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What is the Most Common Drug Abused by Women?

Addiction lacks prejudice, when it comes down to it everyone can be a victim no matter their creed, race, or sex. Generally speaking, we are all equally susceptible to falling prey to it.

But given biological and social disparities, women and men could react differently to the way they consume substances and the types of substances they prefer to abuse.

Let’s have a look at some of the drugs commonly abused by women.

Differences In Addiction Between Men and Women

If we take a close look at addiction data we can notice some differences in the way addiction affects women and men.

For one thing, women’s substance abuse data shows that they are less likely to abuse nearly all kinds of drugs than men.  However, this does not mean men are more susceptible to addiction than women.

On the contrary, data shows that they are not just as likely to develop an addiction as men do, but they are actually more likely to relapse and more susceptible to cravings.

In fact, substance abuse is more likely to lead to emergency room visits or fatal overdoses in women.

Researchers generally point towards biological and social factors as the reason behind these differences. 

Social differences include:

  • Childcare responsibilities
  • Pregnancy
  • Addiction stigma
  • Relationships dynamics
  • Gender dynamics

Biological differences include:

  • Weight
  • Hormonal differences
  • Body size

Most Common Drug Abused by Women

It’s estimated that close to 20 million women in the US (15.4%) have used illicit drugs, a considerably high number of the population. But not all drugs hold the same relevance for women.

Let’s dive into each of the drugs most commonly abused by women.


There is evidence that women prefer the rewarding effects of stimulants which could be in part due to hormonal differences.

The same reports show that women might have an inclination towards amphetamines due to their energetic and weight loss effects.

Females are typically more dependent on amphetamines than men. Making stimulants one of the top drugs commonly abused by women.


There is research suggesting that MDMD could induce stronger hallucinations in women than it does in men. However, the drug also strikes harder on the way down as women reported feeling more depressed after using the drug than men did.

While young women tend to have a stronger preference for MDMA, they are unfortunately more likely to die from swelling in the brain caused by over hydration induced by MDMA.


Alcohol is not only the most commonly abused drug in America but it’s also the most popular among women. Drinking is most common among young women between 20 and 30 who are unmarried. 

While drinking is popular among females. It’s also most detrimental to their health. Over the long term, it’s more likely to damage their health than a man’s.

Women also metabolize alcohol differently than men do, due to a lack of the enzymes that help break it down. This causes a higher concentration of ethanol in their blood than man.


Benzodiazepines have long been a preferred drug by women, this could be largely due to the fact that women are prescribed depressants more often than men. 

Two out of three prescriptions for depressants are given to women as they tend to be more prompt to diagnosis which might require the prescription of depressants like Xanax or Valium. 

This disparity in the prescription of the drug could be partly at fault for the imbalance between men’s and women’s abuse of depressants.

Help for Women

All forms of treatment are suitable for women, although there are specific resources that are offered for females like women-only 12-step groups.

Regardless of the addiction, women’s substance abuse can be detrimental and dangerous which is why it’s critical for them to get immediate help.

At Outpatient LA we offer treatment for women as well as luxurious privacy that can allow you or your loved one to feel safe in a welcoming and caring environment.

Contact Outpatient LA today and speak to one of our admission professionals— when it comes to women’s substance abuse we got you covered!

Get Real Help for Addiction Right Now.

Outpatient Los Angeles is available day or night to help you find the best treatment options that meet your personal needs.