The differences between men and women are important when women seek out treatment for substance abuse. Drug and alcohol treatment programs have to be specifically modified to address your needs as a woman. Not only are there are different concerns for women before they come into treatment, but while they are in the program as well. Therapies that work for men in an alcohol and drug treatment setting will not work the same for you as a woman.
Experts in drug and alcohol treatment concur that treatment for women suffering from substance abuse has to be considered from the context of a woman’s life. This will include your immediate family relationships, extended family, other support systems, and economic and social environment. Fortunately the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration codified these specific needs for women who are addicted in the Treatment Improvement Protocol 51.
Principles and Concerns for Treating Women
Some of the main concerns and principles in treating you as a woman suffering from addiction include the following:
- Understanding the significance and important role that personal relationships play in the lives of women
- Accepting the importance of care giving roles in women’s lives
- Recognizing that expectations of women are different than they are for men
- Working from a perspective that trauma is often involved for women
- Utilizing a treatment model based on strengths with women
- Working in a multi-disciplined, developmental approach for treating women
It is also important to have an environment in which women feel safe and secure for this treatment to be effective. Females suffering from drug addiction often lack stability in their home environment. Triggers for Drugs Are Different for Women There are many different factors for you as a woman that will influence your abuse of substances. Women tend to suffer from these more than men do. Women often turn to drugs because of too much stress, poor relationships at home, and the negative effects of these.
Sadly, boyfriends, close friends, or even family members most commonly introduce women to illicit substances or alcohol. Your genetics can be a substantial risk factor in substance abuse as a woman, but more evidence supports the negative influence of family as the primary cause. As one example, parents who abuse alcohol increase the likelihood of alcohol disorders in women by more than 50 percent. Challenges and Obstacles for Women Seeking Treatment As a woman you deal with a range of obstacles and challenges to getting effective treatment.
Some of these include:
- Fear of losing custody of children
- Negative stigma associated with women abusing substances
- Insufficient resources for women taking care of children
- Limited choices for women who are pregnant
- Insufficient encouragement from support network for treatment
Treatment center counselors will work to help you rise above personal fears, insufficient motivation to go into treatment, and shame of needing help. In the end it is up to you to accept the help being offered. Drug and alcohol treatment centers will work with you to address more than just your personal disorder and its severity. They also consider the proximity of the facility to your home, your personal financial situation, and any healthcare coverage that you have. Rehab Centers Offer Flexible Help for Women Rehab centers offer flexible treatment for women in need of recovery help.
After the initial days of detox have been completed, they will work with women on an intensive outpatient basis so that you can still keep up with your responsibilities for your children, schooling, or your job. Some women will need medically managed or residential inpatient treatment in order to make an effective recovery. The treatment centers also comprehend this and will work with child placement, children services, and pregnancy issues and concerns. They also understand the special concerns women have by providing help with life skills, treatment services for affected children and family members, and needs for coordinating with mental health and other medical services.
In Conclusion In order for you to have the greatest chances for a successful recovery, it is important for you as a woman to be actively involved in the stages of treatment placement and planning. This will boost the likelihood of your full treatment, lasting recovery, and empowerment. You do not have to face your substance abuse alone. If you are ready to talk with someone, our caring counselors are waiting to hear from you 24 hours per day at 833-762-3739.