How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

how long does marijuana stays in your system.

how long does marijuana stays in your system.

 

When asking “How long does marijuana stay in your system?” the answer depends on a number of factors. Detection times may vary depending on the dose of marijuana and the testing method. Read on to learn how long marijuana stays in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair.  

 

What are Marijuana Tests and Why Might You Need Them?

Marijuana can impair your focus, memory, and performance. Thus, your employer, or sometimes, the police, may require you to get tested for it. Drug tests help detect THC or marijuana metabolites (tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid; THC-COOH). 

How long does marijuana stay in your system correlates with the detection window. The detection window is the period between drug use and a positive test result. This definition can also include the period between the first positive and second positive tests. 

Several factors affect how long marijuana (cannabis) stays in your system. These include:

  • Body fat percentage: THC, the main compound in marijuana, stays longer in a fat person than a skinny person. THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol 
  • Genetics: Some people excrete THC more rapidly than others
  • Method and frequency of use: Frequent users retain THC for more extended periods than infrequent users
  • Type of the testing method (urine, blood, saliva, or hair)
  • Concomitant use of other drugs that affect liver enzymes
  • The strength of marijuana and its form of use

 

A Quick Overview of Marijuana Addiction, Use, and Trends in the United States 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and CDC, 

  • Marijuana is the third most frequently used addictive substance in the U.S., after tobacco and alcohol. 
  • Marijuana-involved ED visits increased by 21% from 2009 to 2011. 
  • Each month, there are about 22.2 million active users.
  • Adult marijuana use was highest in the District of Columbia (27.42%) and lowest in South Dakota (11.13%) between 2018 and 2019. 
  • About 10% of the users eventually develop marijuana addiction. 
  • Studies have linked chronic or frequent use to a higher risk of psychosis or schizophrenia in some users.

 

Tests used to determine how long does marijuana stay in your system can check your:

  • Urine
  • Blood 
  • Saliva (oral fluids)
  • Hair

 

The results can vary depending on:

  • The pattern of marijuana use (frequency and duration of use)
  • Sample collection time (some tests cannot detect recent use)
  • Method of testing 

 

Marijuana Urine Testing

This is the confirmatory test for marijuana. It does not detect THC, as THC is rapidly removed through the urine. Instead, it measures the amount of THC-COOH. THC-COOH is detectable in urine within 60 minutes to 4 hours after you use marijuana and shows how long does marijuana stay in your system.

marijuana urine testing

Having THC-COOH in the urine can mean two things. 

  1. Marijuana use within the last three days (for infrequent users)
  2. Use in the previous 30 days (for long-term heavy users) 

 

The detection windows for marijuana (THC-COOH) in urine samples are:

  • Three days following single-use
  • Five days if you use it four times a week 
  • Ten days if you use it every day
  • Thirty days if you have been using it daily for several months

Pros

  • Urine contains high amounts of metabolites 
  • A well-established and non-invasive testing method 
  • Point-of-care tests are available. 

Cons

  • The detection window is short or intermediate
  • Risk of sample adulteration
  • You may find it difficult to collect urine if you have something called “shy bladder” syndrome.

 

Marijuana Blood Testing

In the blood sample, THC typically becomes detectable within 0.5 to 2 hours after use. The detection window for THC ranges from 2 to 8 hours. Likewise, the detection window for THCCOOH is 7 to 51 hours. 

 

Pros

  • Useful for detecting recent use 
  • Well-established laboratory test method 

Cons

  • Higher cost 
  • Narrow detection window 
  • An invasive procedure that may increase the risk of infection 
  • It may not be suitable for you if you have not palpable veins 

 

Marijuana Hair Testing

Marijuana hair testing generally gets used as a complementary test for urine, blood, and saliva analysis. It is because THC is fat-soluble, and the concentration in hair of how long does marijuana stay in your system is extremely low. 

marijuana hair testing

In general, one cm of hair segment from the root gives the amount of THC used in the last 30 days. THC can take up to 15 days to reach the hair shaft and is detectable for up to 90 days. 

 

Pros

  • Longest window of detection
  • May help assess changes in drug use over time 
  • Non-invasive procedure 

 

Cons 

  • Not suitable for assessing recent use (Use within the last 7–10 days is not detectable)
  • Costly and time-consuming procedure
  • Only a few labs provide hair testing 
  • Point-of-care tests are not available 
  • Single-use may not show up 
  • Hair color may affect the results 
  • Close contact with a marijuana user may transfer THC-COOH to your hair, increasing the likelihood of a false-positive result.

 

Marijuana Saliva Testing

Among recreational or infrequent users, the THC detection window is a maximum of 24 hours. In chronic or frequent users, saliva testing may detect marijuana for up to 30 hours. 

saliva testing

 

Pros

  • Helpful in assessing recent use. THC becomes detectable within 10 minutes to 30 minutes after use
  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Point-of-care tests are available 

 

Cons

  • Marijuana levels in saliva may not correlate with blood concentrations 
  • The use of other drugs, such as stimulants, reduces saliva production 

 

FAQs

 

Can you metabolize marijuana faster with detox remedies?

There is no evidence that detox remedies can speed up marijuana metabolism. However, in most cases, it’s the amount you use that determines how fast marijuana leaves your system. 

 

What happens if an athlete tests positive for marijuana?

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), an athlete who tests positive for marijuana get barred from competing for 365 days or more from the test date.

 

How long does marijuana stay in your system after just one hit?

Urine samples can contain detectable amounts of marijuana for up to 3 days in one-time users. 

 

Marijuana Addiction

This article was meant to be a resource to inform on the testing process of how long does marijuana stay in your system, and the process of how your body handles THC metabolites. If you’re trying to beat a marijuana test, there’s a good chance you have an addiction to marijuana. The truth is, while the drug may not be considered a “hard drug” or be illegal everywhere, it is still a drug and can potentially ruin your life. 

Just because marijuana is legal where you live doesn’t mean it can’t get you expelled from school, fired from a job, kicked off a sports team, or cause addiction. Chronic users who have been smoking marijuana for long lengths of time have reported problems sleeping, mental health issues, physical health issues, and even marijuana withdrawal when they can’t smoke. 

Since this drug is a form of substance abuse, like any other drug, there are support groups and resources to help overcome marijuana addiction.

