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Introduction    2

Discussion    3

Addiction issues for women    3

Barriers and challenges for women seeking treatment    7

Recommendation    10

Conclusion    11

References    12



Most addiction rehabilitation is performed and viewed by the community with seriousness in the cases of men specifically. has shown that there are important variations between the both genders seeking for addiction treatment. Though it is believed and also proved that the usage of drugs and alcohol used by men are higher than women but recently there is astonishing numbers of women using drugs and alcohol. The problems that women confront for the treatment of addiction therapy are challenging and most of the problems and challenges are associated with society. And they eschew the idea of seeking the treatment by thinking what impact will create after their family knows all the things. And this fear of speaking the truth strangles them because they think they might lose their family, friends and all other acquaintances. This feeling all together makes the women shift into a victim mentality and it gradually creates trauma, helplessness, depression etc.

This study will elaborate the addiction issues that are being faced by women universally. Additionally, the treatments that are available are related to the issue. The barriers and challenges for female seeking treatment are also going to be discussed.



Addiction issues for women

The substances that are mainly used by women are nicotine’s, alcohol and the medications that are being prescribed by the doctors. The percentage of women consuming nicotine is 23% compared to men. It is hard for people to get over the addiction but it is harder for women especially because Women are also infected by the illegal stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine. A report has shown where it is proved that women begin to consuming intoxicating substances earlier in their childhood than men (Close et al., 2020). Women deal with the harder problems relating to the usage of alcohol such as women facing working pressure, social situations, different gatherings, social stigma and many others. They find it hard to leave drug abuse and become affected by it continuously because they want to reach the state of ideal women in their social circumstances in terms of reputations and, they want to escape from the daily life tensions.

There are concerns such as women want to fit in the trend of maintaining a healthy lifestyle or attaining the idea of weight loss, women also tries to prove and attract men by handling such things that are restricted by them from the social norms, women reaches out for the help of alcohol when they are facing issues regarding sexual trauma, depressions and anxieties which are also the serious aspects of women. Treatment of drugs has different settings that are available in different forms. The usage of opioids and its overdose, the dependence of opioids while delivering babies has reached high rates. In between the years of 1995 and 2009, the prescriptions of opioids prescribed to avoid pain during pregnancy has also increased. During the time of pregnancy, Opioids use disorder can create a detrimental effect on the fetus. The harm which tends to happen in the system of placenta and creates the risk of preterm labor, intrauterine passage of meconium, fetal convulsions, placental abruption, fetal growth restriction and also fetal death. There are other risks which involve malnutrition and poor prenatal care, dangers concern by leading a drug-seeking lifestyle and HIV. Women who are under the extravagant influence of the intoxication of drugs and alcohol can potentially ruin menstrual cycle, pregnancy, fertility and it damages their hormonal functions which was conducted by scientists’ study on substance usage, claimed the reason to fall under the influence of drugs such as dealing with exhaustion, controlling weight, handling pain and for correcting mental health. Women also use tiny substances of drug minimal time before they become addicted. Women can also feel extra cravings for drugs than men and also women tend to relapse after their treatment. Some drugs can be simulative and make their sex hormones high and make women sensitive than men, after having the intoxication of drugs their blood vessels and heart can create more physical effects. The brain of a woman changes after the consumption of drugs at a noticeable rate than men (Perkins, 2001).

Anxieties, panic attacks and depressions are prone to affect women who are using certain substances of drug. The issues that are being mentioned are more like physical and mental health issues of addiction but there are other relationship issues that are attached simultaneously such as loss of child custody, divorce, demises of child or partners. These are the major and undeniable reasons that raised the equation of substance usage by women. Those women who use drugs during their pregnancy create perilous effects to their health as well as their baby’s health in short- and long-term ways. Drugs like stimulants and opioids can cause risks to the mother, her unborn baby and creates health related problems such as seizures, migraines, miscarriage, high blood pressure and can damage her fetus (Sachdeva, Patel and Patel, 2009).



Treatments available for addiction issues

There are treatments such as Methadone and Buprenorphine as the Standard of Care for Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy:

From the time of 1970 the treatment using methadone for pregnant women with opioids has started. Recent studies have indicated that buprenorphine can be a far better option.

