Women seeking recovery from addiction often must also overcome a history of sexual abuse as well as the challenges of raising children, poverty, lack of education and other obstacles, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Oct. 17.
Sexual abuse, domestic violence and depression can be both a cause and effect of alcohol and other drug use among women, experts say. One study estimated that 70 percent of female addicts have a history of sexual abuse, compared to 12 percent of men, including incest and sexual trauma as children or teenagers.
Moreover, female addicts are “a good target for a predator,” said T.K. Logan of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky. “They know that you are either not going to report it or you are not going to be believed.”
Ending alcohol and other drug use can’t solve all these problems; in fact, experts say, sobriety can allow the lingering effects of past traumas to bubble back up to the surface.
Women become addicted to alcohol faster than men, and are more likely to be prescribed drugs that can become addictive. But most treatment programs are tailored to the needs of men, including confrontational group therapy sessions that don’t work well for women and A.A. tenets that may be inappropriate for victims of domestic violence.
“If you’ve been in a domestic-violence situation where you’ve surrendered all your control and power and now you’re walking into AA, where they are telling you to surrender your power, that can be tough,” Logan said.
But, women do solve these problems in AA. One third of all alcoholics are women and AA membership is one third female.
From; Join Together Online