Anchored Tides Recovery offers a number of options to help with marijuana addiction that focus on the whole person. Call us today and talk to one of our team about some treatments. 

Following The Principle of Love

Love Languages

Being loved is one of the most basic human needs. This fundamental truth is the starting point of understanding the root of many psychological problems that we face both as teenagers and adults. In many cases, it is also closely connected to why some people fall into addiction traps more easily than others. We all crave love languages. We all want to feel safe, admired, cared for, and when this basic need is not being met for a very long time, it causes several behavioral problems that affect a healthy, fulfilling life.

Love fills you with warm feelings of happiness, joy, belonging, safety, hope, positive energy, enthusiasm. When we lack all those elements in our daily lives, we begin to search for alternative solutions and get those feelings from artificial sources such as drugs or alcohol.

 

The Importance of Self-Love

Everything starts INSIDE you. This philosophy is probably one of the most important statements to understand and fully absorb. Without self-acceptance and self-love, you will never achieve true happiness and won’t form a healthy, stable relationship with another person.

The first step to self-love is understanding who you are. It’s crucial to fully get to know yourself and accept all your flaws and imperfections. Nobody is perfect. We all struggle with our insecurities, bad habits, and things we would like to improve, and that applies to both our personality and physical appearance. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you navigate life and accept yourself for who you truly are—a valuable human being full of unique capabilities. 

Self-love is not easy. So many times, we wish we were different. Slimmer, more pretty, stronger, more intelligent, talented, and the list goes on. We see people on TV or social media platforms who seem to have perfect lives and perfect families, and we feel like such failures trying to keep up with our own lives where so many things sometimes fall apart. And that’s precisely why loving yourself first is the starting point to everything else. Once you accept who you are, nothing from the outside world can threaten your confidence or identity.

woman with hand on her chest

 

The Process

Self-love doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a complex and often time-consuming process where you will encounter several ups and downs. But keep going and keep pushing. It’s worth it. 

Once you establish a confident and secure relationship with yourself, nobody will be able to take that away from you. 

The process of acceptance and self-care is based on a solid belief that you are worth a good life. One without limitations caused by addition, without guilt, and without the vicious circle of trying to break the substance abuse and going back to it in the moment of weakness. You will begin to develop a new you: stronger, more confident, and worth not only yours but another person’s love as well.

 

Love Languages

The concept of love languages (5 different ways of expressing and receiving love) was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, a Southern Baptist pastor, and introduced in his 1992 book aimed mainly at married Christian couples. “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” has sold over 11 million copies in English and translated into 49 other languages.

Let’s have a closer look at this interesting concept. According to Gary Chapman, five universal love languages get used by all people. However, a person will usually relate to one primary love language:

  • Words of Affirmation 
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

All five languages are important and express love in their way. A healthy relationship would use a mix of those languages making sure that none of them is missing.

Since we are talking about self-love as the foundation of all other relationships and the key to establishing good mental health and fulfilling life. it is worth noticing that we can also apply love languages to other people and ourselves.

 

Let’s see a couple of examples below.

If you want to establish a positive relationship with yourself, you should have a couple of daily affirmations to make you feel confident and good about yourself. A simple but effective task to try is to find something that you like about yourself. Focus on that feature every time you see yourself in the mirror. 

Have something uplifting written in your bedroom; a little reminder to have a great day every single morning when you wake up. You will be surprised how valuable those little things can be if repeated regularly.

Quality time and receiving gifts are all about treating yourself how you would like to be treated. Make sure you get enough rest, meditate, take an hour or so every day, and spend it doing what you genuinely enjoy. When you are stressed and tired, you won’t see anything (including yourself) in a good light.

woman making a heart with her hands at the sun

Physical touch is an essential element of your relationship with your body. Learn to listen to what it needs and focus on all aspects that you like about yourself. Take care of your mind and body by exercising a couple of times per week and spending enough time outdoors.

 

Loving Your Life

If you are not happy with your life circumstances, you will keep looking for various ways to escape reality. This process can be gradual and includes several coping mechanisms, one of them being substance abuse.

To feel good and forget about your daily problems, you start searching for substances and behaviors that give you the feelings of joy, excitement, or quite the opposite—the feeling of peace, calmness, to the point of being numb and not feeling or thinking anything at all.

Once you discover that you can get those states of mind simply by using a particular drug, it’s tough to stop the vicious circle and break the forming addiction. 

Meditation, relaxation techniques, and daily exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle; they provide natural ways to control your emotions, keep you balanced, and get rid of accumulated negative energy or stress.

 

How to learn to love your life?

The first big step is acceptance and responsibility. Then you will slowly learn how to like it. Step by step. Put enough effort and energy into working on a positive mindset and keep improving your circumstances one day. 

You will get into a very blissful state of loving your life, with all its challenges and imperfections.

Just like everything else, it’s a process and for sure not an easy one. The reward at the end of this journey is worth it, though—it’s a peaceful, healthy life where you are in control of both your body and mind and you don’t need to rely on any substances to make you feel good. 

There will be no constant need to escape, no guilt, hate, sadness, or despair. It’s a beautiful state of confidence and balance, and with a strong belief that you can get there one day, nothing can stop you. There is a fascinating theory saying that love is already inside us. All we need to do is awaken it. Start this journey today. Small steps, choosing love every single day and discovering the inner strength that you didn’t even know existed. You can do it.

 

A Place for Women to Heal

Anchored Tides Recovery is an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility that is by women, for women. We believe creating this gender-specific environment allows an optimal opportunity for growth. Come create your support group of peers and see how much better can be when you’re sober and being lifted up by other women. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How The Covid 19 Lockdown Changed Addiction and Treatment

covid 19 lockdown

covid 19 lockdown

 

The long-term side effects of COVID-19 have become more apparent as the pandemic has continued for over a year. That doesn’t just mean the long-term health effects of the virus itself, but also the societal consequences. Children have missed the social interaction of school and activities. There’s been isolation and loneliness, and routines interrupted. People had to cancel milestones in their life, and while some could work from home, others lost their jobs altogether.

This “perfect storm” of factors has been wreaking havoc on mental health and addiction. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to affect the addiction crisis for a long time in America. The world refers to the situation as both “the COVID-19 epidemic” and “the addiction epidemic”; the impacts on mental health and addiction and addiction treatment could be long-term side effects of COVID-19 that we feel for years or even decades.

