Women are less likely to experience drug and alcohol problems than men. For International Women’s Day 2022, Natalie Davies runs through the key figures about women, drugs and alcohol. With regard to drug-related death, cohort studies of people who use drugs consistently find a higher crude or absolute risk of death for men compared to women (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2017a, Merrall et al., 2012). However, relative rates of drug-related death tend to be higher for women, reflecting lower female mortality in the general population (Gjersing and Bretteville-Jensen, 2014, Aldridge et al., 2017). Many of the issues described above may pose challenges for women in their efforts to achieve recovery, though many of these are common also to men (Neale et al., 2014).

Major universities in America only began researching the female experience of addiction in the 1990s, instituting requirements for participants to include women. The authors note that national differences in drug and alcohol use might be important, but changes in the use of imprisonment eco sober house price across space and time also appear quite important. In 1966, England and Wales had approximately 30,000 prisoners; as I write, there are 85,356. Similarly, the USA currently imprisons 666 people per 100,000 of its population, putting it second in the world rankings of 222 nations.

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By increasing the awareness of substance abuse during pregnancy among the medical community, physicians may better recognize and address this problem, thus improving the overall health of this population. In clinical practice, urine toxicology assays are more frequently ordered. Frank and colleagues found that relying solely on the substance abuse history results in the failure to detect over 25% of women abusing cocaine during pregnancy. Using traditional and novel methods of data collection we were able to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of women’s experience. The capacity for women in this context to access AOD treatment services is limited by systemic barriers, but also due to individual factors, for example low levels of digital and health literacy and socioeconomic disadvantage. Emotional barriers to treatment access were also identified, and their overlap with the individual and systemic barriers identified supports the use of intersectional stigma as a framework from which future research into this cohort can be undertaken.

Studies were only included if they based diagnoses on prisoners’ drinking and drug use in the year before they were imprisoned, and assessed people within three months of arriving in a given prison. Women prisoners make up just 3-10% of the prison population in most Western countries, have more complex needs, and often engage in greater levels of drug taking and self-harm (e.g. Corston 2007). Drugs and alcohol can seem like a quick and easy fix if you are struggling with sleep, work, or stress, but they will make matters worse in the long run. The aim of rehab is for you to leave feeling better than you did when you arrived. It’s only once the physical cravings have subsided that the psychological healing can begin.

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” Indirectly asking about health promoted discussion around the ageing body without any perception of participant discomfort or reticence. If you are not already getting help with your mental health from your local mental health team, a good first step is to make an appointment to see your GP. Your GP may offer you medication and therapy to treat your mental illness. They may refer you to a drug and alcohol service to help you with your drug use. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction affect all genders and the experience of each is unique. Partly based on our biological differences and further influenced by societal expectations and norms, the way adults fall into the vicious cycle of addiction shows a pattern.

There are also women who turn to drugs in order to escape difficult situations at home, including domestic abuse, and so having a welcoming, female-led space in which to pursue their recovery is often extremely helpful. Until the 1990s, most of the research1 into substance abuse was focused on men, with the assumption that the effects of substance use, and therefore the process of recovery, would be the same for women. Substance addiction can affect anyone and has been known to affect women differently from men. There are rehabilitation centres and support services available which understand these differences and specialise in helping women on their road to recovery. In this section, we provide help and advice around the topic of mental health.

The studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by University of Glasgow’s College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee. Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative’s suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

This dual process provided for the identification of practical barriers to treatment, and a deeper exploration of the lived experience of the participants. It is this specific knowledge that can facilitate services to address the barriers in a way that is consumer focused and inclusive. The sample size of 19 women might be considered a limitation of the study however, the original sample size was chosen to reflect the anticipated challenges of recruiting older women with a history of drug use . A larger sample of women from across the UK and a greater number of women in active drug use would provide a wider range of experiences to explore. Speaking with a greater number of women in their fifties and sixties could also elicit further information on the peri-menopause and menopausal period in women’s lives, thus adding to the limited number of existing studies, most of which originate from the USA.

We also monitored how often they took part in the groups and trauma treatment to understand how easy it would be to deliver this service, as well as collecting information on costs. We carried out in-depth interviews with the women using the service, as well as the organisations providing it to understand what they thought of it and how it could be improved. We collaborated with One25 , Developing Health and Independence – an organisation providing substance misuse services – and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust to improve drug treatment for these women.

We recommend private treatment services, as well as charity-run and council-funded options for those who may be unable to fund treatment privately. It is an active process that you need to keep working at, and will become easier as time goes on. The aftercare provided by the rehabilitation centre may include regular therapy and counselling sessions, or you might wish to access https://sober-house.net/ some via the NHS. If you enter rehab with an addiction and a co-occurring condition, such as anxiety or depression, you will have the opportunity to work through both issues at once. Substance use and mental health struggles often go hand-in-hand, and so rehab centres have specialists who know how to compose a treatment plan that will tackle these problems together.

