Women and The Dangers of Drug Use
12/13/18: Drug Addiction
The use of drugs can be extremely dangerous and drug addiction can be even worse. People use drugs to get a high, or a sense of euphoria. Even casual use of a drug can result in excessive use or addiction. However, many drug users don’t stop to consider the short-term and long-term side effects the substances can have on them. Keeping a safe distance from drug use is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. When you start using substances, you put your health and well-being at risk. One demographic that can have some of the worst effects from substance abuse are women. When women become addicted to drugs, they may experience side-effects that men won’t.
In the past, women were often excluded from drug abuse research, but in the last couple of decades, studies have been more inclusive of this demographic. There is an importance in maintaining awareness about drug addiction and no demographic should be excluded from that. Gathering as much information about addiction is essential if the community wants to fight against it. Each person is affected differently by addiction, but there are some factors that affect women more often than you see in other demographics. Drug use affects your body, mind, soul, and your life.
Drug use can be an extremely dangerous activity and it can make someone wind up in less than fortunate life situations. One danger that often comes up for women who struggle with addiction is living with domestic violence. Domestic violence can come from their parents, siblings, or significant others. Difficult home lives often come with some form of domestic violence (physical, verbal, or mental). When a woman is abused at home, they may become more susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction as a way to cope with the pain they are suffering from.
Drug abuse affects a person not only on a physical level, but on a mental one as well. Constant drug use can result in a wide range of mental health problems like anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and anger. Mental illness and drug abuse can often go hand-in-hand. Meth, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and LSD all act as depressants, giving off that feeling of looseness. When people constantly seek out this sense of euphoria, it can have a significant impact on their mental state. Being in a constant “loose” state can alter the way your brain works and can make you dependent on a substance; this is how addiction happens.
Homelessness is a huge issue around the world and it’s no easy thing to fix. Homelessness is something that affects more than 500,000 people in the U.S. alone. 90% of women that are homeless have had issues with domestic violence in the past, which often results in mental illnesses and drug abuse. Even if a woman is out of an abusive situation, they are even more vulnerable when they are out on the streets. When you have no place to call home and no loved ones around you, it can be easy to fall into addiction and develop mental illnesses along the way. Homeless women who are assaulted and who abuse drugs are more likely to develop mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Constant drug use affects the brain in ways that can be extremely dangerous to a person’s mental state. Women, in particular, have shown that they have a harder time escaping addiction when compared to men. They often see themselves making multiple trips to rehab facilities and having more relapses. Studies have also shown that women experience addiction much faster than men. The cycle of homelessness for women can typically go like this: Mental illness develops, copes/treats it with substance use, ends up losing money from their addiction, loses their home, winds up on the streets without any financial or home security. It’s clear to see the connection between addiction and homelessness for women.
Higher Risk of Overdose
Since women are more susceptible to addiction and can have a harder time beating it, which sometimes results in a higher risk of death. When you continue to use a substance, you become more and more reliant on it. Unfortunately, studies show that women have a harder time beating addiction. When you have a hard time beating addiction, you can become more and more dependent on the substance that is being abused. The more and more you abuse a substance, the more damage it can do to your body. When you need more and more of the substance to continue the feeling of euphoria, you run the risk of overdosing. At some point, your body will have too much of a substance and may shut down. Women have a higher risk of overdosing due to the fact that they generally have a harder time beating addiction.
Problems For Pregnancy
A woman who is expecting to be a mother should never ingest something that does any sort of bodily harm. Smoking, drinking, and any sort of drug use are things a mother should never do when trying to have a child. When you put toxins in your body, it doesn’t just affect the way you feel, it affects all your internal organs. The last thing a mother should do is put toxins in their body that may possibly affect a child. In the 80s, a huge crack epidemic hit New York City and many mothers suffered from it. Unfortunately, their newborn babies had developed disorders from the toxins that had been put into their mother's body. Low birth weight, small head size, behavioral issues, and many other disorders can all come from a mother who has ingested toxins while trying to have a child.
The dangers of addiction can affect anyone, but women are especially susceptible to them. Women who suffer from addiction suffer from many other side-effects. Educating everyone on the dangers of drugs and alcohol is the best way to protect the people in your life.
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