 

Covid-19 and Substance Abuse

Many addiction specialists were warning that there could be severe repercussions for those with substance use disorders from the early days of the pandemic. Nearly every element of the COVID-19 pandemic is a relapse and addiction risk factor.

  • With the covid 19 lockdown and social distancing came isolation. Many people no longer had in-person access to those social support networks that were a lifeline for them in their addiction recovery.
  • When you can’t see your loved ones and friends in person, it takes a tremendous toll on you mentally, even if you don’t have a substance use disorder.

pills in divider

  • There wasn’t just social damage—there’s also been staggering economic damage. Businesses had to close their doors entirely, meaning that people were left unemployed. The government offers unemployment benefit enhancements, but not everyone qualifies, and this doesn’t do much to alleviate the uncertainty of losing your job.
  • For business owners, there has been stress as well. They feel the pressure of not serving customers and the personal financial impacts that it has, and its results on their employees who depend on them.
  •  Along with the stay-at-home order and economic instability, many people have experienced tremendous worries about their health and the health of their loved ones. The news has created a constant barrage of negative imagery reflecting the severity of the COVID 19 lockdown in the U.S. and worldwide. This imagery is likely to continue to haunt many people and create more long-term side effects of COVID-19 that affect their mental health.
  • More than half a million people have died in the U.S. alone. The grim nature of the situation we are in makes everything feel like more of a struggle.

 

Vulnerable Populations

The pandemic impacts on addiction in the United States have been even more profound on vulnerable populations, such as the homeless. They haven’t had access to many of the resources they depended on before the pandemic. Communities have struggled with providing these needed resources for vulnerable populations but have faced challenges in doing so.

Other vulnerable populations that the effects of COVID-19 have most impacted include those who live in multi-family homes, individuals with limited health care access, and disenfranchised communities.

 

Overdose Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period that ended in May 2020.

That was the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in one year ever.

The number of overdose deaths was already increasing in 2019, but those accelerated when COVID-`19 struck. The former CDC director, Robert Redfield, spoke out and said that as we were fighting the pandemic, it was important not to overlook the unintended consequences of the pandemic and how those were affecting people with substance use disorders.

 

Effects on Young People

One demographic most affected by the long-term side effects of COVID 19 lockdown are likely to be younger people. Research shows us that social interaction and involving yourself in community activities are protective factors for substance use among youth.

Unfortunately, for more than a year, many young people haven’t been able to attend in-person school, see their friends, or do their everyday activities. Parents have to be mindful that these effects might not just be short-term. Mental health facilities and experts are linking trauma in childhood to future substance abuse issues.close up of woman in a mask

 

Mental Illness During COVID-19

It isn’t just people with substance use disorders who will likely impact the long-term side effects of COVID-19.

Research conducted has found a significantly higher level of anxiety, stress, irritability, and depression among the general population during the pandemic. Studies have shown that people are increasingly relying on negative coping strategies during this time, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, junk food, and excessive sleep. People have been getting less physical activity and consuming more news and social media content. Much like a natural disaster, it’s possible that the pandemic, a public health crisis, will have a lasting effect on people. In general, mental health care treatment facilities link traumatic experiences to higher levels of depression, PTSD, and substance use. Now, more than ever, mental health services are high in demand.

 

Lack of Access to Care

When people needed it most, the pandemic halted the lifelines of people with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Mental health treatment was difficult to find, and the state governments weren’t doing much to help. You may be able to find a physically distanced peer-led support group while wearing masks occasionally, but that came with the anxiety of testing positive after.

There wasn’t really a good substitute for the mental health services that care facilities offer. For example, many treatment centers couldn’t provide traditional services because of social distancing guidelines. Health care centers were pushing off other types of treatment to ensure they had the space and resources for COVID-19 patients. The facilities didn’t provide non-essential care at all. Many addiction resources, such as 12-step meetings, couldn’t happen in person either.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs often require that someone visit a clinic daily to receive their treatment. Again, facilities may have limited access to those programs if they were available at all. All of this compounds the effects on mental health during COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effect of COVID-19.

 

The Positive Effects of COVID on Addiction Treatment

While the sad reality is that many of the effects on mental health during the COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effects of COVID-19 are devastating, some positive things may come from this situation. Beyond that, addiction treatment centers and providers have taken great strides in reaching their patients and how they help people. The pandemic forced the world of telemedicine and virtual care to grow at a rapid rate during the pandemic. People became comfortable communicating in new ways. For example, Zoom meetings became a daily occurrence in the work world and for 12-step meetings. Therapists and health care providers are now offering more remote services, and addiction treatment specialists can check in with their patients in new ways.

That doesn’t mean that the in-person interactions that are so valuable in addiction treatment and recovery will end, but what it instead means is that more options and opportunities might be available. These changes could reduce some treatment barriers and accessibility issues that have been a long-standing issue in addiction treatment. There is no doubt that the world will feel the long-term side effects of COVID-19 well into the future, and some of those adverse effects could take years even to become apparent. With that in mind, it’s so crucial for people to recognize red flags in themselves and their loved ones and reach out for support when they need it.

 

Help is out there

Anchored Tides Recovery Center is here for you as we navigate our way through the pandemic and find our way back to life as we knew it. Work with us and we will help you be a better person by the time this is over. Call us today to talk more about your situation.

Women’s Rehab: Addressing the Fears

Women's rehab
Women's rehab

Substance use disorders affect men and women differently. When it comes to addiction, women face a more significant number of negative consequences and require a different approach when it comes to treatment. This is due to the difference in brain chemistry between a man and a woman. For these reasons, a women’s rehab can definitely be a comfortable environment to encourage growth. 

Additionally, research has shown that women want different things in their therapy than what men expect. These differences are precisely what makes an all-women rehab the right choice for many of today’s women who are struggling with sobriety. 

Why should I Attend a Woman’s Rehab?

Most addiction treatment facilities offer the chance for recovery from addiction and substance abuse in a completely sober environment without the pitfalls of alcohol or other drugs. Unlike traditional addiction treatment centers, an all-women rehab center will provide a unique approach to treatment that focuses on creating a supportive, non-judgmental community of women that can better understand and empathize with the challenges we all face during the process of recovering from drug abuse. 

