We live in an era when now more than ever there is a focus on lessening the wage gap between men and women and encouraging women and girls to become active in the areas of science, technology, and math – fields predominantly led by men. In a push to recognize equality, we speak often about the similarities between men and women. While this is important, it is also necessary to stop and think about the differences between the two sexes, especially when it comes to substance abuse, treatment, and recovery.

In a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was found that everything from the initial reason to start using was different between men and women. For example, men tend to begin using to fit into certain social groups and women tend to begin using to combat exhaustion, control pain, or maintain weight. Additionally, women exhibit more unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal from substance use, identifying greater stress response and more anxiety than men. When it comes to continued abstinence from substance use, women are more likely to relapse and begin using again following treatment, identifying no known trigger or intent to do so. Many of these attributes can be traced to specific hormones and levels of those hormones in women.

It wasn’t even until the 1990s that researchers began to examine women in terms of addiction, so the data available is all relatively recent though not historically significant. According to an article in Forbes, women are more likely than men to suffer from chronic pain and be prescribed opioids for the pain (at higher doses than men). Women in turn develop dependencies to opioids faster than men and are more likely to seek out prescriptions and use them for longer periods of time.

While the human biology that contributes to sex differences is a factor, so too is the culturally defined roles that exist in society for men and women. One publication found that women with children may be less likely to seek help for fear of what may happen to their children or how they might be perceived as a bad mother due to prevalent stigmas. They also may not feel as though they could balance treatment with the demands of home life.


We recognize that addiction affects individuals differently, but that the drive to getting better is the same for all. At Asana Recovery, we are removing barriers to treatment so that men and women from all backgrounds and groups can start on their path to recovery.

At Asana Recovery, we embrace everyone’s differences with specially tailored detox, inpatient, and outpatient plans to meet the varying needs of men and women. While most insurances are accepted, we do take cash and credit as well. There are even payment plan options for those that qualify. Picture yourself in a beautiful location surrounded by supportive, caring, and dedicated staff and call us at (949) 438-4504. Our team of professionals is ready to help you start the first day of the rest of your life. Call now.