While the disease of addiction doesn’t discriminate and can impact people from all races, backgrounds and gender identities, there are significant differences in how women experience addiction, what they need to recover and how they respond to treatment.
How Does Substance Use Affect Women Throughout Their Lifetime?
Though men are more likely than women to abuse drugs and alcohol, both genders are equally vulnerable to developing a substance use disorder. Additionally, the prevalence of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma and eating disorders is higher in women than in men, which may predispose them to addictive behaviors.
Women who begin drinking or taking drugs can quickly build a tolerance, then progress through physical and psychological dependence and, finally, a full-fledged substance use disorder. Many women are highly susceptible to cravings and relapses, which are hallmarks of the addiction cycle.
Is There Treatment for Addiction?
Though addiction is a chronic brain disease with no known cure, treatment is available to help women get their lives back on track. Staying in a residential facility will remove you from the stressors of everyday life and help you start a new routine without the temptation of easy access to alcohol and drugs.
What Is the Best Form of Treatment for Addiction?
The best programs offer evidence-based therapies that focus on teaching the necessary skills to stay sober, recognize triggers and navigate complex emotions without relying on drugs and alcohol.
Qualified addiction treatment facilities offer a full continuum of care to support clients as they progress in their recovery journey. You may also wish to look for specific amenities such as experiential therapy, holistic care and educational workshops.
What Are the Unique Needs of Women in Substance Abuse Treatment?
Women in recovery often have specific treatment needs, and addressing those is crucial for them to successfully achieve freedom from substance misuse. Unfortunately, a gender gap in addiction medicine has persisted for decades.
Early researchers studying substance use disorders focused primarily on men, overlooking women. This unconscious cultural bias is emblematic of some of the unique challenges facing women who misuse drugs or alcohol.
What Types of Barriers Do Women Face in Long-Term Recovery?
Evidence suggests women who need professional help for their disease are less likely to seek treatment than men. What variables contribute to this?
- Women often shoulder the bulk of household responsibilities like child care and housekeeping, which could make them unwilling to step away from their duties to enter a treatment facility.
- Society tends to stigmatize women who admit to having a substance abuse problem. They may be subject to bias and discrimination, especially among co-workers.
- Due to the gender pay gap, many women earn less than men, which could make the cost of treatment seem out of reach.
- Complex emotions such as shame and guilt can compel women to downplay the severity of their problems or deny their need for help.
- Mental health issues like anxiety and trauma may make women afraid to ask for help.
Women’s Holistic Healing at Canyon Crossing
At our Prescott, AZ, treatment facility, we have crafted every facet of our programming using evidence-based practices and the utmost consideration for the unique needs of women. In our nurturing environment, female clients learn practical life skills alongside addiction treatment and therapy. Our structured transitional living program helps support clients in long-term sobriety. To learn more, reach out to us anytime.