Women are more prone to drug and alcohol addiction. A new report released shows that 30% more prescriptions are written for women for opioids. While 40% more women surgery patients become regular users. But opioids aren't the only problem for women. A new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says America saw almost a 50% increase in alcoholism, with women experiencing an 84% increase in cases of diagnosed alcoholism.
There are a number of reasons for this. Among them are the growing expectations of women. Stephanie Sam is in intensive outpatient treatment for alcoholism at Racing for Recovery. "We hold ourselves to higher standards a lot, I think a lot of it is insecurity. I know for me I always felt like I wasn't good enough," says Sam. "We have a lot more responsibility in general and we try to do all of it." Sam admits that she probably drank alcoholically since she was 14, but her disease was progressive and got out of hand 20 years later.
37-year old Stephanie Boettner struggled with prescription opioid addiction from the time she was 17. She'd been prescribed narcotic pain medications for polycystic ovary syndrome, and developed a very high tolerance for the medication. At 37, Boettner says she finally found the strength to reach out for help, "It was prescribed, it was take one to two as needed, so I decided to take two and realized how good it felt," says Boettner." Now with 5-months sober, Boettner is also in intensive inpatient treatment at Racing for Recovery, "This is going to be an ongoing process for the rest of my life, like I'm never going to say that I have it, because every day is a work in progress."
Treatment for women often comes with the first step of finding care for their children, while they take part in intensive outpatient services. "It's a multi-layered component of getting people better, physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and socially," says Todd Crandall, the founder and executive director of Racing for Recovery. "Right now, alcohol, heroin and opiates in general are the 3 main things that we see with women," according to Crandall. Getting to recovery may require addressing different aspects for men and for women, the end result is the same" Crandall says, "Sober recovery."