dopetalk does not endorse any advertised product nor does it accept any liability for it's use or misuse

This website has run out of funding so feel free to contribute if you can afford it (see footer)

Author Topic: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently  (Read 6341 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

  • Server Admin
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 6464
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • Chip has hidden their reputation power
  • Gender: Male
  • Last Login:Yesterday at 10:50:37 AM
  • Deeply Confused Learner
  • Profession: IT Engineer
Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« on: November 14, 2017, 03:05:52 AM »
source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5xpab/lets-talk-about-how-women-experience-drug-addiction-differently

Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently

In her new book, Woman of Substances, Jenny Valentish admits to indulging in just about every illicit drug in existence. A decades-long addiction began with stealing liquor from her father's cabinet as a teenager and quickly transitioned into a full-blown habit of getting drunk every afternoon after school. While working in music journalism and PR, Valentish went on to spend the entirety of her 20s under the influence—spiking each morning coffee with speed and going from there. After getting clean in 2009, she has spent the past seven years researching the neuroscience behind her own addiction. The result is something more than your typical drug redemption memoir. It's a book that investigates through a mix of personal anecdotes and in-depth research into the female experience of drug and alcohol dependency.

It's an issue that's only just starting to break through into the public health consciousness. In its 2016 Annual Report, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board made a point of calling for "gender-sensitive drug policies and programs, better health-care access for drug-dependent women, and more funding to prevent and treat drug abuse among women." The report also cites new statistics revealing that once women start abusing drugs like cannabis, heroin, or cocaine, their rate of consumption progresses more rapidly than among men. Women, it says, also tend to develop a substance use disorder more quickly than men. While women and girls comprise one third of global drug users, just one fifth of addiction treatment recipients are women—as systemic barriers affect their access. The report also highlights how compared to men, women are more likely to be prescribed narcotics and anti-anxiety medication, and are consequently more likely to abuse that medication.

"It's like before we started thinking about women on festival bills," Valentish tells me frankly. "Whatever is the norm, you don't question it. I never really questioned that these issues might be different for women compared to men in terms of addiction and treatment. But the more research I did, and the more people I spoke to, it turned out to be a bit of a joke—how little research is done into women and women's experiences. Men are the norm in this research. But in terms of the population, they're not the norm."

Interviewing expert drug and alcohol researchers, and at the same time recalling her own experiences partying with drugs, self-medicating with drugs, self-harming with drugs, and finally seeking treatment for an addiction to drugs, Valentish's book makes discoveries that were both startling and somehow unsurprising. One is the inherent vulnerability of women trying drugs for the first time.

As a teenage girl, Valentish recalls "hitching her identity" to older and cooler men who inducted her into the seemingly glamorous world of substance abuse. And it turns out that experience of older dudes indoctrinating young girls into addiction is extraordinarily common. Researchers told her that about a third of females who inject drugs were initiated by sexual partners. And that women often use drugs and alcohol to bolster ideas of equality and put themselves on the same playing field as male counterparts. Women are also more likely to use self-destructive drug habits to create a sense of personal autonomy they otherwise find difficult to grasp. And women are far likelier to use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms in social situations, while men use them for positive enhancement and fun. The list goes on.

What really fascinated Valentish, though, was the science behind all this. Her research in the book begins with a study of impulsivity—a key driver of addiction. Impulsivity, she notes, "Is typically understood as a male trait." Which is why we think of a stereotypical alcoholic or drug addict as a man, and why we've overlooked a fact that could be key to treating women's drug abuse. Girls with more impulsive personalities are far more likely to get hooked on addictive substances. But because we don't understand girls—and particularly teenage girls—as impulsive, these risks go undetected until it's too late.

"It's just yet another example of how women are very much on the backfoot when it comes to problematic substance abuse," Valentish says. "To me being a teenage girl was really perplexing, I couldn't understand how I couldn't control my impulses and why for someone supposedly intelligent why I would do such stupid things."

Through her research, Valentish also discovered how heavy drinking and drug-abuse affects men's and women's brains and bodies differently. Adolescent male drinkers experienced decreased attention spans; adolescent females experienced decreased spatial functioning. She learned that women susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction are predisposed to other disorders that seek control over bodily functions—anorexia nervosa, bulimia, suicide, and self-harm. And that childhood trauma, especially rape or sexual abuse, can predispose women to alcohol and drug abuse later on. In the book, Valentish recalls two traumatic experiences of rape that influenced her heavy substance use.

