Women in recovery tend to face different challenges in recovery than men. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, approximately 4.5 million women in the US struggle with some sort of addiction. At least 3.1 million women abuse illicit drugs on a regular basis and another 3.5 million misuse prescription drugs.
Various substances have different effects on women than men. Since women tend to have a lower body weight but a higher body fat percentage, their body will tend to retain various substances in fatty cells longer. Women also tend to metabolize drugs and alcohol in a different manner. Due to this reason, women, in general, tend to develop a substance use disorder (SUD) much more quickly than men. They also tend to relapse a lot more easily.
“Addiction does not discriminate but there are legitimate reasons why treatment should.”
Gender-specific treatments are able to offer a unique type of help. They’re much more effective and definitely worth looking into.
What Is Gender-Specific Treatment?
Gender-specific treatment is treatment designed specifically for men or women. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has set forth a guideline for gender-specific rehabs. They must possess four specific components:
- Improve care for women or men who seek help in improving the state of their mental health
- Focus on referring women or men to specialized addiction treatment programs
- Address specific concerns and risks that affect one gender more than the other
- Identify subgroups of men or women who would benefit most from gender-specific intervention methods
Women in recovery who receive gender-specific treatment tend to see better results with time. They tend to get substance abuse treatment that is better tailored to their needs and preferences.
The Difference Between Gender-Specific and Regular Rehabs
So, what are the exact differences between the two?
In comparison to regular rehab programs, gender-specific treatment will address:
- The vulnerable state that the women are in. Women in recovery are emotionally fragile. They tend to want to rely on someone. Gender-specific rehabs rule out the possibility of romantic relationship pitfalls that often happen in the early stages of rehabilitation.
- Physiological differences. Gender-specific addiction treatment address physiological differences between men and women. In particular, they look at why women get addicted to substances more quickly. They also address the specific withdrawal symptoms that women are more likely to experience.
- Lack of judgement. Many women tend to avoid getting treatment because of the negative stigmatization attached to being an addict. Gender-specific rehabs offer a more intimate and private environment and atmosphere for women to recover.
Gender-specific rehabs are able to offer many unique advantages and perks. Some gender-specific rehabs treat specific addictions. For example, there are inpatient opioid rehabs and outpatient opioid rehabs that are gender-specific.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help
Women in recovery should not be afraid to reach out for help. Don’t worry about being judged or about your situation. Those who need extra support should look for help from a gender-specific treatment center. These treatment facilities offer a private and intimate environment. They also connect women who are in similar situations with one another.
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