Many women with addictions attempt to go through recovery without the help of others. A gender-specific recovery center offers a chance to create a strong community centered around the idea of support. Studies show that women tend to respond better to other women and heal faster when they are in gender-specific environments. 

All-women’s drug and alcohol rehabs are an excellent way for women to get sober, do the work needed to recover, and live their lives again. These facilities offer a safe haven without peer pressure or judgment; but for many women, the idea of going to an all-women rehabilitation facility can be daunting. These outpatient treatment programs can be scary for both women and their families, but here’s why an all-female rehab is a right path to recovery for many.

Addressing the Fears of Attending an All Women’s Rehab

Here is a list of some common fears about women’s rehab center and how to overcome them:

Putting Life on Pause

One of the major fears about going to a women’s program is having to leave behind their life – their job, their family, their home, their friends, but the actual experience can be different from what you imagined.

multiple personalities

A women’s rehab program will give you the tools to rebuild your relationships with these important people so that you can get back to your old life and live it free from stigma, social discourses, and addiction.

Women’s Rehabs are Less Fun

People often associate drugs and alcohol with having fun, and an alcohol rehab center can be a very depressing place if you seek thrills through drug use. 

Our concept at Anchor Tides Recovery Center is to design and create a women’s rehabilitation facility that incorporates a holistic approach to treatment. Lifestyle wellness is learned through services like therapy, yoga, healthy eating, and general fun. Our goal is to be an all-encompassing retreat where women can have fun while getting the help they need.

Confronting your Past Trauma

It is common for survivors to feel intense fear and even panic when faced with their past traumas during treatment. However, during rehab, confronting your past trauma is key to achieving– and maintaining– long-term sobriety. 

A gender-specific environment will provide a level of comfort that will encourage sharing. This process will help you reach personal growth and work towards a healthier, happier life.

Most people have four or more types of trauma in their childhoods and past, but it’s not just about looking back, because you can’t change the past. We’ll teach you tools to change the adverse effects of that trauma in the present so that you can move forward into the future with joy and purpose. You’ll learn to let go of regret and guilt, find forgiveness, let go of shame, and build self-esteem. 

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure during rehab is common. The client may have a fear of relapsing, and as a result, they put off treatment altogether. This fear comes from an underlying trauma; addressing the issue can help the fear and the feelings that stem from it. Understanding the risk factors when choosing an appropriate rehab center is key to achieving success. 

If you have the resources to get high, you most likely have the resources to complete your drug rehab treatment. If you make up your mind that you do not want to use drugs again, you won’t have a problem completing your drug rehab treatment and therapy sessions.

Inability to Handle Stress

Stress puts your rehab in jeopardy by signaling the body to use its most significant resources to survive a situation. Identifying the fear and substituting a more adaptive behavior is imperative to your successful recovery.

depressed girl sitting with face between her knees

The time spent rehabilitating allows you to reduce symptoms of stress and to start living healthier. Managing stress can help you recover more quickly and worry less about how your body responds to physical therapy, rehab, and recovery. 

Intimidated by Other Women

Believe it or not, many women feel intimidated by other women. These feelings may stem from a bad experience in high school, nasty comments, or feuds they’ve had in the past. You may know, or you might be, somebody that says, “I just get along better with guys.” Women’s rehabs are a place to knock down walls and show you firsthand that your own gender is not something to be intimidated by! Instead, you will experience what we’ve witnessed time and time again… that women do better when we support each other. 

Erase the preconceived notions you may have of women tearing each other down, and feel what it’s like to find support and be lifted up by other women. 

Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Program

Addiction doesn’t change much in a person’s life until it’s too late. By then, the relationship with drugs and alcohol has become an important part of your life. If you notice a loved one struggling with addiction, it’s vital to take action before the situation gets out of control.

Whether you are having a problem with drug addiction, eating disorders, depression, or anxiety, an all-women inpatient drug rehab is suitable for you. Having support groups of other women dealing with various problems can help aid recovery and make treatment more effective.

Anchored Tides Recovery Center is specifically designed for women. Our effective addiction treatment programs are designed specifically for a woman’s unique emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Our team of professionals will help you develop a personalized treatment plan for your long-term recovery goals. Call us today at 1-866-753-5865.Wom

Legal Drugs are Still Drugs – A Hard Pill to Swallow

legal drugs

legal drugs

 

The term “drug” creates imagery in our heads of illegal, illicit activities. For example, when we think about drugs, the first things that might come to mind are illicit substances like heroin and cocaine. While illicit drugs are addictive, dangerous, and often deadly, they aren’t alone in that. The three deadliest drugs in the U.S. are considered legal drugs. This brings about a lot of questions as far as drug legalization and how we look at addiction. It’s important to understand that just because something is legal doesn’t make it safe or healthy.

 

Drug Legalization

The United States right now is in the midst of a transformation regarding how it views legal recreational drugs or “soft drugs.” We are quickly joining countries with more relaxed drug law views, like Portugal. This is in sharp contrast to the ongoing war on drugs waged somewhat unsuccessfully in the U.S. decades ago.

Many states in the U.S. have moved toward the drug legalization of marijuana, although it remains illegal federally. Along with legalizing certain drugs, there are also moves to decriminalize their use and possession.

Glass of alcohol, girl making cross with fingers in front of it

This is similar to what’s happened in many European Union countries where drugs are legal, technically legal recreational drugs that law enforcement won’t throw you in jail for possessing, but still make significant investments made in harm reduction programs.

While there are countries like Switzerland that are managing legal recreational drugs reasonably well, the U.S. isn’t there yet.

In the United States, as was mentioned, the three deadliest drugs are all legal. These are tobacco, alcohol, and opioids. Heroin and cocaine, two illegal drugs, come in third and fourth respectively when it comes to the deaths attributed to their use.

 

The Risks of Legal Drugs

While the fear of criminal penalties is not present, the potential for addiction, accidental death, and long-term health problems are all risks of legal drugs. These risks are highlighted more below.

 

Tobacco Use

Tobacco is a legal drug if you’re 18 and older. It’s also the deadliest in America.

  • On average, smokers die ten years earlier than people who’ve never smoked.

  • The use of tobacco is the top preventable cause of death in this country.

  • Tobacco use accounts for around 1 in 5 deaths annually.

tobacco leaves

  • Smoking is linked to around 20% of all cancers in the U.S. and 30% of cancer deaths.

