LIFESTYLE

Women Are More Likely To Get Addicted To Cocaine Than Men

21/11/2014 15:14 GMT | Updated 21/11/2014 15:59 GMT

Cocaine use, even if it's occasional, can soon lead to dependence. But did you know that women are more likely to become addicted than men?

Women are more sensitive to the effects of cocaine and more susceptible to cocaine abuse than men, according to an article titled 'Cocaine Shifts the Estrus Cycle Out of Phase and Caffeine Restores It'.

The article states the drug's ability to disrupt a woman's estrus cycle may explain the sex differences in cocaine addiction.

woman looking out window

The New York researchers examined vaginal smears before and after cocaine use. The process was then repeated with caffeine injections and combinations of caffeine and cocaine.

Cocaine was found to directly shift the estrus cycle, thereby changing a woman's estrogen levels.

However, caffeine did not affect the estrus cycle, nor did a combination of cocaine and caffeine.

Unlike treatment for heroin, there are currently no medicines that can substitute for powder cocaine, crack cocaine and other stimulants.

Blogging on HuffPost Women, Christina Huffington described the difficulities of living with cocaine addiction.

"The first time I tried it was perfect. One line erased my doubts, my fears and my insecurities. I was euphoric.

"I chased that high on and off, but I never found it again. I found self-hatred. I found pure selfishness. I found bloody noses, heart palpitations and paranoia. I found myself alone on my knees at 6am searching for that one last hit," she said.

Thankfully the new findings suggest that caffeine treatment could be used to help women who are suffering like Christina once was.

As Patricia A. Broderick, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Caffeine Research, said: "This is cutting-edge work that has never been shown before. It is critical knowledge relevant to women's reproductive health."

The article is published in 'Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science' and is available to read online here.

H/T: Eurekalert.org

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