Each year, millions of women around the world undergo one of the most unfortunate yet completely necessary parts of being female: menopause. Usually taking place between the ages of 45 and 55 (with the final change taking effect at 51 years), this process occurs when a woman’s periods completely stop and she can no longer become pregnant. During this difficult and stressful time, older women will experience severe fluctuations in hormones and a horde of side effects including hot flashes, insomnia, mood problems, irritability, lowered libido, and dryness. In response, some women may attempt to cope with these problems by consuming alcohol or drugs out of a desperate attempt at self-medication. So why can menopause make a woman more vulnerable to drug abuse and addiction? Let’s take a closer look and find out more.
Most Commonly Used Drugs
Given the fact that alcohol is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the United States, you will not be surprised to learn that this substance is commonly abused by menopausal women. Likewise, the journal clinics in Geriatric Medicine also confirm that 11% of women over the age of 50 admitted to using opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers to cope with life. In fact, adults abuse prescription medications more than any other group of people.
However, a 2016 Monitoring the Future study also revealed that illegal drugs have made it into the older adult community. Overall, 18% of adults ages 50 to 55 reported past-year illegal drug use, with an additional 11% confirming past-month abuse. Of all the drugs, one of the most popular was marijuana.
How Different Forms of Drug Use Affect People
To better understand how the different forms of substance abuse disorder may affect a menopausal woman, here is a look at the three types of problems (listed under the umbrella of substance use disorders):
- Substance abuse: using drugs or alcohol in a way that is harmful to your life (can ultimately lead to addiction but is not a form of it)
- Addiction: a full-blown brain disorder where the person no longer has control over their cravings for a dangerous substance
- Dependency: when a person requires drugs to function properly (not the same as addiction)
Always remember that drugs and alcohol do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or addiction troubles today.