Concerns for Women

Concerns for Women

Recent research has shown that there are differences in the ways that drugs affect men and women. The study, funded by the NIDA, indicates that these noted gender differences will soon contribute to differences in treatments for men and women, given that differences in hormones, metabolism and other factors can affect both how men and women react to drugs as well as how they react to treatment.

At The Canyon, we understand how to treat both men and women who have a drug addiction and abuse, and with our unique combination of treatments, therapies and experiences, every patient is given the best opportunity to break his or her addiction and return to a stable, healthy life.

What the Research Says

The NIDA-funded study that researched differences in men and women relating to drug use measured different responses that men and women had to cocaine.

Men and women were given doses of a placebo powder on some days, and on others they were given cocaine. Their responses were then measured and cataloged, including the differences in reactions in women who were both on and off of their menstrual cycle. After the data was reviewed, it was found that women were less sensitive to cocaine than were men, regardless of what point of their menstrual cycle they were on. In fact, in general, men reacted much worse and had more intense good and bad reactions to cocaine than did women. And, even though everyone was given equal doses of the drug, the women appeared to have less of it in their blood, again, regardless of their cycle.

Metabolism

Metabolism may have a lot to do with the differences in how men and women react to cocaine. In women, the body seems to break down and metabolize cocaine much faster than in men, due to the fact that they have higher counts of an enzyme called cholinesterases, which breaks down cocaine.

Menstruation

During menstruation, women undergo both physical and hormonal changes in their bodies.

These changes may help explain why they are less sensitive to cocaine’s effects than are men. One example is that, during their cycle, there is an increase in a certain hormone in their body that causes their nasal passages to secrete more mucous. This, in turn, acts as a barrier of sorts that prevents cocaine from being absorbed as quickly, which somewhat dulls the effects of the drug.

Frequency and Amount of Use

In general, studies have shown that there are many fewer female cocaine users than there are male users.

Part of this may have to do with the fact that many women have reported that they do not experience a high the first time they use the drug. Because of this, and the fact that cocaine is relatively expensive, women may be less inclined to use it.

Rehab at The Canyon

At The Canyon, our treatment program is designed in such a way that you can experiment with our various options and find what works best for you. The unique combination of treatments and therapies provides you with an holistic recovery that you won’t find anywhere else, and our caring staff is expertly trained in helping people make a life-long recovery from their addiction.