More frightening than these findings themselves, Valentish says, is the fact they haven't resulted in different medical approaches to female substance abuse and treatment. "I should probably use the hashtag #NotAllDoctors, but women are often packed off with medication [when they go for treatment]. But if you don't look at the underlying trauma it's like putting a plaster on a tumor, isn't it? You're not addressing the actual issue."

Female patients objectively require different treatment approaches than men, but that's rarely a given. "It does take some careful probing and screening from the doctor. Someone might say to their doctor they really need Xanax for panic attacks, but might leave out the bit about them having panic attacks because they're using coke or ice," Valentish explains.



Wine bottles and beer cans at Amy Winehouse's memorial site

Valentish ran a certain risk publishing a women's addiction memoir, and she knows it. Female addicts are at once tragic and glamorous figures. They're prominent in our culture; Amy Winehouse's name comes up a few times in Woman of Substances. It's easier to see women as victims of drug and alcohol abuse than it is to acknowledge that we might simply enjoy partying as much as men. How do you write a book that takes this into account, additional to the fact women self-medicate and use drugs and alcohol to cope in ways that men might not have to?

"It's a tricky issue," says Valentish. "I think both things can exhibit in one person. You can use drugs for both fun and self-medication. And you use different drugs differently as well. You use them for fun but also to feel normal or a better version of yourself or to cope. It isn't as big a dichotomy as you might think. The line between self-harm and self-medication is very thin. They sound like opposite things, but really they're not. Women self-medicate because we don't feel good enough, a lot of the time."

Woman of Substances will resonate with women readers who have never really questioned the role that patriarchy has played in their drinking and drug habits. But they're not the only intended audience.

"I hope that it will impact young researchers more than anything," Valentish says. "Make them question whether they're being inclusive enough. Because with any kind of research on women, you really need to take into consideration their bodies. Like where they are in their cycle and their age. And the reason this kind of research gets shut down is funding issues… I hope to create some conversation around that."
I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 04:35:08 AM »
Quote
..Woman of Substances will resonate with women readers who have never really questioned the role that patriarchy has played in their drinking and drug habits. But they're not the only intended audience...

DUN..DUN...DUUUUN... 'Oh no, it's the Global Patriarchy!'

LOL  :))
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Z

  • Guest
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 07:56:30 AM »
Anti social justice warriors are more tiring then the sjw themselves these days.  You need a new drum friend.

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 12:33:38 PM »
And people who bang on about ridiculous phantoms like 'the patriarchy' should just get a free pass on their bullshit?   :P
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Offline Chip (OP)

  • Server Admin
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 6464
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • Chip has hidden their reputation power
  • Gender: Male
  • Last Login:Yesterday at 10:50:37 AM
  • Deeply Confused Learner
  • Profession: IT Engineer
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 03:51:26 PM »
but you have to admit that guys not only dominate the drug trade, introduce women to drugs but often try to exploit them.

generally speaking.

i think that men have more to answer for than women.

just sticking up for the forum's gender imbalance - the ratio is 2:1 and that sort of supports her claims.

I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 04:13:10 PM »
No - you're right, and I *do* get that.

It's just that to my mind, you can believe in equal rights/equal pay etc. between the sexes without having to subscribe to insane feminist concepts like 'The Patriarchy', and 'We Live in a Rape Culture' etc.

*So* many people, men especially, have been fooled by,

'Do you believe in equal rights for women?'

'Why yes, of course I do!'

'Then you must be a feminist.'
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 04:18:48 PM by Hooman »
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Z

  • Guest
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 09:28:35 PM »
Most women don't think that.  There are some who do that are much different in their daily lives then their beliefs.


Most of my female friends have a rape story.  All of them seem to have a coerced into something Or taken advantage of story.  Hell, I have some too and I'm not a girl.


You don't have to hear patriarchy and turn into some get justice for oppressed men sort of rant.  Wether exaggerated or not patriarchy is a reality and men and women interact with and are treated differently by the world around them.


