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Why Moms are Drinking and Using Drugs

By HERWriter Guide
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what makes moms drink and use drugs Dmitriy Raykin/PhotoSpin

"Motherhood is hard. If it were easy, fathers would do it"- Dorothy Zbornak, a character from the Golden Girls once said. She's right, not that fatherhood is an easy thing either.

But mothers are the parents who carry the babies, are usually the primary caregivers, and often work full-time too. And for women without the means to have household or family help, every day is a 16-hour day, something that can take its toll.

Another thing that women face is great societal pressure to assume some kind of perfectionist role. Women should work, look good, look slim, have kids, make good money. They should be the best wives, partners, girlfriends, friends, aunts, daughters and moms they can be.

If you are apt to try to reach those standards, failure is an option -- a valid option -- because perfection is not attainable. We're human, not machines. And it's from both our successes and failures that we emerge as valuable and interesting women.

But for some mothers, the pressures can be too much, and rather than seek comfort in spouses, friends, exercise or rest (which they may or may not have access to) they self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

Caron Treatment Centers, a non-profit that provides rehabilitation services to those with drug or alcohol dependency, found that there are several key reasons why mothers engage in substance abuse. They are boredom, pressure from family and friends, trauma, stress, or being in a bad relationship.

Mothers are less inclined to seek help (even when they know they need it) for fear of leaving their children and those consequences. However, many said that they would be more inclined to go to rehab if their families were behind them.

Additionally, women felt that as long as their lives looked good, or even "perfect" from the outside, they could cope, despite personal suffering on the inside.

Mothers are bombarded with tips on how to be a great mom, cook, career woman and spouse. These stressors are what most women say trigger a need to abuse drugs or alcohol.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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