Women and Substance Abuse (Why?) Essay

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Chapter 14 and the DSM IV defines substance abuse as “a maladaptive pattern of substance use manifested by recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the repeated use of substances” (Ashman, 4th edition 2013, pg. 442). When researching my paper I decided to find the differences, if any, between women and male substance abusers. While researching for the ERA capstone project we did for human services, I found that causes of addiction in women was due to poverty, abuse, lack of resources and other reasons that all can be contributed to inequality of women in our society. The main reason women become addicted is due to self-medicating. I had a range of questions I began asking myself, and decided to do more research. Then I…show more content…
This goes back to the theory that most women turn to substances for self-medicating purposes due to unresolved traumas or events in their lives. Women’s addiction is also different because women not only self-medicate because of traumatic events, but also to function as a working mother/woman in a fast paced world. According to, “The DASIS Report (May 2005)” women were less likely than men to detoxify. One reason is because they are in denial and try to rationalize their substance abuse. So they are less likely to seek help unless it is court ordered because children were involved. SAMSHA, stated that as of 2008, 1/3 of the population being treated for substance abuse were women. According to SAMSHA’s November/December 2008 Newsletter, 6.9 million women are not receiving treatment. Approximately, 94% feel they do not need treatment. This has been a drastic increase over the past 10years. SAMSHA also revealed that women have more barriers when seeking treatment such as, young children, poverty, low-income, stigmatization and have the inability to pay for treatment. This goes back to pay in-equality and the Equal Rights Amendment. According to SAMSHA, studies have estimated that between 5 and 35 percent of women receiving Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) have a substance abuse problem that can impede their ability to work. SAMSHA also states, that if appropriate treatment is not received, substance abusing women are extremely limited when it comes to
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