The days in which drug abuse was primarily associated with males are well and truly over. Nowadays, an increasing number of women are turning to recreational drugs and alcohol to relieve the pressures of everyday life. But these women aren’t the dregs of society, nor are they “on the streets” they are highly intelligent businesswomen in powerful positions with a lot of pressure on their shoulders.
A 2011 study from Cardiff University revealed that women with higher IQ’s were more likely to experiment with illegal substances during their thirties. As women have gained equality in society their positions within the workplace have become higher and more women are filling executive positions that were once dominated by male workers. The fact is, these jobs often carry immense pressure and women are turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of escape – often from the strains of working and family life combined.
Cocaine and Glamour
Cocaine is a particularly popular choice of drug for women, perhaps due to the fact it’s been glamorised. From Hollywood actresses to supermodels, it seems many female icons are indulging in the white powder. This is perhaps why middle-class women pick it as their drug of choice; it’s not seen as “dirty” like heroin and even marijuana, rather it’s seen as a drug taken by celebrities with a high social status and often comes with a high price tag.
Cocaine however, poses many health risks for its abusers and is a highly addictive drug. Some people go from success and power to ruin through drug use, much like the very recent death of the late Whitney Houston – a global superstar who lost everything through drug misuse.
Cocaine is a stimulant which produces a feeling of euphoria when snorted, smoked or injected. It’s incredibly addictive; many people chase the feeling of euphoria they get the first time they take the drug, with little success. Many users switch from snorting to smoking or injecting rather quickly as it provides a bigger “high” and larger problems.
Using illegal substances can bring about severe embarrassment and shame, particularly for women of success. Getting caught in possession of illegal substances can involve being arrested, fined and even imprisoned depending on the quantity found on the person. Aside from having to pay criminal solicitors fees to help bail them out, they also have to endure the embarrassment and shame from family members, friends and colleagues.
Alcohol and the Workplace
It’s not just illegal substances that women turn to; a very much legal and mainstream substance also poses health threats to businesswomen: alcohol. It’s readily accessible and socially acceptable to drink, after work drinks or having a few glasses of wine at home hardly raises eyebrows from family and friends. But even minimal levels of alcohol can pose health risks.
Drinking alcohol affects the quality of sleep that the consumer gets, this can cause them to be tired the next day and increase stress levels and fatigue even further. It can also lower the immune system, making drinkers more susceptible to contagious viruses this may result in them taking time off work and can make workloads unmanageable for businesswomen with lots of responsibilities.
Alternative Methods of De-Stressing
There are many alternative methods of de-stressing for busy women who are trying to juggle their work and home lives. Yoga is an incredibly popular form of exercise (especially among females) and is renowned for relieving tension. It has long term health benefits, rather than health risks, for those who practice it so it’s a far better choice of hobby than drug abuse!
Seeking therapy or talking about past issues can help females to combat drug abuse. Many women who seek solace in alcohol and drug misuse have experienced abuse or bullying at some time in their lives. Therapy has helped many people to ditch the drugs and put their problems behind them. Anyone woman who is drinking as a result of workplace bullying should speak to their employer or trade union to resolve the matter and prevent further compromising their health.
About the author: Stephanie Staszko enjoys writing posts based on recruitment for both candidates and recruiters alike. Previous topics covered include job seeking advice for the unemployed, unemployment statistics and hiring strategies. You can follow her on Twitter @StephStaz for more recruiting and job seeking posts or just drop by for a chat!