  • Along with cancer, tobacco damages your lungs and increases the chances of developing long-term lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

  • Tobacco products can also affect your heart and blood vessels, reproductive system, and immune system.

  • Nicotine is the primary addictive chemical found in tobacco. As is the case with illegal drugs, when you’re exposed to that nicotine, it creates an adrenaline rush and an increase in dopamine. Dopamine activates your brain’s reward and pleasure centers, leading to addiction.  

 

Alcohol’s Dangers

Among legal drugs, the effects of alcohol can be the scariest in many ways. When you drink alcohol, it doesn’t take years for adverse side effects to occur. They can become almost immediately apparent.

  • When you include all causes of death associated with alcohol, such as homicides and drunk driving, this legal drug is responsible for nearly 90,000 deaths a year.

  • The number of alcohol-related deaths has also been increasing in recent years.

  • According to drug experts, when looking at damage to the person using the substance, socioeconomic effects, and the impact on crime, alcohol is the single most dangerous drug.

  • Over the long term, alcohol increases your risk of developing most types of cancer including head and neck cancers, esophageal cancer, and liver cancer. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer risks are also increased with excessive alcohol use.

  • Alcohol is highly addictive, and you can develop a physical dependence on it as well. Withdrawal, when you’re dependent on alcohol, is among the most dangerous you can go through, compared to all other substances.

 

Prescription Drugs

The opioid epidemic was fueled initially not by heroin but prescription pain medicines. The Purdue Pharma company was one of the drug manufacturers in the 1990s that pushed their products through aggressive marketing.

  • Doctors were encouraged to prescribe huge amounts of prescription opioids. Over the years, it became apparent that these prescription drugs were fueling addictions and overdose deaths.

  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Since 1990, more than 840,000 people have died from a drug overdose, and the vast majority of those involve an opioid.

  • Many people who have been prescribed opioids legitimately for pain issues become addicted and then move on to other types of illegal opioids like heroin, which can be cheaper and easier to get.

While opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone are among the most talked-about addictive and dangerous prescription medicines, they aren’t the only ones.

  • Benzodiazepines have a high potential for abuse and addiction also. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to help with sleep and panic disorders and include drugs like Xanax.

  • Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and can lead to impaired memory and confusion.

  • When combined with alcohol or other depressants like opioids, there is a risk of overdosing.

Another category of legal drugs that are addictive and have a high rate of misuse are stimulants.

  • Amphetamine is one such stimulant. Amphetamine is the ingredient in prescription medicines like Adderall.

  • These cause drug users to feel focused, energized, and have a sense of well-being.

  • These are also addictive and can cause health problems such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate, heart attack, seizures, or stroke.

 

Marijuana

While drug legalization proponents are pushing for marijuana to be legalized on a national level, that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its risks. In 2018, nearly 12 million young people said they’d used marijuana in the past year.

  • In the short term, the effects of marijuana can include impaired memory and thinking, hallucinations, and delusions. Psychosis is also possible.

  • Over the long term, marijuana use affects the development of the brain.

hands cutting a cigarette with scissors

  • When someone uses marijuana from a young age, it can impact how their brain connections are formed. Some researchers believe these changes could be permanent. For example, a study found that teen marijuana users, aged 12 to 38, lost an average of 8 IQ points per year; even after quitting, their mental abilities didn’t fully return.

  • Marijuana can affect the quality of life too. For example, a number of people who are considered frequent marijuana users often report poorer physical and mental health, more relationship problems, and a lower level of satisfaction with their lives.

 

Other Addictive Substances

Beyond alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, and marijuana, things we might use daily aren’t always harmless. For example, we are learning more about the potential for sugar addiction to develop. Sugar affects your brain and your reward centers in the same way as alcohol and drugs. Like alcohol and other substances, sugar also has serious adverse effects on your health.

Another addictive substance is caffeine, the commonly used drug throughout the world. While it’s relatively rare, caffeine overuse can affect your life negatively and can be dangerous to your health.

 

Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe.

There are a few key takeaways. First, legal drugs are not necessarily safe drugs. This is something that, as a society and as individuals, we have to realize. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it couldn’t cause harm. We tend to look at things that society views Supposevorably as not being as bad as something illegal, but that’s just not the case.

Suppose you are struggling with any substance, including legal drugs. In that case, it’s important to realize that this can still be an addiction, and you may benefit from participation in a treatment program.  

Dialectical Behavior Therapy and You

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of evidence-based behavioral therapy that aims to identify and change unhealthy or destructive behaviors.

The core idea of behavioral therapy is that behaviors are learned, and therefore when they aren’t healthy, they can be changed. These types of therapy also tend to focus primarily on current problems someone is experiencing, so they can make changes.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

While dialectical behavioral therapy has many things in common with other types of behavioral therapy and especially CBT, it also has unique elements that set this approach apart. It can be described as a sub-type of cognitive-behavioral therapy.  Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The goal of dialectical behavioral therapy is to help people learn how to regulate emotions, have healthier relationships, cope with stress in practical ways, and live in the present.

Someone who has self-destructive behaviors, such as a person with a substance use disorder, can benefit from DBT, as can a person who has a hard time regulating their emotions; it’s also used with PTSD.

Objectives of dialectical behavioral therapy can include:

  • Move from being out of control to in control. You might be able to reduce harmful behaviors by becoming more in control in all areas of your life. 
  • Learn to be able to experience healthy relationships rather than avoiding them or being emotionally unavailable.   
  • Develop problem-solving skills that can be applied in daily life. 
  • Accepting negative emotions exists but being able to still feel like a fulfilled person.  

What can you expect with DBT?

If you’re participating in a DBT treatment program, there might be individual therapy sessions and group sessions focused on developing more specific skills.

For example, you might start your journey working with a DBT therapist one-on-one, this will help you begin to learn how to apply DBT skills. Then, you can put those skills into action during group sessions.

When you’re doing a DBT group session, you can support one another and share experiences. These groups are led by a therapist, even though they aren’t one-on-one.

DBT may involve homework assignments too. For example, you may be asked to practice exercises to help with mindfulness.

Group sessions usually occur once a week, or maybe a couple of times a week for around six months.

There are also variations in how DBT is delivered. For example, the sessions might be done by phone or video conferencing. DBT can also include just one-on-one therapy without the group sessions, or you could do the alternative and only participate in groups.

