change. As policy makers start to learn about the epidemic – and it can’t be ignored for much longer – they will begin to modify regulations. Small changes can already be seen, pills coming with safeguards to make them more difficult to abuse, the Centers for Disease Control recommending doctors not to prescribe opioids for chronic pain, monitoring of controlled substances, but much of the responsibility lies with each doctor.

Doctors need to discuss options and the realities of addiction with their patients and be more vigilant in what and how they are prescribing medications. Expectations must be set, and follow up is necessary. Knowing more about a patient’s history is key – for example, if a patient has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, they should never be prescribed addictive drugs. Opioids should always be considered an end-of-the-line resource instead of the first thing handed out.

Those of us in recovery are tired of hearing about friends and loved ones overdosing. We are sick of the same familiar and sad story. It isn’t too late to make a change, but in order for the severity of this to end, doctors need to step up and tighten up their prescription policies.

 

Finding Drugs in Your Child’s Room

Teenagers and Drugs

finding drugs in your childs room

Teens and drugs go hand in hand. While the chemicals on the street today may be different than those from 100 years ago (morphine and alcohol → bath salts and spice), teens were still using and abusing substances a century ago.

So teenagers and drugs are fairly common. That still doesn’t make it any easier to find drugs in your child’s room. The experience of finding a foreign substance in you kid’s pocket, or hidden beneath their mattress, is freighting and overwhelming.

We’ve been there and we understand! It’s an earth shattering experience to learn your child has been using drugs.

Here’s the important part – it’s not the end of the world! It’s scary, but finding out your teen has been using drugs isn’t a death sentence.

Teenage drug use doesn’t mean your child is going to end up destitute and on the streets. Teen drug use doesn’t mean your kid is going to end up selling your jewelry or their body. Teenage drug use doesn’t mean anything other than your child is experimenting.

Remember, there’s a huge difference between experimentation and abuse. There’s also a large difference between abuse and addiction.

Finding drugs in your teen’s room doesn’t mean anything other than you found drugs in your teen’s room. Read on to learn the hard facts and statistics about teenagers and drugs. You may just be surprised.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Lighthouse today! We have over thirty years of experience treating substance abuse and its many associated issues. We’ve experts when it comes to addressing and solving them!

Think your kid is using marijuana or pills? Learn how to be sure today

Teen Drug Use Facts & Statistics

All facts taken from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey. Find facts and statistics about teenage drug abuse below:

  • There’s been a decrease over the last several years in teenagers’ use of alcohol, nicotine, opioids, inhalants, and synthetic drugs. There’s also been no increase in the use of marijuana, despite several states legalizing it for recreational use by adults.

 

  • That being said, the most popular drug among teens is by far marijuana. 8th graders are twice as likely to smoke pot than use any other drug and 12th graders are almost five times as likely.

 

 

  • The most used drugs among 12th graders are marijuana, Adderall, synthetic marijuana (spice), Vicodin, and tranquilizers (benzo’s).

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

  • Despite being in the midst of a painkiller epidemic, only 2% of 8th graders have used prescription opioids.

 

  • Similarly, only 8.1% of 12th graders have ever used prescription opioids.

 

  • Despite also being in the middle of a heroin epidemic, almost no teenagers are abusing it. The latest numbers put both 8th graders and 12th graders at under 0.7% rates of heroin abuse.

 

  • Alcohol use is also significantly lower in teens than commonly thought. 9% of 8th graders and 37.4% of 12th graders reported drinking in the prior month.

 

Having looked at some of the more common facts and statistics about teenagers and drug use, let’s turn our attention to action. That is – what do you do after finding drugs in your child’s room?

Teen Drug Addiction Treatment

At this point, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “that’s good information, but what do I do next? I just found a bag of pot in my kid’s closet…what now?”

Fair enough, that’s a good question. The first thing any parent should do after finding drugs in their teen’s possession is to talk to them!

drugs and teens in recovery

Sit down and have an honest conversation with your child. Find out what they’ve been using, how often they use, how long they’ve been using, and, in the case of powder drugs like cocaine or heroin, how they administer the drug.

Afterwards, tell them about your own experience, however limited or large, with drug use. Tell the reasons you don’t want them to use drugs and ask them the reasons they are using.

Although that conversation isn’t going to be easy, it’s the only step needed in 99% of cases. Seriously, you’d be amazed how far an open and honest talk can go.

If your child isn’t able to stop, or doesn’t want to, the next step is reaching out to the professionals. That could take the form of searching the internet for answers (which is probably how you ended up on this page), calling addiction specialists, or talking to friends and relatives who’ve gone through similar struggles.