  • Rehabilitation should have given you the tools you need to process these triggers without relapsing.
  • This limits our understanding of the specific problems encountered and of how effective treatment interventions are for women, because these have mostly been tested on men.
  • In this sense, emphasis on individual responsibility risked downplaying factors over which the women had no control, and also heightened the risk for feelings of stigma and shame.
  • The authors conclude that both drug and alcohol use disorders are highly prevalent in prison populations, with much greater levels of need than are evident in the community.

The most important thing to remember when considering how to help someone abusing drugs or alcohol is the fact that getting help as soon as possible is always the best scenario. Chris Cordell, Help Me Stop’s General Manager says “too many people wait to reach their rock bottom before seeking help, making so much harder on themselves to get out of the hole they have created”. Experiences of trauma eco sober house rating and abuse, which may cause difficulties for forming therapeutic relationships and engaging with services or which may be exacerbated by the process of counselling or recovery . However, other researchers have argued that motivations are diverse across both genders and that categorisations such as this fail to capture the complexity of women – and men’s – experiences of substance use and misuse .

How Women Differ from Men in Drug and Alcohol Abuse – and How This Impacts on Treatment

An inductive analysis develops concepts and themes from the raw data and is an iterative process whereby the data are collected and analysed simultaneously . I Nevertheless, it is also recognised that it is impossible to approach the data without any preconceived ideas of what themes or concepts might emerge from the raw data [, p. 210] hence a deductive approach is acknowledged. The editor and reviewer’s affiliations are the latest provided on their Loop research profiles and may not reflect their situation at the time of review.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says that carers who support someone with a dual diagnosis should be offered a carer’s assessment under the Care Act 2014. You may be able to get practical support to help you with your caring responsibilities. Sometimes a doctor will tell you to take benzodiazepines to help you with anxiety. But people also buy them illegally because of their relaxing effects. They can be addictive, and so doctors only give them for a short time.

  • Bear in mind that England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales often have their own ways of collecting data and their own timescales for reporting.
  • Experts say that world news has a significant negative effect on our mental health, which is bad news for addiction.
  • When contemplating the diagnosis of substance abuse, other conditions should be considered, including depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Mental health difficulties (Scottish Drugs Forum, 2014, Bernstein et al., 2015). From the literature and our interviews with professional stakeholders and women with lived experience, a number of potential barriers to women accessing or sustaining treatment for drug use or other health problems were identified. These are described below, with some accompanying quotations from theOPDPproject interviews. These factors motivated this team of researchers to review the evidence on levels of drug and alcohol problems in men and women prisoners, and to explore the reasons that some studies come up with different findings. Treatments we may recommend include home-based or residential detox, full residential rehabilitation, outpatient therapy/counselling, and professional intervention.

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The more barriers the patient has to treatment, the less likely she is to remain abstinent. Common barriers to treatment include a partner who also uses alcohol or drugs, a chaotic lifestyle, a poor social support system, and lack of safe and affordable child care services. Those women who have been in multiple treatment programs yet subsequently relapse may be recalcitrant to general treatment methods. In conclusion, growth of this body of literature provides practitioners with an understanding of women’s experiences and, importantly, scope to addressing these issues. The current study was undertaken with the aim to explore the lived experience perspectives as to the barriers to AOD treatment faced by women with addiction and homelessness. This study contributes to the expanding body of lived experience perspective literature and highlights the value of multi-dimensional perspectives in informing service delivery.

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Research highlights the importance of self-efficacy in achieving and sustaining good health, both physically and mentally . In the context of poor literacy and the limitations of their sociocultural circumstances they felt shamed, embarrassed, and stigmatized, none of which provide for the growth of self-efficacy, a vital component of successful addiction treatment (53–55). An androcentric approach to health has been prevalent within medical research and this is particularly true of substance use research . A particularly neglected research area in the field of substance use relates to the bodily and embodied experiences of mid-life and older women in recovery from illicit drug use.

Saffron, 40, first started using cannabis, acid and amphetamines at the age of 14, before being introduced to cocaine and crack cocaine. A global perspective and, more importantly, action matters, as more women are imprisoned for drug-related offences than any other crime. Got metal plates in my jaws, and just had bad experiences with guys, so.” Given the consistency and strength of the evidence, the imperative for policy makers is surely to make adequate levels of funding and provision available for the levels of known need. Random-effects meta-analysis, and subgroup and meta-regression analyses were conducted.