Young Women, Drinking and Drugs
|Many people have
trouble dealing with alcohol or other drugs. Women can be
especially vulnerable to these problems and sometimes
feel helpless or reluctant to seek help. They may either
be chemically dependent or codependent, living their
lives in an unhealthy attempt to take care of a
chemically dependent person. Special programs for
codependent and chemically dependent women can help them
build happier and more confident lives.
Abuse of alcohol or other drugs can have many negative effects on a woman's physical and emotional health. She may experience health problems, including liver disease and infertility. If she drives while intoxicated, she puts her life and others' lives in jeopardy. And if she uses alcohol or other drugs while pregnant, she may cause permanent health and behavioral problems for her child. Drug abuse can also result in behavior which can damage the close relationships in her life.
Drugs and Pregnancy
When a woman drinks or takes other drugs, her baby gets whatever she takes. Alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, street drugs and even over-the-counter remedies can all be harmful, even in very small doses. Drugs may increase the risk of premature delivery, stillbirth, miscarriage or early death of the infant. They can cause sleeping problems, deformities and mental retardation. They can lead to learning problems, hyperactivity or poor coordination in the growing child. As little as one drink a week has been shown to increase the risk of stillbirth or miscarriage. There is no known safe dosage of alcohol, and many other drugs are equally dangerous. Even caffeine may be dangerous to unborn children.
For your own health and happiness, and for your fetus if you're pregnant, don't use alcohol or drugs. If you're using alcohol or other drugs and want help, try a 12-step program or a health professional who is knowledgeable about chemical dependency issues. Your school counselor can provide you with referrals.