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The Different Affects Of Drug Abuse Among Genders

992 words - 4 pages

As seen in Long Days Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill, drug abuse affects women and men differently. Mary Tyrone seems to be affected mentally by her morphine addiction, whereas the men, Tyrone, Jamie, Edmund, in the household appear to be affected physically by their alcohol addiction. Cynthia Robbins’s “Sex Differences in Psychosocial Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse” supports the different effects of drug abuse among men and women. She examines three different hypotheses concerning gender differences in the impact of alcohol and drug abuse. She claims that the generalized view of women being more vulnerable lies on physical vulnerability, social control and labeling, and ...view middle of the document...

Work inside the home included taking care of the house and family. Thus, if a woman was abusing substances, she could not physically take care of her family. Furthermore, Robbins says that substance abuse affects women in adverse ways.
Robbins states that women are more vulnerable to adverse intrapsychic consequences of substance abuse, while men are vulnerable to certain behavioral and interpersonal consequences. This is seen in Mary and Tyrone’s characters in Long Days Journey Into Night. Mary’s intrapsychic consequences are seen when she hallucinates and begins imagining her father and the missed opportunities in her life. She imagines when she was young, wanting to be a nun and pianist. Adverse intrapsychic consequences can be seen from the morphine abuse when Mary makes an entrance wearing a blue robe, with her white wedding dress over her arm, returning from her memory and psychological reality to the time before her marriage (Meaney 211). It is there that one can see Mary’s temporary incapacity to handle her nurturant role obligations. On page 120-121, Edmund writes,
The hardest thing to take is the blank wall she build around her. Or it’s more like a blank of fog in which she hides and loses herself. Deliberately, that’s the hell of it! You know some thing in her does it deliberately- to get geyond our reach, to be rid of us, to forget we’re alive! It’s as if, in spite of loving us, she hated us! (O’Neill 120-121).
As best explained by Meaney, when Mary retreats into a time before her marriage, she denies the reality of her husband and sons. Mary’s establishment of herself in this role offers no hope of renewal or salvation or nurture.
Cynthia Robbin’s article states that women addicts experience greater shame, guilt, and depression regarding their substance abuse, while men addicts experience job loss, accidents, interpersonal violence, and arrests. This is evident in Long Days Journey Into Night, as...

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