Women and Addiction

Women and Addiction

“There is no generally accepted de?nition of the concept of gender. It is often used interchangeably with the term sex (Maccoby 1988). Nonetheless, a growing number of theorists, researchers, and clinicians view the concept of sex as focusing on biological differences between men and women, whereas gender is seen as describing those male and female traits and behaviors that are culturally de?ned as appropriate for that sex (Unger 1979).”*

Realization Center is a specialist in treating women with addiction issues and understands the unique factors that contribute to addiction.

“Gender plays a signi?cant and complex role in the use of and reactions to various substances. Studies indicate that substance-abusing men and women differ on numerous variables including etiological, physiological, psychological, sociological, and familial factors.”

Biology, childhood, sexual abuse, access to addictive medications, and stress related to family responsibilities are all factors.

“Substance-abusing men are more likely to have coexisting antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, attention-de?cit/hyperactivity disorder, and impulse disorders such as compulsive gambling. Substance-abusing women, on the other hand, are more likely to be dually diagnosed with major depression, panic disorder, an eating disorder, particularly bulimia, and borderline personality disorder.”

Realization Center can accept patients for comprehensive outpatient treatment including MAT for alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines immediately (6 days per week).

“Both men and women use substances as a way of dealing with con?icts around sexuality. The abuse of alcohol (and by extension, other substances) may be an effort to deal with the tension between sexual feelings and gender role expectations: Drinking may function to permit a male dependency and emotional intensity while it may allow a woman to be competent, powerful and aggressive.”

Realization Center has two locations Manhattan and Brooklyn which are easily accessible by all subways.

Some unique factors that contribute to addiction in women are: Biology, Childhood sexual abuse, Access to addictive medication, Stress related to family responsibilities.

“Hormones also appear to play a role in substance use, which may impact disproportionately on women. Studies indicate that depressive episodes and periods of emotional liability, leading to a potential increase in substance use as well as potential relapse, come at times of low estrogen secretion. Such dynamics affect women of varying ages, because levels of estrogen have been found to be particularly low during premenstrual, postpartum, and menopausal phases of the life cycle.”

Realization Center is in network with most all insurance plans and Medicaid.

*Resource: Substance—Abusing Women and Eating Disorders by Katherine van Wormer and Emily Askew