Many treatments are available by the help of methadone and buprenorphine such as these two helps the maternal HIV treatment reducing the possibilities of spreading the virus to the fetus, helps mothers to get decent prenatal care, methadone and buprenorphine can also help in the betterment of neonatal outcomes, normalizes fetal levels of opioids and lowers the repeated prenatal withdrawal.

For female patients that are dealing with high blood pressure can limit their alcohol consumption by drinking alcohol one time a day (Whelton, 2002). There are several solicitor and fruitful solutions of treatment available for addiction such as anyone can lose their weight and manage their high blood pressure rates. Women can also manage a healthy lifestyle filled with a healthy diet and can beat high blood pressure. Following a healthy lifestyle means that the foods that are being consumed by the women who are expecting to lower their blood pressure should be filled with fruits, whole grains, vegetables, low and saturated fat. For patients having high blood pressure which is resulted by the consumption of alcohol can have extra weight than normal people.womens health systems, the high blood pressure can be diminished. Regular physical activities will contribute a great help for women to lose their weight. During the process of losing weight it is also important to check waistline areas because women having a waist exceeding more than 35 inches are at a serious stake in terms of health (Mayo Clinic, 2019). women can have foods that are low in sodium because a diet plan in check of sodium can not only decrease the high blood pressure but this also strengthens the heart health. Limitation of salt from the foods and avoiding processed foods as much as possible, would help to lower the sodium rate from the diet.It is getting harder to decrease the sodium levels by cutting off salt and processed foods instantaneously, then slowly adjust as much as possible based on the amount of food cravings and discipline one have(Mayo Clinic, 2019).

By the negotiations of the children, women can get the treatment or therapeutic services. There are also other family members who contribute services to smoothen the treatment of addictive women.

The innovative stakes involved with the sexual healthcare of women are discussed here:

Services that are provided with the concerns of the sexual health care of women are sexually transmitted diseases, dysfunctions in the hormones, family planning and protection.

The treatment of depressions for women under the consumption of alcohol are Rehabilitation, Medication, Support groups and Therapy (Patel et al., 2007). The epidemics have spread not only in the rich countries but in the poor countries as well and in their countries the families are lacking the medicines of Aids that causes their death. When the income of the respective poor country is $1 a day, the impossible amount of $10,000 is protected by 20 year patents (Boseley, 2003).

In the sphere of Medications there are Antidepressants that can help to revive the neurotransmitters in the brain that are being affected by the consumption of alcohol and help recover the symptoms of depression (Holland, 2019). There are medications available by the assistance of doctors that can help to lower the yearning of alcohol consumption.

By developing the dependence on alcohol any woman who is expecting a treatment of depression can face the quitting procedure. And while being in the process of quitting suddenly, women tend to come under the symptoms of withdrawal. And this symptom can be life threatening and detrimental. Many doctors also recommend patients to go through the withdrawal process under the medical supervision.

For the understanding of the thought processes and events one requires to have Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). CBT helps to correct the thought pattern of an individual and thus assist weighing one's behavior so that they cannot misuse alcohol (Vitousek, Watson and Wilson, 1998).

2% of the world population has the addiction of alcohol or illicit drug. Several countries in Europe including the USA and eastern Europe's dependence on drugs is caused by illicit drug dependence. In the USA and in some countries in Europe more than 1 - in - 20 (5%) were dependent on alcohol. The share of the population with substance use disorder is displayed in the map below.


Figure 1: Share of the population with alcohol or drugs use disorders

(Source: Ritchie and Roser, 2019)

By using alcohol there are high rates of deaths in Eastern Europe and by using illicit drugs there is a high rate of death in North America. Many premature deaths have occurred by using substances. For example, 70 years old people die from smoking but there is a younger demographic of death rates happening from substances. Here this chart shows the deaths from substance use

disorder by age.


Figure 2: Deaths from substance use disorders by age, worldwide.

(Source: Ritchie and Roser, 2019)

Barriers and challenges for women seeking treatment

The hurdles that men face during the treatment are different from women seeking for the treatment. This happens because of the gender differences such as the cultural and social roles of femininity and masculinity. Women are more prone in desiring for the alcohol than men and because the metabolization of alcohol for women is different than men, women's lesser stomach enzymes slows down the process of alcohol. Being enrolled in different duties such as housewife or mother, women encounter huge stigmatization in society for using substances like drugs or alcohol (SAMHSA, 2009).

