Here’s why:

• Women use substances differently than men, and can become addicted while using smaller amounts of certain drugs for less time.

• Sex hormones can make women more sensitive than men to the effects of some drugs. Women may have more drug cravings and may be more likely to relapse after treatment.

• Women who use drugs may also experience more physical effects on their heart and blood vessels.

• Brain changes in women who use drugs can be different from those in men.

• Women may be more likely to go to the emergency room or die from an overdose or other effects of certain substances.


• Women who are victims of domestic violence are at increased risk of substance use.

• Divorce, loss of child custody, or the death of a partner or child can trigger women’s substance use or other mental health disorders.

• Women who use certain substances may be more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety or depression.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin

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