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Women at Higher Risk for Opioid Addiction

Studies have found that women are prescribed more opioids than men. In addition, women are prescribed other addictive drugs more often than men. One statistic cites that at least 50 million American women struggle with chronic pain. Men are not inclined to reach out for help or treatment when they are struggling with pain of any kind- psychological or emotional. When women reach out, they are more likely to be prescribed opioid drugs. Women are prescribed opioid drugs more often than men. Compared to men who are prescribed opioid drugs, women are prescribed higher doses of opioids and for longer periods of time. Genetically, women have different metabolisms than men. When it comes to binge drinking, for example, men have a higher standard number of drinks to raise their blood alcohol concentration than women. Taking higher dose opioids, prescribed more often, for longer periods of time, makes women more vulnerable to opioid addiction.


Women Get Addicted More Quickly

Women are already genetically predisposed to developing an addiction more quickly than men. One of the first publications on alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous, the text for Alcoholics Anonymous, makes mention of how rapidly women become addicted to alcohol and develop into “the real thing” so quickly. Women feel the physical effects of chemical dependency more rapidly than men due to an effect called “telescoping”. The telescoping effect has been connected to gender differences in the development of alcoholism and addiction. Published through the National Institute Of Health, one study explains that women have “…a later age at initiation of alcohol use but shorter times from use to dependence and treatment.” Women become addicted perhaps at later age, but in shorter amounts of time.

Opioids are particularly addicting. The opioid epidemic which the nation currently faces has been created in part by surprise. Men and women who took opioids according to prescription- prescriptions that would have been for higher doses and longer periods of time for women- became chemically dependent upon the drugs, without ever abusing them.


Women can overcome opioid addiction despite the challenges they face. Villa Tranquil offers a unique opportunity to women in recovery seeking a continuation of treatment. Our transitional living home in Jupiter Farms, Florida offers an extended care program, maintaining the clinical structure of treatment with independence building activities. Call us today for information:  214-799-3080