women and addiction

4 Addictions That Commonly Affect Women

According to the most recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), men are more likely to develop an addiction or substance abuse problem than women. However, women develop substance abuse problems more quickly than men. They are also more likely to have co-occurring anxiety disorders and experience panic attacks. In fact, women who develop a substance abuse problem are commonly self-medicating psychological issues or having trouble dealing with social pressures. In addition, relationships, trauma, and family situations are more likely to have an effect on a woman’s decision to use drugs.

Because research has shown that women use drugs differently than men, we know that women are particularly vulnerable to certain addictions. These addictions affect women of all ages, lifestyles, and income levels and can quickly take control over their lives. Fortunately, there are treatment options that can help women beat their addictions and get their lives back on track. Here is what you need to know about four types of addictions that commonly affect women.

Prescription Medications

Even though prescription medications are meant to treat certain medical conditions, they may lead to substance abuse problems if they are overused. Women who struggle with prescription medication addiction sometimes obtain these substances fraudulently through doctors or people who deal them illegally. Some of the most commonly abused prescription medications include pain killers, amphetamine and central nervous system depressants. Checking into a rehab facility may be the best way to overcome prescription drug abuse.


Food is an essential part of life, but compulsively overeating can lead to serious health problems. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are all linked to food addiction. Quite often, food addiction involves indulging in unhealthy foods that are high in sugar, sodium and saturated fats, which may further exacerbate health problems. Many women turn to counseling and other support networks to overcome their food addictions.

Compulsive Sexual Behavior

Sex addiction is one of the least talked about addictions because of its stigma. Women, in particular, may feel especially ashamed to admit to having this addiction and sometimes choose to suffer in silence. This behavior can even affect women who are in committed relationships. Fortunately, there are centers that offer sex addiction recovery therapy in Philadelphia and other cities across the U.S.


The use of alcohol is omnipresent in many cultures throughout the world and may spur an addiction problem for some women. What starts off as casual drinking in social settings can quickly spiral out of control and lead to a life of alcohol dependency. This addiction can affect women’s family lives as well as their careers and personal relationships with other people. Completing a treatment program at a rehab facility or participating in a 12-step program are just two ways that women can conquer alcohol addiction.

Addiction can result in devastating consequences that can negatively impact many areas of life. Any woman who struggles with any of these addictions can turn to resources to get on the path to recovery.

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