Difference between men and women go deeper than merely biology. There are challenges for women in recovery that most men will not experience and vice versa. Not only do men and women handle recovery in different ways, but we are also affected by addiction in very different ways.

This is one of the reasons that sober living homes in South Florida separate men and women, because we need to approach the path to recovery in different ways. There is hope if you call +1 877 877 7272. You don’t have to be a statistic.

Facts About Women in Recovery

In order to successfully face the challenges for women in recovery, each of us needs to be educated. We need to know what is affecting us!

Here are a few facts about women and addiction [1]:

Women are more likely to spiral into depression.

The saying goes that “women think, men drink”, to put it more scientifically, women are more disposed to ruminate and sink into depression while men are disposed to act and drink themselves into depression [2].

Men are more likely to use drugs in social situations which makes them feel powerful, while women are more likely to use drugs to numb themselves [3].

Women are less likely to seek help.

Women who face barriers to treatment are less likely to seek treatment for drug addiction [4] and when women do seek treatment, we tend to attempt to get treatment for mental health instead of specialized treatment for drug addiction.

One of the challenges for women in recovery is that these self-imposed or external barriers are keeping us from getting better.

Women are more likely to abuse prescription drugs.

It has become more ‘acceptable’ for women to consume alcohol and recreationally use drugs, so the number of women in recovery is increasing, especially for opioids, marijuana and alcohol.

However, women are still less likely to try and illegal drug than men which may explain why women are more likely to get addicted to prescriptions drugs.

This might make a women’s struggle with addiction less likely to be noticed – another one of the challenges for women in recovery, and a barrier to treatment.

Women Get Addicted Faster

Women tend to increase their drug use at a much faster rate than men once they have tried a drug. This is called ‘telescoping’ [1].

Even though we may have less of the drug over time, we tend to experience the entire process from initially trying the drug to full dependence in a much smaller amount of time.

Women are more likely to relapse because of pressure.

Though men are more likely to relapse in treatment, women are more likely to relapse because of their romantic partners [4]. Our relationships play a key role in our happiness and sobriety.

Good News for Women in Recovery

  • Women are more likely to report personal problems before relapse, which means having a sympathetic ear can save you from relapse!
  • Women who complete drug addiction treatment are 9X more likely to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol.
  • Women who have been in treatment have better long-term recovery outcomes.

There is hope, you just need to awaken to it.


[1]: NCBI – Substance Abuse in Women

[2]: Pen State University – Rumination, Depression, and Alcohol Use: Tests of Gender Differences [PDF]

[3]: Drug Rehab.org – Signs Of Drug Use And Abuse In Men

[4]: NIAAA – Gender and Use of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.

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