Women and addiction
Special features and risks
Addiction in women
- With the increasing equality of women in all areas of life, addiction has also spread amongst women. Today, they consume more substances and practice male forms of consumption.
- The number of addicted women has risen dramatically in the last few years.
- Women are more strongly affected by the consequences of addiction than men.
- Women meet with contempt and rejection more quickly. They are seen as failures in the role of women, and quickly pushed to the edges of society.
- Women still find less support in psychiatric care than men.
- Women consume in secret and privately, and are only noticed when severe physical subsequent illnesses are determined.
- Women consult a doctor more quickly in the case of health problems, but hide the actual reason for their complaints for a long time, when it comes to addictive substances.
- In the case of female addicts, the significantly faster social decline, the neglect of food, body care and health is noticeable.
- Addiction in the man not only puts a burden on the family, but also increases the risk of the wife developing an addiction herself.
- Women who experienced sexual abuse or violence in their childhood are particularly at risk of addictions.
- There is a new current risk for women who previously worked in traditionally male professions. The pressure to adapt to male behaviour, e.g. at business dinners, and stress and mental strain make it easier to turn to drugs.
- Women rarely leave their addict partners, but are left quickly when they become addicts themselves.
- Women do not find their way into therapy as often, so that the social pressure can be taken off their shoulders. Instead, they keep to themselves and therefore often fall victim to medication addiction.
- We allow a man his alcohol, but a woman gets little sympathy if she drinks.
- Women are exposed to aggression more quickly, which only accelerates their personal withdrawal, and therefore often delays their access to therapy by years.
- If women then get into therapy, they are mostly physically and mentally ill to such an extent that they cannot keep up the therapy, and this results in frequent interruptions and relapses, and worsens the state of health even further.
Are you at risk?
- Do you as a woman drink 20g of pure alcohol several times a week (0.5l beer, 0.2l. wine or 5-6 schnapps)?
- Do you drink alone?
- Do you drink to relax or get to sleep?
- Do you drink high percentage drinks or alcohol combined with tranquillisers?
Then you have a high risk of becoming an alcoholic.
Women have a worse metabolism and cannot break down alcohol well, which is why women get ill faster, become addicted faster, and are physically and mentally impeded faster.
In addition, you should know that alcoholism brings with it a whole range of other illnesses:
- The risk of breast cancer is significantly higher in alcoholic women.
- The risk of liver cirrhosis is 2x higher in women than in men, with lower alcohol consumption.
In addition, there are anxiety disorders, eating disorders and mental illnesses.
It is important to break through this rapid physical and mental decline, and get help as soon as possible.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy
Even one-off alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the unborn child. "Via the umbilical cord, the child absorbs everything that the mother consumes," says Gisela Gille from the Ärztliche Gesellschaft zur Gesundheitsförderung der Frau (ÄGGF) [Medical Association for Promotion of Women's Health] at a conference on the topic of alcohol during pregnancy in Berlin.
Alcohol is a cell toxin. If the mother to be frequently drinks alcohol during pregnancy, the organs of the child do not develop properly. The child is born with a disability, the so-called Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
"Primarily in the face you can see if children are suffering from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome," says Reinhold Feldmann from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine of the University Hospital of Münster. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome by no means only occurs in children of alcoholic mothers.
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