In the August, 2006 issue of Online Psychiatry there is an interesting article on how the hormonal cycle in women may influence relapse in women in recovery. It is an intriguing hypothesis and well worth considering as one of the many factors that may indicate the need for substance abuse treatment approaches to be customized for people based on sex.
Women become dependent more rapidly than men after initial cocaine, opioid, or alcohol use and may be more sensitive to drugs’ adverse health effects.1 And although men and women relapse to substance use at similar rates, ovulating women may be particularly vulnerable to relapse at certain times of the month.
Understanding the hormonal influences that increase women’s relapse risk can help you intervene more effectively. This article describes:
how women’s relapse patterns differ from men’s
why psychotherapy and hormone regulation may be preferred for relapse prevention in women with substance use disorders.
Link: Current Psychiatry Online.