Recovery Plus Recovery Plus essential reference your library’s for your essential addiction-reference recovery library From DBrecoveryresources.com June 2015 Feb - 2016 May 2016 21 About the author For men and women in active addiction, or accessing treatment, or in recovery, what are the similarities and differences? Paul Hokemeyer did the research for you and gives his findings. Younger women and older men develop more medical consequences of addiction than men. This is a function of key enzymes – dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase – and body composition. These two enzymes break down alcohol in the stomach and liver. Younger women and older men have less of these enzymes in their system. As a result, younger women (<50) and older men (>70) absorb alcohol into the bloodstream more quickly and intensely5. In addition, compared to a man’s, a woman’s body contains less water and more fatty tissue. Alcohol-related problems such as brain atrophy and liver damage occur more rapidly in women than in men. Women develop more social consequences from addiction than men. There is much greater stigma attached to a woman’s use and abuse of alcohol and drugs than a man’s. Women – and, in particular, mothers – are subjected to shame and ridicule. As a result, their use tends to be more “hidden” than it is among men. Women suffer from higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders than men. Lifetime rates of mood and anxiety disorders are significantly higher among women than men, with and without substance-use disorders6. The most common mood disorder among women was reported as major depressive disorder (15.4%) and the most common anxiety disorder was specific phobia (15.6%)7. When provided with the proper social and therapeutic supports, women are just as likely to recover as men. Paul Hokemeyer JD, PhD is an internationally recognised expert on cultural competency in the treatment of mental health and addictive disorders. He is senior clinical adviser to Caron Ocean Drive, a licensed marriage and family therapist, former attorney, judicial law clerk and law review editor. He holds a BA in economics, MA in clinical psychology, PhD in psychology and a doctorate in law (JD). Lambert Academic Press, Addiction Professional and Family Therapy Magazine have published his research. Dr Hokemeyer is part of the Dr Oz Show panel of experts and is a Fox News analyst. He contributes regularly on psychology to Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN’s Prime News and has been q uoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Johns Hopkins Newsletter, The Washington Post, and more.
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