Drug Addiction Information for Women

Women’s Recovery is proud to present up to date information about specific drugs and their effects on women. How do women become addicted to certain drugs? What does addiction look like? What are the options for recovery? Learn more by clicking on the links below.

Women’s Recovery Information for Specific Drugs

Alcohol Addiction

Women generally need less alcohol to become drunk. That can put them at a higher risk for alcoholism. Those who consume more than they should actually put themselves at a high risk for serious health complications. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, they increase their chances for breast cancer, heart disease and liver damage. Also, women who drink during pregnancy put their babies at risk for serious developmental problems.

Women drink for a number of reasons, including coping with stress, depression, anxiety and a number of other issues. Most of the time, they drink as a way to self-medicate. Many of them do not realize the danger of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

But there is hope! Treatment is available for women with alcohol addictions. It is possible to recover, and it is important to learn more about alcoholism and its impact on women.

women and benzo abuse

Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzodiazepines are a classification of drugs that was developed to replace another, more dangerous class of medications (barbiturates). These medications are usually used to help people get to sleep, but they can also help with severe bouts of anxiety as well. At times, doctors will prescribe them to help with the withdrawal symptoms from other drugs too.

Women are commonly prescribed benzos as a way to help with anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. Because more women complain about these issues to their doctors, they receive most of the prescriptions. But the problem is that these drugs are quite addictive, which is a fact that many doctors fail to inform their patients about.

The proper way to use benzodiazepines is to take them for no more than 10 days, and only as needed, in most cases. When women’s use exceeds these recommendations, the probability of addiction becomes quite high.

Fortunately, help is available for women who are addicted to benzos. But more need to be made aware of the dangers of these medications.

woman taking prescription drugs

Cocaine Addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women are much more sensitive to the effects of cocaine than men. The female hormone estradiol is the reason for their increased sensitivity. But what this means is that women who use this drug have a much higher chance of getting addicted faster.

There have been many studies done on sex-specific reactions to cocaine in rats. In one of them, the males and the females had to press a lever to receive a dose of the drug. The females were seen rapidly pressing the lever, and they received higher doses as a result.

Many women choose this drug because they feel the need for some type of stimulant to get them through the day. There are even some experts that believe that more women are using cocaine because more are drinking larger amounts of alcohol. The two drugs can go hand in hand, according to several studies.

cocaine withdrawal

Cocaine Withdrawal

Just as women experience a more intense experience when using cocaine, withdrawal symptoms also tend to be more intense for them. For many females, the crippling anxiety that can accompany this type of withdrawal is severe. In fact, that alone has contributed to many relapses for women who are addicted to this drug.

Far too many women attempt to recover from cocaine addictions on their own. They do not realize how severe their withdrawal symptoms can become. Some believe that their own willpower is enough to carry them through, but for the vast majority, that belief is quickly proved false.

Still, cocaine withdrawal can be treated as long as the woman gets the right kind of help. Women should take the time to understand as much as they can about these types of withdrawal symptoms. They should also know where to turn for help.

Women Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction

NIDA states that 8.4 million women have misused prescription drugs in the past year. That translates to 6.6% of the female population in the United States. When many of them run out of their narcotic medications, and they are no longer able to get more, they often turn to heroin. It is clear that this drug is not just one that is common for men to choose; so many women have fallen prey to it as well.

Like with other drugs, women respond to the effects of heroin much faster than men do. Because of that, they are much more likely to become addicted, and their addictions tend to happen quickly. Of course, for women who have transitioned to heroin after abusing an opioid pain medication, their addictions can be instantaneous.

Heroin is a dangerous drug, and it is one of the substances that is most responsible for so many overdoses in the United States.

heroin withdrawal

Heroin Withdrawal

Some women may experience more intense heroin withdrawal symptoms than men. This is simply because of the way their bodies respond to the drug, and to its absence. The anxiety that is common with this type of withdrawal can be extremely hard to manage; especially on one’s own.

For many different reasons, women may opt to attempt to recover from heroin addiction on their own. They may be single mothers with small children, or there may be some other reason why they are hesitant to get professional help. But the reality is that attempting to quit without going to treatment puts them at a very high risk of a heroin overdose if they relapse.

It is so important to understand the dangers that accompany heroin withdrawal. There are many ways to get help so that their severity can be treated and even minimized.


Marijuana Addiction

Research has shown that women are much more susceptible to the effects of marijuana than men. While this drug is “known” to be non-addictive physically, women are much more prone to becoming dependent upon it. In addition, they also experience more severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.

When researchers studied the effects of THC on male and female rats, they found something quite interesting. After 10 days, the females formed a greater tolerance to the drug than the males. This suggests that women might typically increase how much marijuana they use periodically, over time. A growing tolerance level is one of the more classic signs of addiction.

With marijuana becoming a legalized drug in many states across the U.S., more women are using it than ever before. This presents a serious problem. More women are becoming addicted and in need of professional help to get off the drug.

meth addiction treatment

Meth Addiction

As surprising as it may seem, the number of women who are addicted to meth is on the rise in several states across the country. According to Matthew Sandberg, of the DEA in Utah, “Methamphetamine is a drug we don’t speak enough about…we haven’t spoken much about the fact that meth is much more prevalent on the streets and it’s really the preferred drug use here.”

Like many other drugs, women are much more susceptible to the effects of meth. Once they are addicted, it can be very difficult to get off this drug. For one, they come to rely on it to help them get everything done. But, recovering from this type of addiction is very difficult, and many women do not realize how much help is available to them.

