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Women Do Not Experience Addiction The Same Way As Men, It’s Worse

In 1935 the book Alcoholics Anonymous was published. The now world famous book was one of the first texts on alcoholism and how to recover from it. To date, millions of people around the world have benefitted from the inspirational and instructional words of the text. Over eighty years since the publication, minimal changes have been made to the text, evidence of its superb efficacy. However, the book was written by men. Admittedly, on behalf of the authors, the book was also written for men. It took many years for a woman to be recognized “officially” as an alcoholic. The first woman believed to be a recognized member of Alcoholics Anonymous was Marty Mann. Throughout the text of Alcoholics Anonymous there is little mention of women. A chapter, “To Wives” was generously included to instruct the wives of alcoholic husbands. “To Husbands” does not exist. In today’s edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, there are personal stories, appearing after the primary 164 pages, which are written by women. The primary text has not changed.

Women are given one bit of recognition in a chapter of the book called “More About Alcoholism”. The authors wrote, “To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years. Certain drinkers, who would be greatly insulted if called alcoholics, are astonished at their inability to stop.” What the authors touch on here is an important point. Women have historically demonstrated an alcoholism equal or greater than that which is experienced by men. Men and women experience alcoholism and addiction differently. Quite often, it is worse.

One third of global drug users are women. A 2016 report from the United Nations International Narcotics Control board, reports Vice, found that only one-fifth of all recipients of treatment for substance use disorders are women. Though women are a large population of those who need treatment, they are one of the smallest populations to receive it because treatment can be hard to access for women.

The report called for “gender-sensitive drug policies and programs, better health-care access for drug-dependent women, and more funding to prevent and treat drug abuse among women”. A necessary call because, as Vice points out, statistically, women are more likely to progress in substance abuse with leading drugs of choice like cannabis, heroin, or cocaine.

 

Villa Tranquil Recovery is a proud new member of the women’s treatment community, offering gender-specific services for women between the ages of 18-65. Our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida provides a transitional living opportunity for women to continue their treatment process while regaining the skills they need to thrive in sobriety. Call us today for information 561-294-0427.