Why is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Effective?

As was mentioned, DBT was initially created to help treat borderline personality disorder, which is characterized by strong negative emotions that are hard to manage.

These emotions often come when someone diagnosed with borderline personality disorder interacts with other people in their lives, such as their family members or romantic partners. These intense emotions lead to conflict.

woman thinking

The goal of DBT is to help create a sense of balance, particularly in your emotions. You move away from seeing things as all-or-nothing or entirely black-and-white, promoting acceptance.

Strategies Used in DBT

The following are some of the specific techniques commonly used in DBT skills training by DBT therapists.

Mindfulness

When you participate in DBT, you learn mindfulness skills, so you’re grounded in the present. This means you’re always thinking about what’s happening both inside your mind and body at any given time, but you’re also using your senses for what’s around you.

Mindfulness can be an important component of addiction treatment and making progress in mental health disorders because it helps you slow down and work on using the coping skills you learn, rather than jumping straight into impulsive behavior or negative patterns.

Tolerance for Distress

When you develop skills for distress tolerance, you can start to handle crises in a better way. Some of the ways you might be taught to do this in DBT include distraction, self-soothing, and working to improve the moment. If you have strong emotions, you can use these distress tolerance techniques to cope better.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

As was mentioned, a lot of what’s worked on in DBT focuses on interpersonal relationships. With interpersonal effectiveness, you can start to learn how to communicate in a healthy way, respect your personal boundaries when it comes to relationships, and create more positive bonds with others.

Emotional Regulation

When you have strong negative emotions, it’s difficult to navigate the situation. Through DBT, you can learn how to identify those emotions and cope with them for more positive outcomes. You might engage in the opposite action as part of this. For example, if you’re feeling depressed and you’d like friends and family, you might learn to do the opposite and instead reach out for social connection during these times. You can bring opposite feelings or forces together with the ultimate goal of creating balance.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Recovery

DBT can be helpful for the treatment of substance use disorders because it’s a means to help equip people with the tools they need to have healthier emotions and mindsets.

One premise behind DBT is that someone who engages in self-destructive behaviors, which can include substance use, doesn’t have the necessary skills to create a fulfilling life, but they can learn those skills.

Participating in DBT does require a time commitment because you do therapy sessions and homework. However, learning these skills can be an excellent option if you’re in addiction recovery, and they can help you thrive in your daily life.

Many people in addiction recovery find that they struggle to cope with negative emotions and stress, which can increase the likelihood of relapse. DBT can help you implement strategies to reduce the risk of relapse.

In addiction recovery, a lot of people also have to work to rebuild damaged relationships, and DBT helps you learn strategies to do that also. 

Types of Behavioral Therapy

There are a few types of behavioral therapy; their effectiveness is evidence-based and well-supported by research. These types of therapy include:

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy: DBT helps participants learn new skills to deal with painful emotions. DBT can also be used as a way to reduce relationship conflict. It was originally developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder. Research has shown it’s effective in treating many other conditions, including substance abuse, bipolar disorder, and depression. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is similar in many ways to DBT. This treatment focuses on quality of life and how your thoughts influence your behavior and mood.  It’s a problem-solving approach. 

man thinking

  • Aversion therapy: Sometimes aversion therapy is used in the treatment of substance abuse. It helps people learn to associate a stimulus with something very unpleasant that causes discomfort. For example, you might learn to associate drinking alcohol with an unpleasant feeling or memory. 
  • Desensitization: This type of behavioral therapy can help treat phobias. The first step in this process is usually learning relaxation techniques, as well as therapeutic breathing strategies. Then, the therapist can slowly introduce something the client is afraid of in increasing doses while they use the learned relaxation techniques.

Who Benefits from Behavioral Therapy?

Behavioral therapy is considered to be very effective and beneficial for many conditions. These include:

  • Substance misuse
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bulimia
  • Anger control
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm

Anchored Tides Recovery is proud of the strides and progress we have made with the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for our treatment of borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder. The skills you will learn in DBT training will help you all of your life and in many different areas of your life. If you’re interested in learning more about DBT, call one of our care coordinators today. 

How A Strong Independent Woman Takes a Stand Against Social Discourses

strong independent woman

strong independent woman

 

While some progress has undoubtedly been made in gender equality, there is still such a reluctance to embrace the concept of a strong independent woman in the workplace, in relationships, and in society as a whole.

Women and shame also continue to be a pervasive issue across every area of life. Speaking out in various ways is something women also tend to struggle with because of the fear of backlash or a negative response.

Because of these fears and the sense of shame that women are often made to feel, they tend to experience mental health symptoms.

Women internalize shame, and that can even trigger substance use disorders. It’s so important to start to recognize these issues in our own lives and other places to begin to speak out and combat these systemic problems.

Men also play an important role as allies in recognizing strong women and encouraging their voices to be heard.

 

Why Is There a Fear of Strong Independent Women?

While this certainly doesn’t hold true across the board, the reality is that some people remain intimidated or even fearful of strong, independent women. Even when a woman is confident in her power, she tends to find herself facing obstacles in a world that remains male-dominated.

Whether it’s at work or in relationships, strength and independence tend to lead men to question their value and role. We live in a society dominated by the idea of men as providers. Despite how much things have changed significantly in the most recent decades, some men still have lingering insecurities about not being perceived in a certain way.  

It’s challenging to let go of things ingrained in your thoughts, reactions, and general behavior.

It’s not just men who are intimidated by strong women. Many times other women may feel off-put by this or intimidated. That may be due to their feelings about what it means to be a woman as well.

For example, a woman may believe that other women should be quieter and fade into the background, and when they see someone who isn’t following that, they could feel like their beliefs are being challenged.

 

Why Don’t Women Speak Up?

While some women do speak up consistently at work and in relationships, there is a fear factor that prevents them from doing it for other women. Why is that? There are often shared concerns among women who don’t want to speak up.

  • There’s a fear of being seen as “crazy” if you speak up or speak out. As women, you may subconsciously see women who share their thoughts or ideas as overly aggressive or emotional, so you could remain silent to avoid being labeled that way
    .
  • Sometimes women grow up learning that they should be sweet and pleasant, and if you speak out on anything, you’re going against that.
  • Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes when women speak out on different topics, they become the victim of smear campaigns. We saw that during the #MeToo movement.
  • Women may be afraid they’ll say something wrong and be criticized more so than men. A lot of times, females are quiet because they want to protect themselves.
  • Research from the University of Cambridge found women are two-and-a-half times less likely to ask questions during an academic seminar than men.  Researchers looked at hundreds of workshops in 10 countries.

