The 7 Main Causes of Addiction in Young WomenSeptember 20, 2017 - Addiction - 0 Comments
The years when a girl becomes a woman can be a confusing and fragile time, particularly with the pressure of social media and the crushing expectations that are placed on girls who are still slowly developing their identity and sense of self-worth while their bodies undergo extensive changes.
It is possibly the heightened pressure resulting from the rising dominance of social media that is driving more young women towards substance abuse and ultimately, addiction. However, there are plenty of gender-specific women’s rehabilitation centers where modern issues affecting young women vulnerable to addiction can be addressed.
The additional challenge a young woman with addiction issues has to face is the stigma surrounding female drug and alcohol abuse. Women are in the minority when it comes to addiction and society has a hard time accepting that women are as vulnerable as men when it comes to this chronic disease. It is this lack of understanding of addiction as a mental illness that tends to drive the issue further under cover, placing more obstacles in the path of a sufferer checking-in to women’s rehab.
Recent studies show that it is during the adolescent to young adult years that girls are particularly susceptible to developing addiction disease. It is now widely believed that the stress and pressures experienced through these transition years are behind the rising numbers of young women suffering from addiction.
Here are seven causes of addiction issues in young women today:
- Depression and Mental Illnesses
According to research, almost 35% of high school girls reported overwhelming feelings of sadness or hopelessness from time to time. The more frightening fact is that girls in this group are much more likely to consider suicide than adolescent boys and often turn to drugs or drink as a means of self-medication. It is the practice of using substances and alcohol to alleviate the symptoms of depression and mental illness that can easily lead to addiction without receiving drug rehab for women.
- History of Trauma
Almost twice as many girls as boys report some form of physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Sadly, this is a problem that is possibly even worse than research has shown due to the vulnerability of female victims and their reluctance to report such abuse or attend a women’s rehab center. Victims of abuse are much more likely to develop addiction issues, particularly as they are dealing with internalized issues way beyond their understanding. Not wishing to seek support from others due to feelings of shame or social stigma exacerbates addiction issues for many young women with the disease.
- Stress and Inability to Cope
One of the characteristics of addiction in young women is internalizing difficult emotions and responses to stressful situations. While boys are more commonly expressive when it comes to stress, often resorting to aggressive behavior or delinquency, girls tend to bury these feelings which then go on to ‘fester’ in their minds and ultimately leading in the direction of substance and alcohol abuse. Stressful family events like the death of a close loved one or divorcing parents often impact girls more than boys as they tend to withdraw from expressing their grief, preferring to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
- Low Self-Esteem
During the transition years from girl to woman, the issue of self-confidence is central to the potential for addiction. There is a huge expectancy place on young women to look a certain way, behave a certain way and live their lives a certain way that can be crushing for a girl who lacks self-confidence. We live in a world where popularity matters and for many young women who don’t feel they have the credentials to fit in, this can lead to depression and subsequent addiction. Counseling and group therapy sessions at drug rehab for women can be invaluable for young women with low self-esteem.
- Peer Pressures
For many people, the teenage years represent a time when experimentation is the norm. Again, popularity is often what drives youngsters to feel pressure to try things they might not otherwise be interested in. Popularity often goes hand-in-hand with drinking and drug-taking as there remains a perception among some young people that it is in some way ‘cool’ to behave this way. If a young girl feels ugly and unacceptable to her peers, she is particularly vulnerable to using drugs or drink to relieve these negative feelings. Women’s rehab centers specialize in providing gender-specific treatment that includes assertiveness training. By learning to clearly state what is acceptable and what isn’t, a young girl with addiction issues can protect themselves from temptation and cravings going forward.
- Academic Pressures
The high school years are imperative to future growth although the accompanying pressure can be unreasonable for many young women. Because of the emphasis placed on achievement at high school, those who are falling behind or having difficulty understanding some subjects can often start to feel like a failure. A young woman perceives pressure to achieve academically coming from all corners –parents, teachers and peers alike – and dealing with it can lead to a spiral into addiction. For young women requiring addiction treatment in specialist women’s rehab, a healthier attitude towards their academic performance can be instilled.
- Lack of Communication with Parents
Teenagers are known for thinking the older generation has no understanding of them and no-one more than their parents. Often, girls feel as though they have separate pressures to those of their brothers or other boys of the same age and that more is expected of them. Nevertheless, one of the best preventions of addiction in young women is communication. The difficulty girls have over boys is that they are more likely to say ‘yes’ in pressurized situations than ‘no’. This is because girls have more desire for acceptance than many boys but is a behavior that can be altered with the right parental communication.
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