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What can increase a woman's odds of developing a substance use disorder?

The following factors can increase a woman's odds of developing a substance use disorder:

  • Poor self-esteem is a major issue for most women who develop problems with drugs and alcohol. 
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse. Physical and sexual violence against women is common when one or both partners have been drinking or using drugs. Women also are more likely to drink or use drugs when their partners do.
  • Depression, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Women who abuse alcohol also have much higher rates of eating disorders.
  • Family history. Researchers know that there is a strong family (genetic) component to addiction. If you have a family history of addiction, you should be aware of your risk for developing dependency, especially during stressful periods in your life.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.