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Drug Abuse in Women: The Physical, Psychological, and Behavioral Signs

Drug Abuse in Women: The Physical, Psychological, and Behavioral Signs

Although addiction does not discriminate based on creed, ethnic background, age, income, or gender, not all experiences with addiction are universal. The reasons people turn to drugs or alcohol often differ, as do the specific outcomes that drug abuse has on the life of the addict. Because of this, many women would benefit from addiction treatment at an all-female facility.
At a facility that specializes in drug rehab for women, patients can feel safe to discuss the unique issues they face without fear. It may also help friends and family members to understand the challenges women face pertaining to drug abuse, as well as the signs that their loved one may have a drug problem. Gaining a better understanding of these points can point you in the right direction of an inpatient rehab in AZ that can help your daughter, wife, girlfriend, sister, or friend to take back her life.

Facts About Drug Abuse in Women

  • It’s increasing: Between 1999 and 2010, prescription painkiller overdose deaths among women increased by more than 400% (these fatalities among men increased by only 237% during this same period).
  • Women become addicted more quickly than men: Data shows that women typically become addicted in shorter periods and using smaller doses of drugs than men do. They are also more likely to die from certain drugs than men are.
  • Women are affected differently: Female drug users experience different changes in the brain when compared to male drug users. They’re also more likely to experience depression and anxiety while using certain drugs than men are, and they can also experience physical effects that men don’t.

Physical Warning Signs of Substance Abuse in Women

Physical signs of drug abuse vary depending on the substance itself. For instance, while cocaine may cause agitation and bursts of energy, alcohol or opioid painkiller abuse can result in lethargy and isolation. Some common warning signs of drug abuse in women may include:
  • Slurred speech
  • Shakes, tremors, or seizures
  • Difficulty walking
  • Bloodshot eyes or changes in pupils
  • Pinpoint pupils (also known as pinpricks) are a common side effect of opioid use
  • Hyperactivity or an increase in energy or alertness
  • Increased lethargy
  • Weight changes
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Skin picking or itching
  • Track marks (especially in the arms or legs) from using hypodermic needles

Psychological Signs of Drug Abuse

Moodiness alone — particularly in teenagers — is not enough to distinctively point to the need for a life transformation. But drastic changes to a woman’s behavior may be a warning sign. These psychological changes can include:
  • Drastically increased animosity or aggression
  • Sudden onset of depression, anxiety, or paranoia
  • Decreased ability to recall events (short-term memory loss)
  • Hallucinations, delusions, or general confusion
  • Inability to concentrate or erratic behavior

Behavioral Signs of Substance Abuse

Keep in mind that sudden behavioral changes may not always indicate drug abuse. Due to the way our brains develop, teenagers do not possess the same level of decision-making abilities as adults do. It’s also possible that someone in your life may be grappling with a mental health issue unrelated to the need for Christian based rehab. That said, some changes in behavior to watch out for include:
  • Decreased productivity and motivation
  • Impulsive behavior and risk-taking
  • Decreased attention to appearance and personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or physical fitness
  • Neglect of romantic relationships, friendships, and familial relationships
  • Unexplained need for funds or missing money in the house
  • Secrecy or sudden desire for privacy
  • Unexplained physical accidents or incidents of thefts
Again, it’s important to note that some of these symptoms can be chalked up to teenage rebellion or even mental health issues. But if several of these signs sound too familiar to you, you may want to research reputable drug abuse treatment centers to help your loved one. To find out more about how our Christian rehab for women may be the step your loved one needs to take for their recovery, please contact Life Transformation Recovery today.

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