With that in mind, call Lighthouse today! Our dedicated and expert addiction professionals have experience with just about every situation under the sun. They have the answer to just about every question you could ask!

Finally, take a deep breath and remember that both you and your child are going to be okay. Learning your teen is using drugs is scary, but it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, in cases where you can talk to your child and have that honest conversation, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in your relationship.

Learn how to tell if your child is doing cocaine or heroin today

Kratom Addiction: Real Facts and Statistics Behind an Emerging Drug Trend

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Kratom Addiction Facts and Statistics

kratom addiction facts

Kratom’s public profile has recently blown up. It seems everywhere you look there are reports of “a deadly new drug,” or “a legal drug that’s stronger than heroin.” With all this information, it’s hard to figure out which kratom addiction facts are true and which are hype.

It doesn’t help that kratom addiction is a relatively new phenomenon or that hard facts about kratom addiction are almost non-existent. So, which kratom addiction facts are real? Which kratom addiction statistics are true?

Find out true facts about kratom addiction below!

Kratom Addiction Facts

Find seven kratom addiction facts below:

• Kratom possess opioid like properties, but isn’t an opioid.

• Kratom has been shown to have a low potential for abuse. However, when chemicals such as o-desmethyltramadol are mixed with kratom, it becomes very addicting.

• Kratom is unregulated by the federal government, though several states are beginning to pass legislation controlling its use. Because of kratom’s unregulated status, users are never sure exactly what chemicals they’re getting.

• Kratom contains over twenty-five different alkaloids, including: mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, and paynanthine. These alkaloids are what give kratom its euphoric properties.

• Kratom’s alkaloids bind to the mu and kappa opioid receptors. The mu opioid receptor is what makes kratom physically addictive. In 2004, a study on mice found that 7-hydroxymitragynine produced withdrawal symptoms similar to morphine.

• Two popular forms of kratom, red-vein leaf and white-vein leaf, produce different euphoric effects. Red-vein leaf, also know as Maeng-Da kratom, produces a stimulant like high. Strangely enough, at larger doses it produces a depressant high. White-vein leaf kratom always produces a speedy, stimulant like high.

• The typical dose of kratom extract is three to five grams. However, as tolerance develops, users may need to take upwards of ten grams. Raw kratom requires upwards of twenty grams to produce psychoactive effects.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Kratom Addiction Statistics

Find five kratom addiction statistics below:

• It’s estimated that over 70% of the male population in Southern Thailand uses kratom. This may be due to kratom long history of use by indigenous peoples of Thailand.

• Upon analyzing kratom leaf, researchers found it possessed between 1% and 6% mitragynine. They also found it possessed between .01% and .04% 7-hydroxymitragynine.

• One study found 50% of long-term (six months or longer) kratom users experienced severe withdrawal symptoms. 45% experienced mild withdrawal symptoms and 5% were unaffected.

• In the same study, over 80% of kratom users attempted to stop their use, but were unable.

• There have been three verified reports of death related to kratom addiction. In all three of these cases, kratom was mixed with other drugs and the exact cause of death is unknown.

What Do These Kratom Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about kratom addiction show that kratom isn’t the devil drug it’s made out to be. Yes, kratom addiction is a real public-health concern. Yes, kratom addiction has potentially harmful effects. But it simply isn’t killing people left and right, as the media portrays.

Remember, kratom has a low potential for abuse! However, when unknown chemicals are added, it becomes a whole different beast. Kratom use is also harmful to those suffering from addiction. Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s not a relapse!

Learn how to get and stay sober for good!

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we understand there’s no simple solution to substance abuse. We’ve been there. We’ve felt the hopelessness of active addiction and found a way out.

Thankfully, there’s another way. Recovery is possible and within the reach of everyone. Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015.

Let us help you or your loved one recover. Let us help you break the chains of addiction.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Guiding You to a Brighter Tomorrow

Dextromethorphan (DXM) Abuse: Accurate Facts and Statistics

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Dextromethorphan Abuse Facts and Statistics

dextromethorphan abuse facts Dextromethorphan (DXM) abuse is a growing drug trend among adolescents and young adults. This is due, in no small part, to the availability of products containing DXM. This availability makes it hard to gather dextromethorphan abuse facts and dextromethorphan abuse statistics.

Which facts about dextromethorphan abuse are true? Which DXM abuse statistics matter? Learn accurate dextromethorphan abuse facts and statistics today!

Dextromethorphan Abuse Facts

Find six dextromethorphan abuse facts below:

• DXM is a dissociative hallucinogen. This means it belongs to the same family of drugs as Ketamine and PCP.

