National Women Touched by Addiction Day Date in the current year: July 23, 2024

National Women Touched by Addiction Day National Women Touched by Addiction Day is observed annually on July 23. It was created to help combat stigma surrounding addiction in women and celebrate the resilience of women who have struggled with addiction firsthand or dealt with addiction of a loved one.

For decades, most research on substance abuse has focused on men. The first studies on addiction that included women as participants were carried out in the 1990s. Since then, a number of differences in the effects of addiction on men and women have been discovered. Some of them stem from neurobiological differences between men and women, while others are societal.

For example, the prevalence of substance use disorders has been reported higher in men, but women are more likely to transition from substance abuse to addiction. Men are more likely to use illicit substances due to peer pressure, while for women, the development of substance use disorder is often the result of a trauma: survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault may become dependent on alcohol, prescription or illicit drugs to cope with their past or ongoing trauma.

Research has shown that women are more likely to self-medicate with illicit substances, suffer side effects from substance abuse, have co-morbid mental health disorders, and experience intense cravings. Women affected by addictive disorders are more vulnerable than men and less likely to seek help and enter treatment.

Women also tend to be disproportionately affected by societal factors of addiction. For example, women still bear the brunt of childcare, even in developed countries, which means that mothers are held to a higher standard of parenting than fathers and judged more harshly if they develop a substance abuse problem.

National Women Touched by Addiction Day was launched in 2021 by Mending Hearts, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that helps women affected by substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health issues through a variety of programs such as medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment center, peer support community with recovery housing, intensive outpatient program, and partial hospitalization program.

The main goals of National Women Touched by Addiction Day are to encourage open conversations about addiction in women and help remove stigma surrounding it, empower women recovering from addiction, and help them build the resilience they need to move forward with their lives.

Mending Hearts encourages women to show their support for women who have been affected by addiction by posting a photo on social media where they hold up just one finger. The organizers of National Women Touched by Addiction Day hope that this will show women struggling with addiction that they are not alone and encourage them to seek help.

Other ways to join the awareness campaign include donating to or volunteering at an organization that helps women affected by addiction and their families and spreading the word on social media with the hashtags #WTBADay and #WomenTouchedByAddiction.

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National Women Touched by Addiction Day, Mending Hearts, observances in the US, awareness days, addiction in women