Although it could be assumed that addiction treatment is the same for men as it is women, it’s not always the case and in fact, there are distinct benefits to women’s rehab centers. Each individual with addiction issues has unique needs and women have another set of special needs particular to their gender that are often best-addressed in drug rehab for women.
For the majority of women, depression and anxiety are the cause of addiction as they are generally more susceptible to mental illness and both conditions need to be diagnosed and treated separately. Others may have developed mental health conditions as a consequence of abusing substances and alcohol, particularly if they have a history of using to self-medicate for stress.
What are the Specific Benefits of Drug Rehab for Women?
Because of the special needs of addicted women, particularly if they are caregivers, gender-specific treatment provides the right kind of support for the unique challenges they face. Women feel more comfortable communicating with other women as they feel more likely to be understood and empathized with.
Women who are pregnant or have post-traumatic stress disorder underlying their addiction as a result of sexual abuse in childhood can find they feel isolated in a treatment facility that caters for both genders. For women who are going through these very female-specific conditions, a specialist approach is required in treatment for maximum efficacy.
Women in a caregiving role may find the prospect of drug rehab to be a potential threat to their position by having to openly admit to suffering from addiction. In doing so, they may feel their children will be taken away from them or that they will be judged more harshly than a man with the same issues; for these women, female-only rehab can be a distinct benefit.
According to research, the factors that differ between women and men with addiction that can affect treatment outcomes in different ways, including:
- Young children in the home
- Level of education
- Employment status and income
- Mental Illness
- Level of self-esteem
- The substances that have been abused
- Relationship status
In other words, every woman who enters into addiction treatment has a unique backstory that has an impact on what treatment program is devised for them. Counseling and group therapy are vital in extracting the information needed to make a full and accurate assessment of each case which is another reason women-only rehab is so effective.
What Treatment is Available at Women-Only Centers?
There are several proven techniques and methods used to treat the unique needs of women with addiction including:
- Individual counseling
- CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy to shed old behaviors and replace them with positive ones
- Dual diagnosis and treatment of underlying mental health conditions or co-occurring disorders
- Physical therapy and skill-building activities to use as coping mechanisms after treatment
- Women-only support groups to prevent relapse into old behaviors in recovery
Is Women-Only Drug Rehab Effective?
Unfortunately, many women find themselves unable to seek addiction treatment due to social stigma and fear of being judged harshly by others. Unlike men, women have a tendency to internalize difficult emotions and responses to stress which is extremely damaging to their health over a prolonged period. A women-only facility provides an encouraging and affirming environment where patients can feel understood, allowing them to open up and communicate their deepest thoughts.
Whatever someone’s gender, addiction is a chronic disease that can be treated for a successful life in recovery. It is always recommended to research available treatment options to find the most appropriate course of action and often, women are more drawn to an all-female center because they feel more confident of acceptance. The important fact to bear in mind is that rehabilitation is a personal journey and what works for one person, might not for another. That said, there are more female-only addiction treatment centers than ever before and the greatest benefit is that it is encouraging more women to seek help where they might not have otherwise.