For those women who suffer because of methamphetamine addiction, life may not seem possible without it. This, of course, serves as a barrier to them getting the treatment they desperately need to recover. It is so important to understand the impact that this drug can have on the women who use it regularly.

meth withdrawal

Meth Withdrawal

Meth addiction is very difficult to recover from because of the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms women experience. They tend to get addicted to this drug quickly because of its stimulant effects and its impact on the brain. Likewise, they typically experience severe withdrawal symptoms that – without treatment – can easily lead to a relapse.

When it is stopped, methamphetamine causes both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Both can be difficult to manage. The right treatment can ease their severity, and it can also shorten their duration.

For anyone who is addicted to meth, it is critical to understand what happens when they stop using it. It should never be done on one’s own, and women in particular are encouraged to seek professional help. In the event of a relapse, please know that there is a higher chance for an overdose. The severity of meth withdrawal symptoms increases the chance of both relapsing and overdosing.

opiate and opioid addiction treatment

Opiate and Opioid Addiction

In the United States, there are many women who are addicted to opiates and opioids. There are several different types of drugs that fall into this category; some are legal and some are not. But for women who use them, they present a way for them to ease their physical – and possibly even psychological – pain.

According to the National Women’s Health Network, women are much more likely than men to experience chronic pain. For this reason, doctors prescribe more of these medications to women than they do to men. Also, they tend to use them at higher doses and for longer periods of time as well.

Studies have shown that a significant percentage of women who begin using prescription opiates or opioids will eventually transition to heroin. In fact, that is at the heart the opioid epidemic as we know it today. That is why it is important to understand this addiction and the impact it has had on women’s lives.

painkiller addiction treatment

Painkiller Addiction

According to NIDA, in the past, men were more likely to abuse and become addicted to painkillers than women. While that still holds true to this day, the gap between the two genders is certainly becoming narrower with every passing year. So many women are addicted to painkillers, and for some of them, their addictions become fatal.

Typically, women tend to go to the doctor more often than men do. That means they also tend to get more prescriptions. They are much more likely to experience chronic pain, which means more painkillers. In addition to that, they often take them long-term.

For a woman who is addicted to painkillers, they can quickly take over her entire life. In many instances, women will turn to heroin when they can no longer access their medication, or it becomes too expensive. It is a costly addiction, and it is important for addicts to understand it as much as possible, and then seek help. 

woman taking prescription drugs

Prescription Drug Addiction

For many women, their addictions to prescription drugs occurred completely by accident. They started taking a medication that was prescribed by their doctors, and eventually, they became addicted to it. Once they were addicted, they felt like they did not know how to stop.

This is the story that so many women have, and they feel powerless against their prescription medications. There are several different types of them, including stimulants, painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers. All of them can lead to addiction if they are taken for too long.

Now more than ever, women need to be made aware of the dangers of prescription drug addiction. Also, they need to know that there are ways to recover.

restoril addiction treatment

Restoril Addiction

Restoril is a medication that falls into the classification of hypnotic, psychoactive benzodiazepine. It is often prescribed to treat anxiety, and it is frequently offered to women who suffer from this condition. For many of them, this drug first appears to be a godsend because it works so well. But it is only intended for short-term use, which is something that far too many prescribing physicians ignore.

Once a woman is addicted to Restoril, stopping it can be quite difficult due to withdrawal symptoms. It is important to understand this addiction and how it has impacted so many women’s lives.

Rivotril addiction treatment

Rivotril Addiction

Rivotril is a benzodiazepine medication that doctors may prescribe to treat epilepsy, panic disorders and anxiety. It is also known by another brand name, Klonopin. While this drug can be quite effective when it is used properly, far too many women get addicted to it. Most of the time, they are never even made aware of the addictive nature of it, or of the risks involved with taking it.

Women who take Rivotril usually find that they form a tolerance to it very quickly. This is mostly due to the fact that they are so sensitive to it. As they become more tolerant, they find that they need to increase their dosages to get the same effects.

Continued Rivotril use and abuse can lead to significant health problems. Understanding this addiction is critical for any woman who has been using it long-term.

Sleeping Pill addiction treatment

Sleeping Pill Addiction

Every year, doctors across the United States write millions of prescriptions for sleeping pills. For many women, stress, anxiety and depression make it very difficult for them to sleep at night. The result is that many of them turn to their doctors for answers. Usually, that means receiving a prescription for a sleeping pill that these women do not realize is addictive.

Not only are sleeping pills habit forming and hard to come off, but they tend to have a negative impact in women’s lives. They can quickly alter their moods and suppress their normal emotions. Some women even report “sleeping their lives away” as the pills kept them in bed almost constantly.

Sleeping pills are very dangerous. For the women who are addicted to them, knowing as much about them as possible is critical. It is so important to make sure more women are informed about their dangerous before they even consider using them.

Vicodin addiction treatment

Vicodin Addiction

Vicodin is a prescription opioid pain medication that is actually quite common in the United States. This drug is often the go-to choice for prescribers because it is considered to be milder than medications like Oxycontin and Percocet. Women typically receive it after giving birth, going through surgery, or suffering from back pain or other injuries. The problem is that many of them have a difficult time getting off it once they start taking it.

It is possible to form a quick addiction to Vicodin because it works so well for pain relief. It also creates sensations of euphoria that many women might find calming if they suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. But the reality is that it is dangerous, and continuing to use it can have long-term health effects, and result in an addiction.

Because Vicodin is so commonly prescribed to women, learning as much as possible about this drug is vital. It is important to understand the side effects and of course, how to recover.