• DXM is found in over 120 OTC medications.

• Many of these medications contain other active ingredients, which are harmful in large doses. These ingredients include: acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine maleate, guaifenesin, and phenylephrine hydrochloride.

• The combination of DXM and antidepressants can be deadly. Research shows that DXM mixed with SSRI’s and MAOI’s (the two major types of antidepressants) can result in Serotonin Syndrome.

• There are four stages, or plateaus, which can occur during a DXM high. The first plateau consists of mild stimulation. The second plateau consists of hallucinations. The third plateau is similar to the second, but more intense. The fourth plateau consists of major, out-of-body experiences. These plateaus vary based on how much DXM someone consumes.

• In addition to the four plateaus associated with DXM abuse, there’s something know as plateau stigma. This is when the user has a near-death experience and is generally described as frightening and uncomfortable.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Dextromethorphan Abuse Statistics

Find six dextromethorphan abuse statistics below:

• Nationwide surveys have reported that up to 10% of adolescents engage in DXM abuse.

• Between 1999 and 2004, calls to California poison control centers about DXM abuse rose tenfold.

• Also between 1999 and 2004, calls to poison control centers in California regarding adolescent (ages nine to seventeen) DXM abuse rose fifteen-fold.

• In 2006, respiratory agents sent over 28,000 people to the ER. While these hospitalizations weren’t all due to DXM abuse, it’s safe to say that a large portion were.

• In 2009, 5.9% of high school seniors, 6% of high school sophomores, and over 3% of 8th graders reported engaging in DXM abuse.

• Between 5% and 10% of Caucasians don’t metabolize DXM properly. This leads to Caucasians being at increased risk for DXM overdose and other harmful effects.

Why’s Kava causing so much controversy?

What Do These Dextromethorphan Abuse Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about dextromethorphan abuse are cause for concern! DXM abuse is increasing and something needs to be done. While it’s impractical to schedule DXM, there should be restrictions placed upon its purchase. Some state governments, notably California, are already monitoring and limiting the sale of DXM.

The above facts about dextromethorphan abuse also show that public awareness of the drug is growing. This is the first step to combating widespread DXM abuse.

What commonly prescribed drug is almost indistinguishable from cocaine?

Marijuana Abuse: True Facts and Statistics About the Most Popular Illegal Drug

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Marijuana Abuse Facts and Statistics

marijuana abuse facts

Marijuana’s the most popular illegal drug around. This is true today and has been true for decades.

Marijuana’s popularity, among other reasons, has lead to A LOT of false information. Case in point is the old movie Reefer Madness. So, what’s the truth? What are real marijuana abuse facts? What are accurate marijuana abuse statistics?

Discover true marijuana abuse facts and statistics today!

Marijuana Abuse Facts

Find eight marijuana abuse facts below:

• Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the world. More people use and abuse marijuana than any other illegal substance.

• There are three main types of marijuana: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis sativa forma indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

•Marijuana belongs to the Cannabaceae family of flowering plants. This is the same family as hops and hackberries. So, beer and marijuana are actually brothers or, at least, second-cousins.

• The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. However, there are over sixty other psychoactive chemicals in marijuana. These are called cannabinoids and include cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG).

•Cannabinoids are incredibly lipid soluble. This means it’s rapidly absorbed into fat tissue and accounts for the long period of time marijuana can be detected in the body.

• Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance by U.S. drug laws. This means it has no medical use and a high potential for abuse. However, twenty-four states have legalized medical marijuana. Additionally, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

• There are eight medical conditions for which patients are commonly prescribed medical marijuana. These are: cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, muscle spasms, seizures, severe pain (usually due to cancer or AIDS), sever nausea (usually due to chemotherapy), and wasting syndrome (dramatic weight loss and muscle atrophy, usually due to late stage cancer and AIDS).

• Medical marijuana is sometimes prescribed in pill form. There are two THC containing pills currently approved by the FDA. These are Marinol and Cesamet.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Marijuana Abuse Statistics

Find eleven marijuana abuse statistics below:

• NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse) identified marijuana as the most commonly abuse drug in the world. In 2008, between 120 and 190 million people used marijuana at least once. This breaks down to between 2.9% and 3.4% of the entire world’s population.

• In 2007, a study reported that upwards of fourteen million Americans engaged in marijuana abuse during the past month.

• It’s estimated that 1% of American adults abuse marijuana. This breaks down to roughly thirty-five million adults.

• According to a 2014 PEW research study, 52% of Americans think marijuana should be legal.

• Approximately 9% of those who abuse marijuana become addicted, or mentally dependent, on it.

