Women show a significantly faster progression from initial alcohol use to full-blown dependency than men; this telescope effect is thought to be due to factors such as the lower percentage of body water and a slower alcohol metabolism.
Research also shows that women are more likely than men to drink in order to dull negative emotions rather than seeking to enhance positive moods.
As a consequence, women suffering from alcohol dependency often co-present with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Successful alcohol addiction treatment for women should take an integrated treatment approach, meaning that all mental health concerns are addressed alongside the addiction.
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Ice addiction can have a huge impact upsetting the hormonal balance of female users; which makes detoxing from ice an intense physical and mental challenge and any ice addiction treatment for women should begin with a closely monitored and medically assisted detox.
Ice addiction can have devastating effects on the user’s mental health and many women entering ice addiction treatment programs suffer from mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. These are frequently linked to traumatic experiences preceding the drug abuse.
For this reason ice addiction treatment program’s for women should integrate intensive counselling and therapy, commonly called dual diagnosis treatment.
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Women frequently start using heroin due to a relationship. 9 out of 10 female heroin users have a male sexual partner also addicted to heroin and 5 out of 10 were first injected with heroin by a male sexual partner.
It is therfore very common that women seeking heroin addiction treatment often face a relationship break-up at the same time, which can complicate their recovery.
It is therefore inportant that heroin addiction treatment for women includes integrated treatment to address the underlying issues and emotional baggage of the heroin addiction alongside its medical repercussions.
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Women suffering from cannabis addiction are less likely to enter a treatment program, as they often do not feel directly endangered by their drug use. But it is an addiction that should not be ignored.
Cannabis addiction is in some ways more complex to treat than addictions to ‘harder’ drugs such as ice and heroin. This is because the side effects are commonly mental rather than physical.
However research has shown that women frequently using cannabis commonly suffer from eating disorders, which can cause significant physical damage. There appears to be a particularly strong correlation between bulimia and cannabis use.
Because cannabis has a profound effect on the user‘s appetite, treating treating eating disorders alongside cannabis abuse can be challenging as the two tend to be inextricably linked.
Women entering treatment for cannabis addiction are unlikely to experience severe physical symptoms of withdrawal; however, the mental strain of ceasing cannabis use is not to be underestimated and women’s addiction treatment for cannabis should involve a focus on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to identify the thoughts and feelings that link to your addictive behaviour.
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