Moms and Drug Abus
Ten years ago, it was reported that at least 18 million women aged 26 and older take prescription medications for unintended purposes. Today, that number is even higher, and many of those abusing drugs include women who are moms. Some are surprised to find out how many moms deal with drug abuse, but it must be remember that no one is immune to addiction and drug abuse. Moms are just as vulnerable to drug abuse as anyone else and may turn to drugs to avoid guilt, stress, boredom, or any number of other things. Today, an increasing number of moms are becoming addicted to pain medications.
The most commonly abused prescription drugs by moms include: sedatives, muscle relaxants, and opioid painkillers. Just like so many others, most moms started out their drug use legitimately—that is, they received a prescription from their doctor for a valid health issue. However, some moms continue to use and abuse the drug they were safely prescribed after their treatment for the health issue is resolved.
Further, other drug addictions that seem to be rising with moms include alcohol addiction and abuse, and marijuana use. Becoming aware of triggers that may turn moms toward drug abuse can stop the addictions before they start. These triggers increase vulnerability and include: past trauma (such as being abused as a child), a family history of drug abuse problems, a history of drug or alcohol addiction, and the presence of mental health conditions (such as depression).
Also noteworthy is that many moms experience depression and stress after giving birth and these heightened reactions to the hormonal changes and lifestyle changes that occur can increase a mom’s vulnerability to addiction. In fact, any period of heightened stress increases the risk of using and depending on prescription drugs to feel better.
A main reason for the rise in prescription drug abuse by moms is the same as for everyone else: prescription drugs can be obtained and purchased relatively easy. Moms may lie or or buy from less legitimate pharmacies online in order to maintain their drug habits. These factors have directly impacted the rise in prescription drug abuse among all groups of people. Some people simply think that if a doctor prescribes medicine it will not cause any harm. Understanding side effects and addiction tendencies, and drugs that build tolerance, can also prevent further drug abuse issues. It is important to remember that no on is immune to addiction, even moms.