Article 7 - Women and Addiction

WOMEN AND ADDICTION

 

Do women have drug problems? When we think of a drug addict, the picture that comes to mind tends to be male. However, women are also susceptible to this disease. In 2012, 23% of our clients were female.

 

Accessing treatment – 23% probably does not reflect the true gender ratio for addiction in the community. Women can find it more difficult to access addiction treatment. Society expects them to be good wives and mothers, thus creating more shame when they are failing in these roles due to their addiction.

 

Minority group - women are usually a minority group within addiction programs, and thus more vulnerable. For example in a group where clients share the damages of their addiction, women may feel uncomfortable or even threatened to share sexual consequences such as prostitution or abortions, in front of male clients.

 

The impact of addiction on women – As we know addicts in active addiction place their drugs before other concerns in their lives, including safety and family. Women addicts risk sexual exploitation, rape, and other forms of abuse. Many women addicts have young children, or are pregnant. This brings a range of consequences, including child neglect and effects on unborn babies.

 

What we offer women – sensitive to the needs of women as a minority group in our program, we provide a Women’s Group. Attended only by women and run by female counselors, it gives them a safe space in which to work on their addiction.

 

We invite women struggling with addiction to contact us, on:

 

021 – 4478027

ctdcc@iafrica.com

www.drugcentre.org.za