Women Who Sought Treatment for Drug Addiction at Caron Treatment Centers Cite Prescription Medication and Heroin as Leading Drugs of Choice, New Survey Reports

Affluent Women Cared for Children, Had Careers, and Volunteered for the PTA during their active addiction

Mar 05, 2014, 09:08 ET from Caron Treatment Centers

WERNERSVILLE, Pa., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Heroin and prescription drug addiction are on the rise among affluent women, reveals a new survey from Caron Treatment Centers, a leader and nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment.

The online survey polled former female patients at Caron and Hanley Center who were treated for addiction. The survey was conducted to better understand what motivated the women to seek treatment. Respondents cited alcohol and prescription drugs as the leading legal causes for seeking treatment. The majority (70%) of female respondents who abused prescription drugs said they were initially prescribed the medication legally for an emotional or physical ailment.

More than half (55%) of the respondents who entered treatment for an addiction to illegal drugs were abusing heroin, which experts at Caron and Hanley confirm is a primary illegal drug of choice for female patients. Women cited anxiety (65%), depression (67%), and a critical internal voice (69%) as significant factors that contributed to their addiction. Although a majority of the women polled were married with children, they were most likely to abuse alcohol or drugs when they were alone.

"Addiction impacts individuals and families from all walks of life," said Michelle Maloney, Executive Director of Treatment Services at Hanley Center, a Caron Treatment Center. "Female addicts often experience a lot of shame about using alcohol and drugs. They often feel they are the only ones with these problems. But we want them to know they are not alone. There are millions of women in recovery and all women deserve to get the help they need to live a healthy and productive life."

Caron chose to release the survey findings during Women's History Month to recognize female leaders who paved the way for women to have access to treatment and continue to educate the public on addiction. Pioneers like Catherine Caron, Betty Ford and Mary Jane Hanley showed tremendous courage and conviction to improving the lives of all women and their families. However, there is still significant education needed to discredit the myths and stereotypes about addicts and empower women to seek the help they need.

Additional notable statistics from the survey include:

  • 65% of respondents were between the ages of 36-55 when they entered treatment.
  • 61% of respondents had a household income of $100,000 or more when they entered treatment; 52.6% have children
  • 90% of respondents used alcohol and drugs to cope with stress
  • Top three stressors were relationships with their parents, siblings (63%), romantic relationships (60%) and work (49%).  
  • 74% said they kept up personal hygiene and appearance, 66% were social with friends and family, and 61% held a job during their active addiction; 50% cared for children and 40% volunteered for the PTA.

Leslie, a former patient at Caron who is now nearly two years sober, recalls her experience as an addicted nurse. "In addition to alcohol and Xanax, I did something I still find hard to believe – I started injecting some of the drugs from work, hoping to treat the drinking, alleviate the stress, and sleep at night.  It was as if I was watching myself do it and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but I did it anyway."

Leslie has since regained her nursing licenses, which she had willingly surrendered before entering treatment. She is taking her life one day at a time and feels thankful for her treatment at Caron and for the love and support of her family.

The survey was conducted in January and February 2014 among 102 former patients within the Caron Treatment Centers continuum. With the help of individualized treatment and recovery plans for themselves and their families, Caron Treatment Centers' alumni feel empowered, self-sufficient, and healthy. If you are seeking help or looking to learn more about substance abuse, please visit: http://www.caron.org.

About Caron Treatment Centers
Together, Caron and Hanley Treatment Centers comprise one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit addiction treatment providers in the country, focused on a 12-Step recovery program with a powerful clinical component. The Caron Treatment Centers network operates treatment centers in Wernersville, PA and Dallas, TX. In South Florida, Caron operates lifesaving addiction treatment services at Hanley Center, Caron Ocean Drive and Caron Renaissance in Palm Beach County; and Gate Lodge in Vero Beach. Caron also has regional offices in Atlanta, Boston, Bermuda, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. For more information on Caron please visit Caron online or follow us on Twitter @CaronTreatment.

SOURCE Caron Treatment Centers