Most people do not want to admit that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but for women the admission can be even more difficult. With many responsibilities, from family to work, women often try to hide their addiction from those around them while they try to get it under control. The level of alcohol abuse among women has been steadily rising over the past decade, especially between the ages of 30 and 50. Research has shown that these women are less likely to seek help, and instead try to overcome addiction on their own while hiding it from loved ones.
Using Drugs or Alcohol Only When Alone
Perhaps the easiest way to hide drug or alcohol addiction is by not allowing others to see you using these substances. Many women who want to hide their addictions will take drugs or drink alcohol only in secret, which often differs from men who tend to drink or use drugs in the company of friends and others.
Avoid Intoxication in Front of Others
Even for women who are using drugs or alcohol to cope with a feeling that they are having trouble “keeping up” with those around them, there is often a tendency to avoid becoming overly intoxicated or being under the influence out in public. They may have one or two drinks socially with friends, reserving their heavy drinking for a time when she is home alone during the middle of the day (when a spouse is at work and children at school), or after others who live in the house have gone to bed.
Devising Ways to Avoid Detection
For other women, the desire to use drugs or alcohol is great enough that they will find ways to drink or take drugs in front of others without being detected as such. That might mean drinking alcohol that they believe is harder to detect on the breath (such as vodka), or disguising alcohol in other drinks such as coffee or in a sports drink.
Hiding it in the House
Being able to use drugs or alcohol means having those items available when you want to consume them, so women may also hide these things in the house where they are more accessible, but where others will not find them. Devising creative hiding places where others might not look allows her to use without others noticing that these things are in the house.
Why Women Hide Addiction
Perhaps even more important than knowing how a person might hide their addiction is understanding why. Women who feel that they cannot control their dependence on alcohol or drugs might worry that asking for help would mean jeopardizing their relationship with children, causing them to lose their home, family, and their job if anyone finds out. They may also believe that their family or professional responsibilities are too important, and put off seeking professional care as a result.
If you or a woman you love is suffering from addiction, find out what help is available and how beneficial it can be at Annie’s House.