Substance abuse and trauma are often closely linked, which is why high-quality addiction treatment programs offer integrated treatment to address both. Alcohol, as well as prescribed and illicit drugs, are commonly used to cope with negative emotions and symptoms associated with exposure to trauma.
Commonly seen symptoms include (1):
Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are serious issues facing over 23 million people across the United States alone. Of these millions of people, just a small percentage actively seek help to overcome their substance addictions.
There are many reasons behind the resistance to get help. One of these reasons involves loved ones enabling someone’s drug or alcohol habit.
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States today (1). In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported antidepressant drug use had skyrocketed by 400 percent over the last two decades. Antidepressants are the most commonly taken type of medication by people 18-44 years old. In 2008, 23 percent of women who were 40-59 years old were taking antidepressant medications (2).
Women experience depression more often than men. Women experiencing depression may feel sad, worthless and guilty (3). While biology and hormones play a role in this difference in women’s higher depression rates, societal pressures also play a factor.
The Pressure to Be Successful
Many people feel pressured to be successful. Women particularly feel more stress and tension as they are expected to be successful in both home and career. This concept of “having it all” puts undue strain on females who strive to be good mothers while having successful careers. When people aren’t feeling successful or engaged in their jobs, depression can be the result.
Drug addiction doesn’t just affect individuals; it affects the entire family unit. Children can experience a variety of impairments as a result of their parent’s addiction, some of which can last for a lifetime.
Getting these children back on a track of normal development often requires a multi-disciplined approach to their welfare. Parents who are well-established on the road to recovery can help these children to overcome issues related to the substance abuse and return to a normal development pattern.
Codependency has many different definitions, but it is widely recognized as a psychological reaction that places the needs of others before one’s own needs, often to a detrimental degree.
Codependency can include a variety of other psychological issues, including problems defining healthy boundaries, inability to express feelings, fears of abandonment and a strong desire for approval. Experts believe the tendency toward codependency starts in childhood and may be worsened by several common social pressures.
Among people who consume alcohol, males typically drink more alcohol than women in the United States and across the globe, according to a study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(1). This level of consumption puts men at a greater risk for many different alcohol-related health effects, such as liver problems, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and various forms of cancer.
What is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as when a man drinks enough to raise his blood alcohol content to .08 within a timespan of two hours, which is typically five or more drinks, on at least one occasion in the last 30 days. This rapidly high BAC can have serious short-term and long-term effects on the mind and body.
How Do Drinking Levels Differ Between the Genders?
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following serious health consequences and other negative effects can result from excessive alcohol consumption among men:(2)
Anxiety is a word that’s often tossed around too casually, used to refer to everyday worries or minor stress. In reality, anxiety disorders can be intense and debilitating—people who suffer from anxiety describe it as a constant, gripping fear or a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach. Studies reveal that at least 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, and this number increases each year. (1)
What could be responsible for the growing number of anxiety diagnoses in this country? In this article, we’ll look at some of the societal pressures that contribute to anxiety.
Doctors have noted five medical conditions that are of great concern to women: heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression and autoimmune diseases. Scientific research has identified particular risk factors for each disease, which helps inform women about steps they can take to protect themselves.
Among the major health concerns they’re facing, breast cancer may be on the minds of women more than any other. This is quite understandable, since it can have far-reaching implications for mental and physical health. It is also second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of death for women.
One of the most essential—and challenging—aspects of addiction recovery is the need to change a person’s behavior to improve their health status. Behavior change interventions, which involve a combination of program elements or strategies, are especially useful in addressing lifestyle modification for those suffering from addictions.
A change in patient lifestyle is necessary for successful management of long-term recovery, and relapse can often be attributed to lapses in healthy behavior. Patients easily understand the need for lifestyle modifications, but consistent, life-long behavior changes are difficult. That’s why behavior change interventions are important.
Heroin use has increased across the U.S. to epidemic levels in many cities. Some of the largest increases have occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use, including women, the privately insured and those with higher incomes.
As the use of heroin increases, there have also been dramatic rises in heroin-related overdose deaths. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013.