Drugrehab.us recently reported on the downside of what many people are calling “superwomen syndrome.” This term refers to the pressure women today feel to “do-it-all.” From raising children, to excelling at work, to keeping up a fit physique, women are bombarded on all sides by the pressure to be perfect. Of course the images that flash around us, day in and day out, in the form of glossy magazine covers, advertisements on the sides of buildings and on billboards, and unrealistic movies and television shows don’t help. Even our own, often overly critical, self-images can be sabotaging. But the news that many women are now reaching for prescription drugs to keep up is beyond saddening. Recent studies have shown that women are more likely to abuse prescription medications, while men are more likely to abuse street drugs.

“Today attractive, well-educated, professional women are using pills to help them meet and exceed the high expectations placed upon them by themselves and others. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than seven million women in this country have used prescription drugs to pep themselves up, calm themselves down or help stay at their physical and mental peak…. American women tend to view using prescription stimulants, painkillers and anti-anxiety medications in this way as something other than criminal. Most often, women report misusing prescription drugs, like Adderall, as a way to improve their performance at work, home and in the gym without considering that they are actually living as drug abusers. Government agencies report that the number of prescribed stimulants (like Adderall) has increased three fold over the last 10 years. Sometimes women are abusing their own prescriptions and sometimes they resort to pilfering the prescriptions of their own children and friends.”

We urge women who have fallen into this trap of Superwoman Syndrome and prescription drug abuse to seek treatment immediately. For the rest of us, we can only try not to perpetuate the skewed societal stereotype of the perfect women in our own families.