Survey of Women Treated for Addiction Finds Many Used Prescription Drugs, Heroin

A new survey of affluent women treated for alcohol and drug addiction finds prescription medication and heroin are their leading drugs of choice.

The online survey of 102 former patients, conducted by Caron Treatment Centers, found many women surveyed said they cared for their children, had careers and volunteered during their active addiction.

Seventy percent of the women who abused prescription drugs said they were initially prescribed the drugs legally for a physical or emotional ailment. The survey found 55 percent of respondents who were treated for an addiction to illegal drugs were also abusing heroin. Significant factors that led to addiction included a critical internal voice, depression and anxiety.

A majority of the women were married with children, but they said they were most likely to abuse drugs or alcohol when they were by themselves. The survey found 61 percent of respondents had a household income of $100,000 or more when they entered treatment.

Michelle Maloney, Executive Director of Treatment Services at Hanley Center, a Caron Treatment Center, said in a statement, “Female addicts often experience a lot of shame about using alcohol and drugs. They often feel they are the only ones with these problems. But we want them to know they are not alone. There are millions of women in recovery and all women deserve to get the help they need to live a healthy and productive life.”

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    Mark Noo

    March 7, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    I am an alcoholic. My grandfather was an alcoholic. He used to get blamed for my problem with alcohol all the time. What no one thought about was the women using drugs in my family. My grandmother used to take off a week at a time and use demerol to treat migraines. She was taking morphine all the time and at the end of her life morphine and methadone. My mom liked her prescriptions from the doctor. I remember the ladies asking each other for different types of pills they were prescribed (my aunt would ask my mom for valium or whatever and vice versa.
    No one thought anything about what they did. They didn’t stink like a drunk and their words were not slurred. It now seems that their genetic material contributed to my predisposition as much, if not more, than my grandfather.
    People still think if you have a prescription it is OK, even if they are abusing it on occasion it is OK.
    I wonder how many other pill popping women who became mothers messed up their children.

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