Women are presented with a unique set of circumstances and challenges in life, especially when it comes to drug abuse and addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), scientists who have studied women with drug abuse and addiction have found several factors which are unique to women, and the ways in which they abuse and become addicted to drugs. Some of these struggles and factors include, but are not limited to:
- Women have unique reasons for abusing drugs, which they, themselves have described as:
- weight control
- fighting fatigue
- coping with physical or emotional pain
- self-medicating mental health problems
- Women tend to use drugs in smaller doses and over a shorter period of time than men, before they become addicted.
- Hormones can make women more sensitive to the effects of drugs than men.
- Women who abuse drugs can experience more physical effects on their heart and blood vessels.
- Women who are victims of domestic violence are at an increased risk of drug abuse.
- Women are more likely to go to the emergency room, or die from substance abuse.
- Women who abuse drugs are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, or have panic attacks.
While these tendencies are not the case for every women, significant research supports the idea that women not only experience a shorter period of time from first use, to addiction with drugs, but also need more support in treatment, especially women with children.
These are all important factors in women’s only drug rehab programs, but the benefits of these rehabs goes far beyond these initial supporting factors.
What Are the Benefits of Women’s Only Drug Rehab?
Finding the most effective form of treatment is important for each individual in need of help. There are several important reasons why a women’s only drug rehab may be necessary for effective treatment, and there are several other additional benefits to make such treatment even more effective for the female population.
Why Women Only Drug Rehab is Needed
There is a certain population of women in need of drug rehab, for whom gender specific programs are strongly recommended. This population is specific to those women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and/or caring for young children.
Drug abuse and addiction already take a tremendous toll on women’s bodies and vital organs, but when a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, these damages can have detrimental, and even fatal effects on her child.
Substance abuse and detox are different for pregnant women
Drug abuse during pregnancy can cause an increased risk to an unborn baby, and even result in a miscarriage. The process of detox for women who are pregnant requires much more care, as an unborn baby is experiencing the same thing as the mother, so special care for both lives must be considered.
Women with young children may be more reluctant to seek treatment due to concern for child care.
When women with young children or breastfeeding babies are in need of drug rehab, one of the top concerns is often the care of their child, during their rehab process. For many of these mothers, surrendering their child or children to state custody is not an option.
Many women-only drug rehabs are equipped with child care facilities on the premises, or have off-site child care facilities where mothers can still maintain contact with their young children during their time in rehab.
Women who have been the victims of domestic abuse, or any abuse at the hands of a man in their lives are far less likely to be responsive in a mixed-gender rehab program.
It is a well known fact that individuals who have been the victims of traumatic events in life are at an increased risk of developing PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Along with combat, abuse is one of the most common causes of PTSD. For women who have suffered at the hands of another man, mixed-gender rehab can present a tremendous blockage from progress. Trying to confront personal challenges and issues, in the presence of other men, symbolic of their abuse trauma, can stymy the ability for an abused woman to eventually outgrow her PTSD surrounding that trauma, and find healing.
Additional Benefits of Women Only Drug Rehab
There are several reasons why a women-only drug rehab may be needed, but there are additional benefits to a women’s rehab program, which serve to enhance the efficacy of the program, and promote a sense of belonging, bonding, and deeper healing.
As with any individual in a group setting, the more commonalities there are within the group, the more likely each individual is to be an active and willing participant in the program.
Although rehab is the first step toward a heathy and sober life, the path leading to treatment is typically riddled with trauma, unhealthy decisions, and destructive behavior. The ability to accept these missteps in life, face the issues which may have contributed to drug abuse, and find a personal path to healing, requires support from a peer group.
For many women, being able to share experiences unique to women, creates a bond between them, a level of trust that each will not be judged or belittled, just for being a woman.
This bonding through commonality helps to break down defenses, which stand in the way of real progress.
Additionally, most women-only drug rehabs consist of program details which directly appeal to women’s paths of healing. Some of these details can be the inclusion of yoga, pilates, massage therapy, and many include workshops specifically geared towards trauma healing.
Women are effected differently than men from physical and emotional trauma. Since addiction treatment is a personal journey, it stands to reason that a women’s rehab program would be more effective in addressing, and promoting the healing of the core issues connected to a woman’s drug abuse. Each individual struggling with drug abuse and addiction should have a safe and comfortable environment in a treatment facility. While a women-only drug rehab may not be the best choice for every woman in need of treatment, it is one more option to strongly consider, when searching for the most effective approach to health and sobriety.
Finding a Woman’s Drug Rehab
There are more than 14,000 addiction treatment facilities and programs in the United States, and a variety of different approaches to substance abuse and healing. Whether it is a mixed population or gender specific, any woman in need of drug rehab has a plethora of options, but likely not as many recurring opportunities to find the best choice. This is why it is so important to understand individual needs, and how each treatment program can work with you to address them.
If you, or a loved one needs help with drug abuse or addiction treatment, and are unsure of where to find the best options, our treatment consultants are standing by to take your confidential call. No matter what the personal circumstances, we can help you to determine, and locate the most effective women’s drug rehab program for yourself and your family.
Trauma may have paved the path to addiction, but addiction creates more trauma each day that it goes untreated. Please don’t wait for more damage to be done, and call us now. We are here to help.