Cocaine addiction usually starts recreational. Taken now and again to relax or enjoy a party. Sometimes it’s taken for other reasons, like to help study or increase work output. But as with any drug, dependency soon grows.
Alcohol and cocaine are often used together. This is helped by the fact cocaine and other illicit drugs can be found at clubs and parties. The more one drinks, the more chances they have of being exposed to cocaine.
It doesn’t help that drugs are often glamorized, especially for women. It’s more acceptable thanks to mainstream media and celebrities publicly using. It’s the “well everyone is doing it so I might as well do it too” mentality.
Women And Cocaine Addiction
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2012, nearly 4.7 million Americans aged 12 or older reported using cocaine in the past year. Almost 38 million reported ever using cocaine in their lifetime.
One-third of all cocaine users are women. Women experience cocaine abuse differently from men.
Women have reported stronger highs. They can also become addicted to cocaine faster.
There is research to show that women seek out drug rehab for different reasons than men. They also don’t react the same way to treatment. The reactions in their brains are also different from men.
This is why gender-specific treatment is often used.
Gender Specific Studies On Brains
During a brain study between cocaine-addicted women and cocaine-addicted men, new things were found. Men were shown to have a more significant reaction in the amygdala of their brain than women.
The amygdala is involved in sexual behavior and emotions. Women tended to have more response in emotion and cognition.
This study had a small sample size of just sixteen people, so it is not exact. It just showed a trend. So although these results aren’t concrete, it seems proof enough to help decide on separate treatments.
Other studies have also shown that men and women absorb cocaine at a different rate, just like with alcohol. Women become intoxicated faster than men do with only one drink. That is done to body mass.
When it comes to cocaine absorption, it is thought to be based on metabolism. It is also thought that increased mucus due to menstrual hormones can affect how women absorb cocaine.
It is also thought that estrogen affects specific receptors to heighten sensitivity to cocaine.