Mothers who are seeking the treatment find challenges because of their inadequate social and financial circumstances and the family conditions that are contradictory for their treatment. So exposing bluntly with empathy and with the hope of receiving satisfactory consolidation is really tough for women in our society. The challenges are various such as bias social rules,stigma and for having different caring roles of women in the society. There are also women aged 18 to 49 who had called for the treatment of substance use could not find the treatment 2004–2006 .There are many barriers women have to face though varies with person to person but barriers significantly are society related, barriers that related with the treatment  program  and internal barriers. Internal barriers consist of avoidance of problems, sluggish motivation for treatment, psychological problems, the views injected by the society to the women about the Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Stress can be in the subcortical regions of the brain by the high levels of estrogen. And this factor majorly creates the abundance of anxiety and depression. Women involved with SUD have their history of emotional and physical abuse, sexual history and the thought of attempting suicides. Trauma or abuse is the reason for post-traumatic stress disorder in women. If a woman with a SUD has a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse committed by men, then the treatments also requirs the presence of men and that may cause discomfort to women during the treatment. According to health professionals the substance abuse is visible only in men and they often recommend women to seek mental health care rather than any treatment programs (Cochran and Mays, 2000). There is an attitude of shame, guilt and the lack of awareness about the drug that may conceal their substance history from their mental health provider.

For abusing substances, the women have to face the challenges thrown by the social stigmatization particularly for women who have their children and are pregnant (Ashley, Marsden and Brady, 2003). It is critically hard for women to find the exact support from families and communities. This is a difficult phrase when women face the most sensitive problems. Women start to be isolated from the circle of their friends, family and co-workers due to the fear of unacceptance. And women also dread the image of reputation that may be exposed and condemned by others when they will know that they are undertaking a treatment program (Miller and Stiver, 2015).

To get the treatment of addiction men have a rather dignifying sense of self than women. women have a very self-sabotaging and diminishing sense of self because of their caring stature in the family and in their society (Bemporad, 1996). In comparison with men, women seek treatment for many reasons and requirements such as low self-confidence, malevolence in the family and sexual abuse. There are also treatments that are directed toward and given more value towards men, which is also a major barrier for women (O'Leary, 1974).

A requirement of having insurance is necessary for women and owning a driving license for transportation (AT Forum, 2013). These requirements are the main barriers for women to have a treatment program.



Women are subjugated and viewed by others in a very demeaning way while seeking for the treatment of substances, alcohol or drug addiction. The treatments that are available in some underdeveloped countries such as values towards only men for the treatments of addiction. This approach from such countries should be eradicated and women should get better response from the society they live in and from their family members as well. The support is necessary to women who are dealing with such issues regarding the treatment of drug or alcohol. Women tend to feel isolated and self-conscious about their social stature and they tend to side step the idea of expressing their problems out loud without any fear. That is also a responsibility of women to take the bull by the horns and speak out the anxiety, depressions that they are facing one handedly to the health care providers and also to their family members. The views of treatments that are provided by the health care professionals also needed to be wiped out. Among the poorest countries there is Africa where medical facilities are available but the high-quality medicines that are saving life in Europe for patients of diabetes, asthma, heart diseases and from cancer are excessively expensive and nonexistent.









Based on the above discussion of the barriers and challenges that women face, it is concluded that substance use disorder is one of the major factors of the treatment of addiction for women. Women tend to have emotional, sexual abuse, the attempts of suicides involved with SUD. for the treatment of addiction on pregnant women “Methadone” and “buprenorphine “are available studies have shown that buprenorphine is a better choice to use than methadone. These two are best used for the recovery of maternal HIV, best for decreasing the probability of spreading virus in the fetus, decreasing the repeated prenatal withdrawal and restoring the severe levels of opioids. Basically, Methadone and buprenorphine are used for opioid disorder in women. The high levels of alcohol can spike up the high blood pressures so this problem can be sorted by daily exercising, limiting sodium and salt or processed foods from the diet and keeping a healthy lifestyle. For those women who face troubles with the dependence of alcohol can cure their dependence by the assistance of their partners or doctors.