Just talking about patriarchy doesn't mean feminazi tumblrtard as well.  I've dated women in women's studies even with much milder and more open and accepting views.  I get tired of seeing it because I think some of you guys are turning into the very thing you hate it inadvertently encouraging some super shirty views on women.  That scene as a whole is full of some real fucking idiots.


As for the article, I think she overstates it as a media blurb marketing tactic. Using drugs to control has a very long history and is well known.  If say maybe rather then women falling harder, the type of women who get addicted are the ones that are more likely to heavily abuse.  I know lots of guy junkies just getting along, but the vast majority of women in it are way deeper.  I always thought many seemed to be hurt or hiding or something more.  It does make them vulnerable and rope for exploitation.

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 12:17:18 AM »
Most women don't think that...
I presume you're referring to the last thing in my last post, and if so - I know that, but you must've heard it used as a 'persuasionary tactic' - I know I have. Hell - I remember it being *used* on my younger, less-critically thinking self - and it working!  :P

...Most of my female friends have a rape story.  All of them seem to have a coerced into something Or taken advantage of story.  Hell, I have some too and I'm not a girl...
What you might be describing there is the human condition...

.....You don't have to hear patriarchy and turn into some get justice for oppressed men sort of rant...
I did? I can't remember doing so... ;)

...Wether exaggerated or not patriarchy is a reality and men and women interact with and are treated differently by the world around them....
'Differently', yes (not 'better' or 'worse than') - we *are* a sexually dimorphic species, after all...

...Just talking about patriarchy doesn't mean feminazi tumblrtard as well...
Well, these days, it kind of seems often to do...

...I get tired of seeing it because I think some of you guys are turning into the very thing you hate it inadvertently encouraging some super shirty views on women...
Not me, squire - I think you'll find that I'm *all about* teh wymnxs - I'm *super* egalitarian, me.

...That scene as a whole is full of some real fucking idiots...
What 'scene'? If you're referring to the Tumblrina and Wymyn's Studixys scenes, then yeah - I know, right?

...As for the article, I think she overstates it as a media blurb marketing tactic...
No doubt - she's just packing some of those buzzwords in to try and get interest/attention from those who react to such 'dogwhistles'. Can't say I blame her, too much.

...the type of women who get addicted are the ones that are more likely to heavily abuse. I know lots of guy junkies just getting along, but the vast majority of women in it are way deeper. I always thought many seemed to be hurt or hiding or something more.
*Or*, that could be Toxic Masculinity preventing the men from expressing their true hurt and feelings, and no doubt contributing more to senseless patterns of typical male violence. ;)
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Offline nurse_K

  • Regular
  • *
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2016
  • Location: Europe
  • Posts: 32
  • Reputation Power: 7
  • nurse_K is new on the scene.
  • Gender: Female
  • Last Login:August 24, 2020, 12:58:44 AM
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 02:34:27 AM »
Very interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing. I would say that everyone had their uniqueness be it man or woman, and a model / plan/ treatment that suits one, might not suit another even if they are the same sex.
That being said, my experience with women  in general is that we are very good ( too good) at keeping a facade. Witch can make it very difficult to notice or detect the need for help early on.

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 03:31:31 AM »
Very interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing. I would say that everyone had their uniqueness be it man or woman, and a model / plan/ treatment that suits one, might not suit another even if they are the same sex.

For sure - I also don't think it's daft to think that there's things that will tend to suit women more with the problems they tend to acquire during their drug using careers, and also other things that will tend to support the type of issues that men tend to have, and it's not a bad idea to try and discover and categorise these to try and put together treatment options that will help as many people as possible.

...That being said, my experience with women  in general is that we are very good ( too good) at keeping a facade. Witch can make it very difficult to notice or detect the need for help early on.

People tend to say this about men, too - that men tend to 'bottle things up' until they 'explode in an orgy of violence borne of toxic masculinity.'.

