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Common Substance Abuse Causes For Women

No one ever imagines that they’ll rely on substances to get them through their day. However, drugs, alcohol and other substances might seem like a reasonable way to escape from life’s stresses. Especially when physical, mental and emotional pain and anguish become too much.

From past childhood, teen and adult traumas, unwanted pregnancies, miscarriages or stillbirths, working long and often tiring hours and raising a family, women often place greater expectations on themselves and try to do it all. For some women, the stress becomes too much and they look to unhealthy solutions to ease their stress.

Statistical speaking some 19.5 million women misused drugs in the past year—which also includes prescription medications such as opiates. Having said this though, it’s essential to shed light on what are the common substance abuse causes for women. By raising awareness of these factors, then you and other women can have a clearer understanding of just how easy it is to cross the use to abuse threshold.

Common Substance Abuse Causes For Women
Moving From Use To Abuse Is Not As Difficult As You Think—Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

Common Substance Abuse Causes #1 Mental illness

The rise of mental illness among women is growing. As such, some 29 million American women are medically diagnosed with mild to chronic conditions annually. Common mental illnesses include eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

People that suffer from mental issues may overuse medication to ease their emotional pain. However, the effects of these medications can escalate conditions as the high or euphoria that they deliver is short-lived. So while overusing these medications might seem to chase problems away this feeling doesn’t last, which can have devastating consequences. 

woman in blue long sleeve shirt holding pen
Mental Illness Is A Common Substance Abuse Causes—Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Common Substance Abuse Causes #2 Chronic pain

It’s estimated that some 1.9 billion people live with chronic pain ranging from tension head through to neck and back pain. Injury, illness and surgery, as well as diseases such as cancer, and diabetes leave many women with lasting pain. Some of the most common chronic pain that women suffer from include migraines, osteoarthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia.

Usually, doctors prescribe opioid pain relievers to combat extreme pain. However, they are extremely addictive and are meant to be used temporarily. Since women are more likely to develop addictions faster than men, constantly using opioid pain relievers might lead to a reliance on these medications. Opioids are similar to heroin, as they can produce the same high.

woman suffering from a stomach pain
Chronic Pain Can Take Medication Use To Abuse—Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Common Substance Abuse Causes #3 Past trauma

Many women have experienced some form of trauma in their life. This trauma may be the result of an accident, emotional conflict, physical or psychological abuse, or any other experience that is damaging in nature. Depending on the severity, exposure to trauma can lead to many emotional disorders. There are several trauma symptoms, including insomnia, paranoia, flashbacks, fear, anger, and irritability. When left untreated, a sufferer may turn to drugs and alcohol to push back thoughts and cope with the stress of the trauma. 

If you’re dealing with trauma, a health coach that specializes in this area or a psychologist and psychiatrist can help. These professionals guide you on a path that enables you to navigate your way out of these traumatic experiences so you’re able to live a fulfilling life. If you’re already using substances to cope with your past traumas and this use is becoming a problem you can seek drug and alcohol treatment, among many others, to get your life back on track. 

woman crying
Trauma is Common Among Women—Photo by Kat Smith on Pexels.com

Common Substance Abuse Causes Key Takeaways

Prevention is the best way to prevent addiction. If you find yourself tempted to abuse drugs or turn to alcohol to make you feel better, try healthier alternatives. You can call a friend or your health coach or psychologist, join a support group and limit your access to harmful substances.

Just to recap, common substance abuse causes for women are:

  • Mental illness.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Past trauma.

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