Substances Commonly Abused by Women

The Link Between Trauma and Substance Use 

It is not abnormal to hear that undergoing a traumatic experience can lead to drug or alcohol use. Here at The Fullbrook Center, our administrators and therapists are acutely aware that trauma-induced experiences can create emotional responses where substance use can and will occur. Immediately after a traumatic event transpires, shock and denial settle in. Then, long term reactions of trauma often result in unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms. Too often, these reactions are soothed with the use of substances.

Commonly Abused Substances

Prior to our clients’ time at The Fullbrook Center, we find these substances to be some of the most frequently abused: 


Alcohol addiction, commonly known as alcoholism, is marked by a dependency or craving for alcohol. The social acceptance of drinking is one of the reasons why it’s one of the most common addictions in the United States. This addiction rarely looks the same and oftentimes differs from person to person. However, some of the many signs and symptoms of alcoholism include a strong need or urge to drink alcohol, neglecting responsibilities to binge drink, and the inability to stop drinking, despite the negative impact the substance may be having. 


Methamphetamine, referred to as Meth, is a highly potent, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Its effects such as intense excitement, boosted attention and decrease in fatigue make this an easily addictive drug. Yet, once the high disappears, negative effects like paranoia, itching sore-skin, memory loss and more begin to appear. 


Sometimes called “Benzos,” this drug is the most commonly prescribed medication in the United States. The medication is used to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. It’s often given prior to surgery as a muscle relaxer under the recognizable names, Valium and Xanax. Withdrawal from benzos can be extremely dangerous and when combined with alcohol or other medications, they become even more concerning– even leading to death at times. Signs of chronic misuse or dependency of this drug can be nonspecific but result in a change of appearance and behavior – hindering relationships and work performance. 


Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. The two types of fentanyl are pharmaceutical and illicitly manufactured. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is commonly prescribed by doctors in order to treat severe pain caused by surgery or an advanced-stages of cancer. However, most of the recent fentanyl-related overdose cases are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, distributed through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs because of its extreme potency, making them more affordable, stronger, addictive, and even more harmful.


Opiates are also among one of the many addictive substances in the United States. Millions of prescriptions are written every year, causing many people to develop an addiction on just their prescribed dose alone. This substance is commonly prescribed for a wide range of medical needs. The two main classifications of the drug are called antagonists and agonists. Antagonists, such as Naltrexone and Naloxone, are considered to be less addictive than agonists, however, the potential for misuse and addiction still exists, especially factoring in its intense calming effect. The most popular Opiate agonists are Codeine, Morphine, Methadone, Oxycodone, and more.

The Road to Recovery 

At Fullbrook, we recognize that the disease of addiction can begin to feel hopeless and even consume one’s life completely. However, recovery is possible and we see it everyday. We equip our patients with the tools, skills, knowledge, and therapeutic work that is necessary for full recovery. We have created a serene, special, and safe environment for women to heal and begin to find wellness.