Maybe it's something that we *all* have a tendency to do, but often in differing ways... ;)
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Offline LadyKalma

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location:
  • Posts: 178
  • Reputation Power: 8
  • LadyKalma is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:March 09, 2019, 05:12:23 AM
  • Welcome to drugs-and-users !
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
As a woman, im interested in reading this book for sure. I'd say there are differences between how me and my husband have dealt with drugs, addiction, and trying to get clean. Id like to see what of these differences there are commonly from other women's standpoint.
As far as the patriarchy, you can act like we're past all that or you can examine what people may mean by that.
I personally have known most women addicts to also have codependent relationships. I have identified this in myself but i would have never known what that word meant without others explaining how it related to me.
I also feel like men who use drugs to control us don't even realize they're playing in to that at times. That would mean they are also impacted badly by the patriarchy they have been raised in.
For example,  lets say theres a couple of addicts who get clean together. The man does ok, the woman struggled. The woman goes to na meetings, but the man tries to sabotage by always having something else she needs to do at that time. Or gets jealous of her leaving the house by herself.
Or maybe the woman wants to try mmt, and brings it up several times to feel out the situation. But the man getsmad, how could she need that? She just isnt trying hard enough. Or, why would she do something so inconvenient to him? Or, she must not need more help cause he dosent.
Or what if the woman cant stay clean and he keeps on making threats about kicking her out if he finds her using, but also blocks options towards getting help?

These examples are just my own, how i feel addiction is used for control and the man may not realize it. He may think hes trying to protect her. Thats why its toxic to our society and can only be helped when men and women realize theres a problem.

I wont even get into the more obvious control scenarios, i was just illustrating that the control factors don't just hurt women when they're using but also perpetuate it somewhat. I hope i make sense, its not easy to talk about this complicated issues typing, for me

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 04:42:43 PM »
You make perfect sense in what you're saying. :)

As for your example with the man/woman quitting, and the potential issues of 'sabotage' etc., I've seen those play out with the sexes that way around but also reversed.

Personally, I don't really see these things in terms of 'patriarchal control' (or matriarchal, for that matter) - just a 'people' thing - some people have stronger/different personalities than the next person, and the effects that these can have on complex situations like these can be deep and messy. ;)

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Z

  • Guest
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 09:22:55 PM »
My situation played out in the reverse.  I started using again a few years back.  Wife joined in.  She stopped before I did and was quite abusive about why can't you if I can.  Encouraging help and undermining it.  At the time she wasn't working and I had no choice but to make lots of money to pay for the lifestyle, and that on its own was enough to make me want to use more.


Hooman, I guess I mixed you in with some of the pepeople and trumpites that just like in whenever they see patriarchy mentioned.  My bad.


It is a people thing, but expectations are different depending on sex.  How about the toxic masculinity, and the requirement to be a good dad, best husband, warm a good salary and succeed, always available never complaining in some neutered laundry detergent sort of way for men.  It isn't just a women issue.  Gender roles effect us all.

Offline Hooman

  • Non-standard issue, also a
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2017
  • Location: Yuurp
  • Posts: 141
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • Hooman is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:June 16, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
  • I've got a handful of coconut-size opium pods...
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 01:23:52 AM »
No worries - I know exactly what you mean. ;)

That said, due to the kind of things that you posted about and others, some of the MRAs (Men's Rights Activists) are actually perfectly reasonable, certainly *not* 'misogynistic' and try to address problems that men often face these days like having their children kept away from them unfairly, and the attitudes of the courts to the different sexes, and male suicide rates etc.

There are nutters in every group though, of course. :)


All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream

Offline dillydudeEL14

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • SA_Chat+
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2016
  • Location:
  • Posts: 289
  • Reputation Power: 3
  • dillydudeEL14 is new on the scene.
  • Last Login:March 12, 2021, 03:28:42 PM
  • HR Networking
Re: Let's Talk About How Women Experience Drug Addiction Differently
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2017, 05:59:13 AM »
Interesting. I have noticed that a lot of the girls I know that use seem to get really bad really fast compared to dudes. Not to be sexist or anything just an observation. I’m pretty bad but it definitely took me a looooong time to get where I am now. Lots of the girls I know started shootindg way earlier too. Again nothing against girls at all. Girls are awesome.

Tags:
 


dopetalk does not endorse any advertised product nor does it accept any liability for it's use or misuse





TERMS AND CONDITIONS

In no event will d&u or any person involved in creating, producing, or distributing site information be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special or consequential damages arising out of the use of or inability to use d&u. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless d&u, its domain founders, sponsors, maintainers, server administrators, volunteers and contributors from and against all liability, claims, damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from the use of any part of the d&u site.


TO USE THIS WEBSITE YOU MUST AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ABOVE


Founded December 2014
SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal