While men are more likely than women to become chemically dependent, women face unique challenges throughout their addiction and recovery. Biological, emotional, relational, and societal factors differ between the genders, so it’s important that addiction specialists understand the unique needs of female clients and gear recovery programs to meet those needs. To learn more about our Women’s Addiction Treatment Services visit our partner website www.thewillowsatredoak.com.
Facts About Female Addiction
Studies indicate that women:
- Progress from substance use to misuse more quickly than men, even when they are using less.
- Struggle more with relapse than male clients.
- Recover differently than their male counterparts.
Brain chemistry & hormones. Women’s brains light up in different areas than men when they are using substances, and female hormones may also play a role in addiction susceptibility. These biological differences could be partly to blame for women “telescoping” more quickly from drug dabbling to physical addiction. (Unfortunately, women also develop liver cirrhosis twice as quickly as men.)
Trauma. Women are more likely to suffer from mood disorders, sexual trauma, or other forms of abuse, which can readily lead to addiction. A high-quality women’s recovery facility should be aware of these problems and understand how to treat them. Treatment-complicating issues may include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, poor body image, dysfunctional family relationships, self-esteem problems, and self-harm behavior.
Getting help. A study in the journal Substance Use & Misuse reported that, unlike men who are culturally encouraged to solve problems on their own, women are more likely to recognize their need for help. Unfortunately, they are also more liable to put off going to rehab because of the stigma attached to female addiction. Immersed in guilt and shame, they see themselves as a bad person rather than as someone struggling with a treatable illness. When women finally seek treatment, they are more likely to leave treatment early because they feel pulled to return to their families, friends, and caregiving responsibilities.
Relapse rates. Women relapse more often than men. There is much speculation about why this occurs, but it could be because they suffer from co-occurring conditions more than men—or because they tend to return to unhealthy relationships after rehab. Believing that they can change toxic relationships for the better, they end up falling into the same negative patterns that drove them to addiction in the first place.
Red Oak Recovery Program for Young Women
At Red Oak Recovery, our women’s program is geared toward the unique needs of young adult female clients. We begin by teaching young women to create and maintain safe physical and emotional boundaries, and we specialize in the nuances of addiction and trauma in young women. Our program helps young women exchange negative behaviors like manipulation, deceitfulness, self-harm tendencies, disordered eating, and irrational belief systems for healthy, productive responses to stress.
Using 12-step programs, nutritional and recreational therapy, addiction education, and holistic treatments, we provide supportive addiction treatment for young women to connect with others facing similar problems. Since women are hardwired for relationships, group therapy is a critical part of any successful rehab program. To learn more about gender-separate treatment programs for young men and young women, click here. To begin your recovery journey or discuss addiction recovery financing, call 828.382.9699today!