Almost 6 percent of American women, that’s 7.5 million adult women, report using prescription medicines for a boost of energy, a dose of calm or other non-medical reasons, according to the latest numbers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“Many may not consider what they’re doing abuse because they’re using a prescribed drug,” says Susan R.B. Weiss, chief of NIDA’s Science Policy Branch. “Many of these medications are being taken as performance-enhancers.”
To blame may be what some are calling the superwoman syndrome. Overworked, overwhelmed and overscheduled women juggling families, friends and careers are turning to stimulants, painkillers and anti-anxiety meds to help launch them through endless to-do lists.
I have no idea whether that’s true or not – I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons people take drugs, and they probably don’t all have to do with trying to do too much. But hey. If you find yourself so overwhelmed that you need anti-anxiety meds, maybe what you need is a break instead. Take it from someone who’s gone through a few burn-outs and has learned this lesson the very (very) hard way: Less is almost always more.by