Harvard Medical School published a letter in 2010 that discusses the impact gender makes on an addicted person. They suggested that it may affect vulnerability to addiction, recovery, and risk of relapse. Does that mean there should be men’s and women’s drug and alcohol rehab programs?
“Traditional addiction treatment programs were developed based on research in men,” says Harvard Medical School. That’s likely because men were generally more likely to develop an addiction. Over the last few decades, the roles of women have changed. As a result, more women are developing addictions.
Researchers certainly understand the importance of including women in addiction research, now. They’re also beginning to discover the value of treatment by gender for many addicted people.
Women’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Can Help
Women and men experience addiction differently, overall. These differences are genetic, social, and environmental.
- Addiction generally develops faster in women
- Women are more prone to relapsing
- Metabolization of substances if different among men and women
“Few stomach enzymes and more fatty tissue [in women] slow down the processing of alcohol and other drugs,” says Recovery Research Institute, “causing the body to be exposed to higher concentrations of the substance longer.”
- Economic challenges
- Relationship health
- Loss of child custody
- Death of a partner
These only represent a small number of unique challenges women face with addiction. “For example,” says the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “research has shown that physical and sexual trauma followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in drug-abusing women than in men seeking treatment.”
Additionally, women are commonly the head of their household and have children. Women’s drug and alcohol rehab programs are certainly more likely to prepare for these unique challenges to serve their patients.
How Women’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs Help
Substance abuse treatment for men and women are virtually the same. The difference in addiction treatment is how the facility approaches it. Mothers who need childcare or are with an abusive partner find it difficult to enter a treatment program without these supports.
Researchers have also found that women are eager to enter treatment. However, the need for childcare or breastfeeding support and other challenges can take away that option for mothers. A women’s drug and alcohol rehab can resolve those issues. Most importantly, this makes it possible for more women to recover.
Treatment in a Women’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs
The approach is the most meaningful way in which women’s addiction treatments differ from men’s. Moreover, addiction is a physical and mental disease. Therefore, addiction specialists lay out similar, albeit distinct strategies for recovery.
We’ve already discussed the differences in addiction in women. Here, we’ll explicitly discuss the treatment one receives in women’s drug and alcohol rehab programs.
Medical Supervision of Withdrawals
Alcohol and opioids are particularly addictive. That basically means that once you start, you can’t stop. These substances alter the structure of the brain. Consequently, they impair its function. The substance becomes vital for survival, according to the addicted brain. If an addicted person doesn’t take the the substance regularly, then the body have a vicious response.
Withdrawals are undoubtedly excruciating. In many cases, they can be deadly. Our medical staff monitors the patient’s vital signs and other responses concurrently. We use medications during the withdrawal process for our patients’ safety and comfort.
Our staff thoroughly evaluates the physical and mental health of each patient. This is where we determine our patient’s urgent needs. Afterwards, we establish a treatment plan.
Every treatment plan we use is evidence-based. They’re also individually tailored to your needs. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the backbone of our therapeutic approach.
Each treatment plan generally includes individual therapy, group therapy, and life skills therapy. In our women’s drug and alcohol rehab programs, we integrate therapy for co-occurring disorders. Studies have shown that treating addiction and other mental health disorders simultaneously is most effective in recovery.
During treatment, the patient develops an intimate understanding of his or her addiction. This knowledge empowers the patient to preserve his or her recovery for a lifetime. With this understanding, our patient and her therapist simultaneously create a plan for reference after treatment.
The aftercare plan explicitly offers reminders of healthy coping mechanisms for triggers. It also covers a place to live after treatment, childcare, a job, and/or a goal for the future.
According to ResearchGate, women recognize that they need help when they have an addiction. Though, most of them tend to reach out to mental health or primary care settings for help. They don’t often think of a women’s drug rehab.
“When gender differences in treatment outcomes are reported, however,” says ResearchGate, “women tend to fare better than men.”
If you or a woman you love is struggling with addiction, we can help. Recovery in Motion customizes state-of-the-art women’s drug and alcohol rehab programs. Our qualified and experienced staff work together with our patients for long-term recovery. You certainly don’t have to do it alone. It’s not too late to take your life back. Call us today.
 National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 24 July 2020, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction.
 National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What Are the Unique Needs of Women with Substance Use Disorders?” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 29 May 2020, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/what-are-unique-needs-women-substance-use-disorders.
 Publishing, Harvard Health. “Addiction in Women.” Harvard Health, Jan. 2010, www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/addiction-in-women.
 “Women in Recovery.” Recovery Research Institute, www.recoveryanswers.org/resource/women-in-recovery/.