When women aren’t participating in conversations, asking questions, and sharing their perspectives, then they aren’t being represented. For example, there are fewer female junior scholars in many academic institutions.

 

Women and Shame

A lot of what’s discussed above can tie back into the concept of shame. Women often feel shame over things that a man would be made to feel proud about, whether that’s accomplishments at work, sexuality, or being a strong, independent person.

We can even make ourselves feel shame when we go against a social norm we believe in, even if we don’t realize we hold that belief.

woman lying on the bed facing the camera

When women feel shame, it then becomes something internalized that can cause them to cast their entire being in a negative light. Shame can lead to depression and low self-esteem, among other mental health conditions.

There was a study carried out by researchers from the University of Toronto and Queens University in Ontario. It included volunteers between the ages of 11 and 16. Those participants who were more likely to experience shame were also more likely to have symptoms of depression.

There’s also a link between being prone to shame and anxiety disorders.

There’s the separate but similar concept of guilt that can be part of what holds you back from portraying yourself as a strong, independent woman.

The big difference between shame and guilt is that guilt stems from viewing a specific action negatively.

For example, you may feel like you’ve done something to another negative person and affected them poorly. You internalize this and begin to feel like you’re an inadequate or unworthy person.

 

Addiction in Women

When you don’t view yourself as a strong independent woman, you may be more likely to deal with mental health problems and substance misuse. The way women experience addiction can be different in many ways than men’s experiences, and treatment has to address these differences.

Some of the factors that play a role in women’s addiction include:

  • Relationship problems—for example, women are more likely to experience a relapse when going through issues in their marriage or when they have child custody issues.
  • Food and body concerns—eating disorders are frequently linked to substance use disorders.
  • Self-esteem—many young girls who begin using drugs or alcohol early on in their lives do so to increase their confidence.
  • Sexuality—many women realize that their substance use is tied to their sexuality. For example, they might feel shame about the sexual abuse they were a victim of, and that then leads them to use substances to overcome those feelings of shame.

 

Reaching Out, Speaking Truths, and Building Connections

So what does all this mean for women right now? First, to become a strong, independent woman, you need to take steps to get healthy in terms of your mental health. If you’re dealing with a substance use disorder, treatment is an important step. Don’t let shame hold you back from the care you need and deserve.

You can not only work toward having a healthier relationship with yourself and freeing yourself from shame, but you can also learn how to speak openly and honestly and build connections with other women.

Even if you aren’t dealing with a substance use disorder, it’s important to work toward having a healthy relationship with yourself that will allow you to be more comfortable speaking out in every area of your life.

When you share your own experiences with others, it also helps shine a light on pervasive problems. Women need to have their voices heard.

You can also support other women. Rather than viewing a strong, independent woman as bossy or domineering, start to reframe your perspective. Think about how you feel if a man were to behave in the same way. It might be that if that were the case, you would see him as someone in authority and deserving of respect.

Shift how you view yourself and other women and encourage others to do the same.

Find your strength and support with us and see how powerful we can be when women lift each other up. Anchored Tides Recovery has an all-woman staff and an all-women client base to create a safe environment for women to grow. 

Coexisting Eating Disorders And Addiction

eating disorders and addiction

eating disorders and addiction

 

Eating disorders are more common in individuals who suffer from addiction: 35% of individuals with a substance use disorder report disordered eating, compared with just 5% of the female population. Some experts have questioned whether this connection reveals more significant similarities between eating disorders and addiction than were previously thought. 

Researchers have proposed an “addiction model” describing eating disorder behavior, where the ED is simply another form of addiction. Others have called binge-eating disorder (BED) and obesity the consequences of an addiction to food. So, just how accurate are these models in representing disordered eating and addictive behavior? Read on to find out what science has to say about it.

 

Eating Disorders and Addiction: Are They The Same?

There are many similarities between eating disorders and addictions that have led some experts — rightfully or wrongfully — to propose an “addiction model” of eating disorders. For example, eating disorders and addictions are both diseases with physiological and psychological components. They are also both characterized by compulsive behavior.

Researchers have proposed that individuals with “addictive personalities” may be more prone to developing substance use disorders and eating disorders. An addictive personality type is characterized by obsessive behavior, anxiety, impulsivity, and risk-taking. Individuals who develop certain eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, may share some of these traits — especially ones of an obsessive-compulsive nature.

man eating salad

Some have even said that disordered eating behaviors, such as self-starvation, may represent an addiction to the body’s endogenous opioids. Eating disorders can also sometimes resemble an addiction to diet pills or laxatives. 

Still, the consensus is that eating disorders are separate diagnoses. Although addiction often co-occurs alongside eating disorders, eating disorders are not the same thing as addictions. They are different enough that they even belong to different categories of the DSM-V handbook used by psychologists to diagnose mental health conditions.

 

How Are Food Addiction And Eating Disorders Alike?

“Food addiction” is another explanation that has been proposed for binge-eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity—eating triggers the release of feel-good chemicals like dopamine, which tell us to keep eating so that we can survive. The idea behind “food addiction” is that we can experience a high off these chemicals, leading us to keep eating far beyond our fullness cues

People with BED share some traits in common with individuals who have an addiction. They may eat compulsively, feeling out of control and unable to stop. But binge-eating is also characterized by feelings of guilt or shame associated with the binges and disruptions in body image. It frequently starts with a failed attempt at dieting. 

Sometimes, individuals may try to compensate for the binges by making themselves throw up or abusing laxatives, comprising a disorder known as bulimia nervosa. 

These disordered thoughts and behaviors are not explained by the “addiction model” of eating disorders. If binge eating were the result of “food addiction,” it would not be grouped with other eating disorders but with substance use disorders instead. But because binge-eating is so closely linked to dieting and disruptions in body image, like other eating disorders, we consider it a separate disease from addiction and group it with disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

“Food addiction” has also been proposed as a potential explanation for obesity. However, what’s important to understand about obesity is that it is not considered an eating disorder. While many obese individuals suffer from binge-eating disorder, obesity is a physical health issue, not a mental health one. Whether or not “food addiction” is to blame for obesity, this is a different problem from the confusion of “food addiction” with binge-eating.