• In 2008, marijuana accounted for over 320,000 treatment center admissions. This breaks down to about 17% of all drug rehab admissions.

• Also in 2008, marijuana abuse sent upwards of 370,000 people to the ER.

• In 2012, the average concentration of THC in marijuana was about 15%. This is a dramatic increase from the 4% THC concentration of the 80’s.

• THC oil extracts (either hash oil or the new trend of dabbing) are approximately four times stronger than traditional marijuana. This means the average concentration of THC in oil extracts is around 60%.

• In 2012, over 745,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana related offenses.

•Approximately 22 million pounds of marijuana are grown each year in the United States.

Is marijuana really the “new heroin?”

What Do These Marijuana Abuse Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about marijuana abuse show a few trends. First, marijuana abuse is popular as ever! Marijuana’s the most abused drug in the world. It has been for a long time and will, most likely, continue to be for years to come.

marijuana abuse statistics

There’s also, in the U.S., a growing push towards legalization. These marijuana abuse facts tell us that twenty-four states have legal medical marijuana, four have legal recreational marijuana, and over 50% of American’s favor legalization. This may be a good thing. Because of marijuana’s popularity, regulations could help many users avoid dangerous situations (while purchasing and ingesting the drug).

These facts about marijuana abuse show that cannabis is becoming stronger. Compare a 4% THC concentration in the 1980’s to a 15% THC concentration today. That’s a dramatic increase. That’s just in traditional marijuana, too. Extracts, edibles, and other forms of marijuana are much more potent.

While considering the increasing strength of marijuana, the push towards legalization could be beneficial. Again, regulations and uniform potency will allow users to know exactly what they’re eating, smoking, or vaporizing.

Finally, these statistics and facts about marijuana abuse show that cannabis isn’t as dangerous as it’s made out to be. Yes, drug abuse of any kind is dangerous. However, with a slim 9% of those who use and abuse marijuana becoming addicted to it, marijuana addiction simply isn’t the major public health concern media outlets portray it as.

Learn how to stay sober today!

Facts and Statistics about Women with Addiction

Understanding Women and Addiction

Are There Particular Drugs Women are Addicted To?

When discussing women and addiction, there are a variety of factors to take into account. At the most basic level, it’s important to understand that addiction is a disease. No woman decides to become an addict or alcoholic.

Addiction statistics for women depend on a variety of genetic, psychological, and social factors. There are certain gender-specific issues that affect women and can even create barriers to them seeking help.

Read about how Katie stayed sober from heroin


Women and addiction

Women and Addiction? The Two Don’t Mix!

The idea that there are female addicts points to a change in how society views women and addiction. In fact, according to The Handbook of Addiction Treatment for Women, “for many years, even centuries, it was a commonly held belief that women did not become alcoholics or addicts”[i].

The women’s movements of the late 60’s and 70’s helped change this view. They allowed women to be recognized as addicts. This allowed for research into female specific addiction and the development of female-specific recovery resources. They also birthed the need for women’s treatment centers around the country.

Addiction Statistics Show More Men Engage in Treatment

Men are more likely than women to seek treatment. It’s been estimated that only 30% of female addicts receive treatment[ii]. Addiction being thought of as a moral issue, rather than a disease, plays a large factor in this statistic.

Female addicts can be, and often are, cast in a harsher light than their male counterparts. This is due in large part to society’s view of women as wives, caregivers, and mothers[iii]. This view of women gives some insight into why the percentage of women seeking help is so much lower than men.

Fighting Stereotypes

There are also the stereotypes associated with women and addiction. For example, female addicts are often thought of as being prostitutes. Of course, this almost always isn’t the case.

Addiction is a disease and occurs regardless of race, sex, or socioeconomic standing. However, due to this stereotype of female addicts, medical professionals often fail to diagnose substance abuse if their patient doesn’t exhibit the social stereotypes associated with women and addiction.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Understanding Addiction Statistics for Women

It’s important to understand gender differences when treating women for addiction. For example, women are less likely than men to have used illegal drugs[iv]. However, once they start, women tend to become addicted quicker and experience medical consequences sooner than men[v].

A successful women’s treatment center addresses major risk factors, consequences of addiction, and barriers to recovery for women. Research in addiction treatment shows that clients are best served by programs that meet individualized needs[vi]. A woman with a history of abuse has a better chance of recovery in a program which addresses mental and social consequences of abuse, as well as the basic issues of addiction.

It’s still a relatively new issue to view women as addicts and alcoholics. Social stigmas often present barriers for women seeking help. It’s vital for women’s treatment centers to address the unique and specific needs of their female clients.

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute