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Drug Rehabs for Women

Some addiction treatment facilities provide gender-specific rehab services. Gender-specific addiction treatment refers to a program designed specifically to treat men and women separately. Because men and women tend to use drugs and alcohol differently, it is reasonable to believe they also face different obstacles and challenges while in addiction treatment and recovery. Drug rehabs for women address these differences and allow for healing in a safe and supportive environment that caters to the unique needs of women.

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how addiction affects women

Substance Abuse and Women

When discussing gender-specific rehab, it is important to note that while individual gender preferences can be non-binary, men and women biologically experience addiction differently. National statistics indicate biological gender is an essential element that must be addressed when examining substance abuse patterns. Biology also plays a role in when people start using. Women often begin using due to needing a coping mechanism for symptoms related to a traumatic experience. Many women also start using due to a family history of substance abuse or addiction. Another biological difference between the sexes is that women generally begin using at lower rates than men; however, their frequency of use and level of use often escalate at a faster pace. Women will typically enter treatment sooner but tend to present with more co-occurring mental health conditions, including mood and anxiety disorders. 

There are also various differences between men and women related to the types of substances used and the reasons behind their use. For example, women may be more sensitive to cocaine and methamphetamine. They commonly report using stimulants because they believe it will increase energy levels and decrease the exhaustion often felt due to obligations related to home, childcare, family, and work requirements. Another reason women sometimes turn to methamphetamines is for weight loss. When women use opioids such as heroin, they tend to use smaller amounts with less frequency; however, they are at an increased risk for overdose death once they begin using. 

A vast body of research has shown many differences across the sexes pertaining to how substances are used and processed through the body. The effects of substances on mental and physical health are also different for women than for men. Therefore, addiction treatment for women is essential to ensuring sobriety and long-term recovery. 

How gender-specific rehab can help women

Benefits of a Drug Rehab for Women

Because there are as many differences between the ways women experience addiction when compared to men, it is also important to consider the many benefits of providing gender specific treatment that caters to women’s unique treatment needs. Gender-specific rehabs provide specialized treatment designed to cater two how each gender can best recover from substance abuse. Biologically, female bodies are physically different than their male counterparts, and therefore they process alcohol and drugs differently. For example, research has shown that women may be more vulnerable to stimulant drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines due to how the estrogen in the female body affects these drugs. Women may also be more susceptible to the adverse effects of alcohol abuse as fat retains alcohol and water dilutes it. The female body contains less water and more fatty tissue than that of the male body. This can sometimes expose women to an increased risk of physical organ damage due to ongoing substance abuse. 

Women also have different social needs when it comes to treatment. Many women in addiction treatment programs have experienced traumatic events or various types of abuse. Due to the mental health implications of these and other experiences, specific therapy models may be better suited for women than for men in treatment. While in treatment, it is essential to focus on health, growth, and self-improvement. For some, having a member of the opposite sex present within their treatment environment may result in emotional distraction that hinders the individual’s progress and growth while in recovery. Women in treatment may feel uncomfortable sharing painful, intimate, or traumatizing experiences in a mixed-gender therapy setting. For these reasons, drug rehabs for women create an environment that feels more welcoming and safer, especially for those who have experienced trauma related to their addiction. Increased comfort encourages openness and honesty in the treatment setting, which are essential factors for healing throughout addiction treatment. 

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How womens' rehabs can help

What Women's Gender-Specific Rehab Entails

Women often have different goals and expectations regarding their addiction treatment. Consequently, gender-specific programs offer several benefits guided towards attaining these goals for each gender. Some examples include the following:

  • Specialized treatment that considers biologically unique or gender unique emotional, psychological, and physical issues.
  • Minimized gender-related tension between male and female clients as the treatment setting consists of only women. For some, this can be essential in attaining treatment goals. 
  • Supportive, gender-sensitive therapy groups are designed to inspire open communication throughout the treatment process. These groups will work through social, emotional, and environmental pressures, which can result in substance abuse and addiction as well as contribute to triggering events after addiction treatment has ended. 
  • Gender-specific treatment also encourages environments of trust and bonding with peers within the program. These new relationships often extend far beyond the treatment setting and into the aftercare environment, where friendships provide a source of stability during times of challenging recovery.

Another challenging aspect for women seeking treatment pertains to children and the family dynamic at home. Women who are mothers may benefit from gender-specific treatment due to the supportive nature of a woman only treatment environment. When a woman is faced with having to be away from her family and children to seek addiction treatment, it may result in her choosing to forego addiction treatment for the sake of her family. However, with the support of other women and treatment professionals at a gender-specific treatment program, she may feel more comfortable talking about the emotions and challenges of living with addiction or trying to overcome addiction while still trying to be a supportive and nurturing parent. It may also be more comfortable (although likely minimally so) to be away from home at addiction treatment, knowing that she is surrounded by a group of peers who share many of the same concerns. 

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How to Find a Women's Rehab Near You

Across the nation, there are thousands of drug and alcohol rehabs for women. When looking for a program that provides gender-specific rehab, it can quickly become overwhelming when you see an extensive list of possible treatment options. At My Recovery Source, we have taken the time to research each of the programs that each of the rehabs in your area provides. If you have decided that it is time to seek addiction treatment for drug or alcohol use disorders and are interested in what a woman only (or gender-specific) rehab has to offer, reach out to the team at My Recovery Source. Let our caring and compassionate staff guide you through the process of determining your addiction treatment needs and goals and finding a woman’s rehab near you. While the decision to seek rehab can be difficult, the process of finding the right rehab doesn’t have to be. At My Recovery, we have developed working relationships with rehabs across the nation and have a clear understanding of how the programs provided at these rehabs could help you meet your addiction treatment needs and goals. Take the first step towards sobriety with My Recovery Source today. 

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