What Are the Most Common Drugs Abused by Women?

What Are the Most Common Drugs Abused by Women?

There’s no denying an addict’s gender influences (in some ways) their addiction. While men are more likely than women to use all types of illegal drugs, women are just as likely as men to develop a substance use disorder. Additionally, the reasons why men and women abuse drugs in the first place often differ, too, highlighting why seeking gender-specific addiction treatment is essential. In this article, you’ll learn about the different common drugs used by women (and potential reasons why) to further understand how drug abuse impacts women.

At Hammocks On the Edisto, we are a premier women’s treatment center in South Carolina committed to providing comprehensive substance use treatment for women to overcome their addiction and live a happier, healthier life. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you on your road to recovery.

Gender Differences & Substance Abuse

Before diving into the most common drugs used by women, it’s essential to recognize the varying gender differences when it comes to addiction, especially with women’s substance abuse. Although men may abuse illegal drugs more often, women are just as likely as men to develop a substance use disorder.

Plus, the reasoning behind why a man vs a woman chooses to abuse drugs or alcohol oftentimes differs. Many men are more influenced by peer pressure and “fitting in” when it comes to abusing drugs, while women often turn to drugs to cope with unresolved trauma or mental illness. 

Therefore, because there are key gender differences when it comes to addiction, it’s essential that an addict seeks gender-specific addiction treatment so they can receive the most tailored care focused on their unique needs to achieve long-term sobriety.

Most Common Drugs Abused By Women 

Below are the four most common drugs used by women.


Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances. Because alcohol is a legal drug that millions of people drink on a fairly regular basis, many people underestimate the fact that alcohol is an addictive substance. Since alcohol is legal and socially acceptable to be drinking, many women do not see the harm in drinking, oftentimes in excess, to either become more confident or sociable. Or, on the flip side, use alcohol as a means to mask trauma, mental illness, etc. 


Stimulants like cocaine and meth are other common drugs abused by women and are commonly thought to be both weight loss drugs and energy boosters in the eyes of some women. Therefore, some women may use these drugs wrongfully assuming they’ll gain the benefits of losing weight and becoming more energetic/productive. Unfortunately, abusing stimulants only increases a woman’s risk of developing an addiction to the drug.


Depressants like Xanax or Valium are another commonly abused drug. Although a doctor often prescribes these drugs, depressants are so commonly prescribed that the risk of addiction and developing a dependency on these drugs is overlooked. And, since far more women have typically prescribed depressants, this results in an increased likelihood of abusing such drugs.


Opiates like OxyContin or Percocet, or other opioid prescription drugs, are commonly used by women. This is because women may be at first prescribed such drugs to relieve physical ailments like chronic pain; however, due to the highly addictive nature of the drug, some women can develop a dependency on the drug over time. 

Leading South Carolina Drug Rehab For Women

Men and women face different experiences and realities when it comes to addiction. Although more men are likely to use illegal drugs, women are just as likely to develop a substance use disorder as men. This is why seeking professional women’s drug addiction treatment from a drug rehab that offers gender-specific care is important. This is because gender-specific care offers clients more tailored treatment so they can best overcome their addiction and maintain long-term sobriety.

Hammocks on the Edisto is a South Carolina drug and alcohol rehab for women committed to providing the best possible care tailored to a woman’s needs. We understand that offering gender-specific care and support is essential for women struggling with addiction to recover and live a happier, healthier life effectively. Are you struggling with addiction? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you break free of addiction for good.

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