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Drinking, Drugs, and Women
Alcohol and substance use disorder can seriously impact women's lives.
Many people have trouble dealing with alcohol or drugs. But women have some special risk factors that make them more vulnerable. Some women may feel helpless or reluctant to seek help. Some women are chemically dependent. Others are codependent. This means they're trying to care for and control a chemically dependent person. There are programs for codependent and chemically dependent women. These programs can help them build happier and more confident lives.
What's the impact?
Alcohol and substance use can seriously impact women's lives. If a woman abuses alcohol or drugs, she could face:
- Ruined relationships, as family and friends lose love and trust for her
- Job loss
- Health problems, including liver disease and infertility
- Accidents or car crashes
- Permanent birth defects or other problems in her unborn child
Drugs and Pregnancy
When a pregnant woman drinks or takes drugs, her baby pays the price. Alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, street drugs, and even over-the-counter medicine can all be harmful, even in very small doses. Recent research shows that smoking tobacco or marijuana, taking prescription pain relievers, or using illegal drugs during pregnancy is associated with double or even triple the risk of stillbirth.1 There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.2
What are some suggestions to help?
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the risks of alcohol and substance use disorder:
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant? Avoid alcohol and drugs. And ask your doctor before using over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
- Having trouble controlling your drug use? Get help from 12-step programs or health providers who are familiar with women’s dependency issues.
- Do you need child care, financial help, job training, or emergency shelter? Help is out there. Try your healthcare provider, 12-step program office, or local women’s center. They can connect you with programs that offer the help you need.
Cigna Healthcare Can Help
If you have coverage through Cigna HealthcareSM, we are available by phone at
1National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Use While Pregnant and Breastfeeding, accessed July 15, 2021
2 Alcohol Use in Pregnancy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 24, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html
This material is provided by Cigna Healthcare for informational/educational purposes only. It is not medical/clinical advice. Only a health care provider can make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment plan. For more information about your behavioral health benefits, you can call the member services or behavioral health telephone number listed on your health care ID card.
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Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna Healthcare name, logo, and other Cigna Healthcare marks are owned by The Cigna Group Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of The Cigna Group.
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