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Currently, women comprise nearly large-4 columns (32.3 percent) of patients admitted to all drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers around the US.

In national studies, the rates for drug and alcohol abuse in a lifetime, in the past year and in the past month are consistently higher in men than women. This is because, according to research done at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, women and girls have different motivations and triggers for alcohol and drug addiction than men and boys.

Even though women experiment with drugs at lower rates than do men, when they do try an illicit substance they are more susceptible to succumbing to an addiction to that substance. Studies show that women get hooked on drugs more easily than men once they try them. In addition, the physical, mental and emotional consequences of drug abuse affect women faster than men.

National Statistics

  • The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly 43 percent of women reported having experimented with illegal substances during their lifetime.
  • Although in the adult population men have higher substance abuse rates than women, in teens (age 12 to 17) females have a slightly higher rate of addiction than males.
  • Of the nine million women abusing illicit drugs each year, just over large-4 columns of them regularly take prescription medications for non-medical reasons.
  • The largest age group of women who drink consistently is women aged 26 to 34, however, the highest rates of binge drinking are among women age 18 to 25.
  • Surveys have shown women have more complex motivations than men for abusing drugs or alcohol.

The Metabolism of Women

In addition to different motivating factors, women have a number of metabolic differences from their male counterparts that changes the way drugs and alcohol impact their body. These disparities account for the difference in addiction rates between the sexes.

Women carry less water in their body, experience hormonal fluctuations around their menstrual cycles, have a higher fat ratio as well as different enzymes in their digestive tract. All these variations cause the damaging results of drug and alcohol abuse to occur faster in women. In fact, on average, a female alcoholic experiences the same injury to her liver, brain and heart as a male alcoholic who drinks twice as much.

Seeking Successful Programs

From current research we now understand women have different reasons than men for becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you or a woman close to you is in need of rehab, make sure that the treatment program you choose is designed for the specific needs of women.

When you contact us, we can connect you with effective women’s rehab programs all over the US.

We only recommend top-rated, evidence-based rehabilitation centers that are in the business of helping people turn their lives around. Give us a call, and we’ll help you to find the balance missing in your life.


Rehab International is a service provided by Foundations Recovery Network. As part of the Foundations Recovery Network, our goal is to provide science-based treatments to individuals suffering from issues of addiction and mental illness.

When you call you will be connected to a member of the Foundations Recovery Network who will assist in providing you with any questions you may have regarding the treatment process.

The treatment directory on Rehab International is created using resources made available in the public domain. If you would like a listing removed or edited please contact us. If you are trying to reach a resource listing on one of the pages, please contact them directly through their website or contact information provided.

JCAHO The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is the national evaluation and certifying agency for health care organization and programs in the United States. JCAHO strives to improve health care for the public. FRN is proud to be affiliated with several JCAHO accredited facilities.

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