 

Why Substance Abuse Coexists With Eating Disorders

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), up to half of the people with eating disorders abuse substances; this rate is five times higher than that of the general population. Other than the “addictive personality” explanation, why do eating disorders so frequently coexist with substance abuse? 

The most likely reason is a nonspecific genetic predisposition to developing mental illness. Scientists believe that we inherit genes that make us more likely to develop mental health issues in general, but not to develop one mental health problem over another. 

It may be likely that the gene that makes us more likely to develop eating disorders is the same as the one that makes us more likely to develop an addiction. Accordingly, many people with both eating disorders and substance use disorders also have another first-degree relative who suffers from the disorder. 

measuring tape on a fork

Another reason is that the risk factors of eating disorders closely resemble the risk factors of substance use disorders. The two disorders may have similar motivations behind them: an individual can self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, just as they can self-medicate with starvation or purging. 

This self-medication may develop as the result of anxiety, depression, or trauma. High pressure and familial expectations can also contribute to the development of eating disorders and substance use disorders.

Even so, substance use disorders do not directly cause eating disorders, nor do eating disorders directly cause substance use disorders. It is difficult to say whether the substance use disorder came first or the eating disorder in many cases. One does not necessarily precede the other. The course of these diseases is different for everyone; sometimes, the two conditions may even develop simultaneously. 

For example, “drunkorexia” is a colloquial term for a disordered eating behavior where people who binge drink withhold food to make up for calories consumed through planned drinking. If an individual exhibits “drunkorexic” behavior, it may be challenging to say which came first, the alcohol abuse or the caloric restriction.

Other times, people with eating disorders may adopt addictive behaviors to distract themselves from the consequences of the eating disorder. A common example is the use of cigarettes and nicotine in place of eating meals. Some individuals may pick up smoking (or the use of other drugs) as a way to facilitate self-starvation behaviors during the course of their eating disorders. 

 

Eating Disorders And Drug Addiction Treatment

While eating disorders closely resemble addictions in many ways, the treatments for these disorders are vastly different. Most eating disorder treatment centers are equipped to handle certain types of addictive behavior, such as the abuse of diet pills or laxatives, but not to facilitate the withdrawal from addictive substances like alcohol or drugs. 

If you suffer from both an eating disorder and an addiction, it’s crucial to locate a rehabilitation facility that can treat both conditions safely and effectively. Again, not all eating disorder treatment centers will be prepared to support you through the process of withdrawal. You may need to attend separate treatment programs for your eating disorder and your addiction or find a remarkable rehab facility equipped to handle both. Sometimes the most effective treatment or aftercare is having a support group of people who can understand what you’re going through. Anchored Tides Recovery is a place for women to heal. An all-female staff and all-female client base provide a comfortable environment for growth. 

We work with all types of eating disorders and substance abuse. Our team will help you achieve your long-term goals, whether that is related to drug abuse, or you just want to change your relationship with food, we are here for you. 

Alcoholism: Gender and the Rate of Addiction in Women

addiction in women

addiction in women

 

Until the late 1990s, almost all clinical studies on drug addiction in the United States were only done on men; no consideration was given to the differences between gender or how drugs may affect each differently. Advanced research in recent years shows that addiction in women has different, and often far worse, effects than in men. These consequences are much more exaggerated for women who are pregnant and the developing child. 

Science didn’t discover most of the gender-based differences in addiction’s impacts on the body until recent decades. Advanced research shows that addiction affects women differently and often far worse than men. These consequences are much more significant for women who are pregnant and the effects on the developing child.

 

Addiction in Women

Addiction to substances such as heroin and alcohol affects women differently than men. Men and women respond differently to addiction and drug abuse. The differences between addiction in women suffering from addiction arise from biological and sociological differences. Many researchers now explain gender differences between the two due to society’s impact (such as child care responsibilities, addiction stigma, relationship dynamics, etc.).

There are also biological differences between men and women, revolving primarily around testosterone and estrogen production and average body size and composition, which cause substances to affect the body adversely.

 

Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Addiction, “Women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-related organ damage and trauma, and tend to develop alcohol addiction in much less time.”

In today’s age of stress and anxiety, people often tend to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol for their mental disorders to find an escape from reality. Research shows that women’s addiction is often related to controlling emotional pain. Feeling stressed and fed up with the grind of daily life grind, some women resort to binge drinking to forget about their worries for a period of time. 

 

girl holding a bottle of alcohol

 

Consequences of Alcohol Addiction in Women

Women report unique reasons for using drugs, including controlling weight, battling fatigue, coping with pain, and attempts to self-treat mental health problems. Scientists who study substance abuse have found that women may experience issues related to hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. 

At every stage of life, women quickly become dependent on Alcohol and drugs and suffer the consequences, including mental issues, damage to the brain and other organs, and fatal accidents. What’s most dangerous is the severe attack of alcohol addiction on pregnant women. The fetus suffers the tension created by Alcohol in the woman’s body and may permanently damage or have limited growth.  

Women are more prone to the physical and emotional damages caused by addiction. Women addicts are more likely than men to develop liver infection and get addiction-related brain changes. Women addicts are also likely to get heart disease and strokes more than men. Besides, women are more likely than men to develop addictive hepatitis and to die from cirrhosis.

 

What is the Effective Treatment Strategies for Women?

With so many differences between how men and women experience and deal with addiction, it’s a wonder that so many treatment facilities aren’t gender-specific. Yet, it only makes sense that treating a disease that is so different for men and women that the treatment options aren’t different. 

Unfortunately, people may feel ashamed of having an addiction because they have been told that it’s just something you need to get over, so they see themselves as unique and less than human when they can’t. This isn’t true. 

Just as is the case with any other mental health issue, it takes much more than lectures, willpower, and other platitudes to conquer an addiction. When it comes to addiction in women, proper health care takes a professional treatment program and support groups of other women who can empathize with your experience. 

 

girl standing in the wind with a mask on

 

Substance Abuse Treatment

If you have substance use disorders that affect your daily life, short or long term, consult one of our care coordinators.  

Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced Huntington Beach rehab program explicitly designed to treat addiction in women. Contact us today, and we can help you recover from alcohol addiction if you’re ready.