How Society Pays
The Neurochemistry of Addiction
Addiction: A Genetic Disease
Female Issues

Alcohol and Drugs

General Trends

Medical Aspects


Psychological Differences

Relationship Issues

Recent Research

Treatment for Addiction
Relapse: Sex, Love, and Relationships
Addiction and the Family

Relationship Issues

  • Drinking patterns of women correlate with those of significant others more so than men. Substance use typically initiated at the encouragement of "Darlings, Dealers, or Doctors."
  • Highest rates of alcohol related problems:
    • Cohabitators (living together) versus married Youngest (21-34) have highest rate of alcohol-related problems - tend to be "role-less" (never married, no children, less-than-full-time employed).
    • Middle (35-49) have highest proportion of heavy drinkers — tend to have "lost role" (separated/divorced, unemployed, children living apart).
    • Older (50-64) are "role entrapment or empty nesters" (married, children gone, not working).
  • Addicted women entering treatment are more likely to be married/cohabiting with an addicted partner or separated/divorced…while alcoholic men are most likely married to a non-addicted spouse. Male partners are significantly more likely to end their relationship with an addicted woman during her first year after treatment.

Excerpted from Sheila Blume, MD "Women: Clinical Aspects," Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, Third Edition, 1997, Editors: Joyce Lowinson, Pedro Ruiz, Robert Millman, John Langrod and summarized by Eileen Beyer, Psy. D., CAC Diplomate.

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