Rehab for Women
The growing penchant for drugs and alcohol in females seems like an innocuous indulgence at the first glance. But how and when the indulgence turns into a vicious circle of addiction often remains a mystery. Women can have their own sets of problems in their lives – a tumultuous relationship, a demeaning society, a patriarchal family, a hectic profession, etc. Anything that tickles their normalcy can push them towards abusing substances as a window to flee from the otherwise disturbed life.
Studies have shown that physical and sexual trauma followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in drug-abusing women. Moreover, women are prone to depression, anxiety, stress and even peer pressure that make them incline to abuse substances. Indulging in substances make them feel stronger and powerful, veiling the vulnerability in them.
The needs of men and women vary significantly, not only biologically but psychologically as well. In fact, women are more vulnerable to toxic effects as compared to men. As a result, a rehab for women tries to provide a holistic treatment addressing their specific needs and transforming their body, mind and spirit. A women-only rehab helps to forego the cycles of addiction and lead a productive life.
Why should one choose a women-only rehab?
Women feel more comfortable and less distracted in a women-only rehab. Getting to know more people of the same sex suffering from the same perils of addiction helps them in their recovery process.
A general rehab might be a hindrance because many women are not comfortable in opening up in front of men. They have apprehensions about seeking treatment together that might prove to be a barrier in the recovery process. Some of the advantages of a women-only rehab are:
Comfortable with same sex interactions: Female patients often find it difficult to open up in front of men, may be due to a past relationship going awry that might have led to their substance abuse or any untoward event they experienced earlier. Women are generally comfortable in sharing their experiences in the same sex environment. They feel that there is no one to judge them for their activities and can easily blend with the female inmates.
Safe place for abuse or traumatized victims: Women who have been victims of sexual assaults or other traumas might not feel comfortable with other males in the rehab. In fact, one may not be ready to trust another male yet. The inability to trust is one of the major hindrances while seeking treatment. In a female-only rehab, women are able to open up about their deepest and darkest experiences, especially the ones who have been victims of some trauma. They feel safer and more protected in a women-only treatment.
Female-specific topics: The sessions within the treatment can focus on female-specific issues, such as motherhood, parenting, eating disorders, anxiety, body image etc. Though these topics might be discussed in a treatment program meant both for men and women, they might not be discussed at length. Moreover, topics pertaining to the male gender can be avoided, provided it is important in the recovery process.
What are the women-specific treatment needs?
During the treatment process or designing a customized treatment plan, a women-specific rehab should consider certain needs of a woman that are necessary for her recovery, like:
- Tending to the entire self: Treatment plans should be designed in a way that not only targets to curb addiction but also includes specific areas like body image, child care, motherhood, fulfillment in life, eating disorders, depression etc.
- More vulnerable to addiction: Treatment programs should account for the vulnerability of women to experience addiction sooner than men. They might also be more prone to triggers due to societal settings and other consequences of abuse. The treatments should be ready to tackle such vulnerabilities.
- Boosting self-confidence: An addiction rehab for women must also boost the self-confidence of a woman to continue her treatment for sobriety. A low self-esteem greatly hampers the process of treatment.
- Family support: There are many women who do not get the required support from family that makes the treatment process difficult. Tension about leaving their children makes them stressful. Moreover, the possibility of a woman to lose the custody of her child to the state welfare services makes her leave the treatment even before it is completed.
- Other underlying medical problems: The treatment program should diagnose any underlying mental illness. Women are prone to depression and anxiety, so a treatment program should carefully evaluate if they are suffering from any mental or behavioral disorders. Moreover, drug abuse can also cause other diseases that should be checked carefully. Alcohol and Drug abuse also significantly reduces ability to reproduce, can cause early menopause and can have an adverse effect on the fetus.
What are the treatment options available?
The treatment of a women-specific rehab can take place in two types of settings: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment requires women to get admitted to the facility during the course of the recovery process. They are given continuous care and are monitored 24/7. Women who are highly addicted to substances, or the ones who are seeking for a long-term recovery, can choose inpatient treatment.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, gives the freedom to a woman to tend to her family needs and also continue with her professional endeavors during the treatment process. An outpatient treatment program is best for people who have some control over their habits.
There are several treatment methods that are applied in both the options, including:
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapies are essential while treating addiction in a woman. Women are generally emotional about everything. Multidimensional therapeutic interventions help them get rid of their apprehensions and cope with any situation that can indicate a relapse. Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, etc. help a woman to understand the root causes of her addiction and enhance life skills to overcome it. Family therapies are also an integral part of a women-only rehab because the sense of support from the family gives them strength.
- Medications: Medications may be prescribed to female patients during detox as well as to ease their psychological symptoms, like depression, anxiety, fear and stress.
- Individual and group sessions: Rehab for women has both the options of therapy sessions – individual and group. Group sessions involve like-minded women undergoing treatment at the rehab center. Such sessions help to build motivation and the urge to change for a sober life.
- Aftercare: An aftercare plan generally forms a part of the treatment process. It teaches the women to apply life skills in a challenging situation and reduce cravings.
The treatments can vary depending on the needs of women, the prevalence of any underlying mental illness, severity of the drug abuse or alcohol dependence and the type of drug abused.
Pregnancy and addiction
Using alcohol, drugs and tobacco during pregnancy can be detrimental to both the child and the mother. Addiction can expose the child to abnormalities like fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cognitive impairments, low birth weight, etc. that can have a long-term effect on the child.
Pregnant women who are addicted to opioids should never try to quit without medical supervision. Quitting drugs cold turkey without medical assistance can result in preterm labor, fetal distress or fetal demise.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, methadone maintenance, as prescribed and dispensed on a daily basis by a registered substance abuse treatment program, is part of a comprehensive package of prenatal care, chemical dependency counseling, family therapy, nutritional education, and other medical and psychosocial services as indicated for pregnant women with opioid dependence.
Motivational interviewing as a part of psychotherapies has helped pregnant women to resolve their issues related to their ambivalence and thus abstaining from drugs. However, it is extremely important to monitor the pregnant women closely during their entire course of treatment so as to deal with any complications to the mother or the child.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
If you are determined to reclaim sobriety, nothing can stop you. We, at Recover Mental Health, can help you take the road to recovery from addiction. If you or your loved one is searching for a women-only rehab where your needs are considered while designing the treatment for you, then we can find the best option for your to fit in. All you need to do is chat online with our advisors or call our 27/7 helpline at 866-593-2339 for immediate assistance. We understand that your needs are different from men and we can help you find the best treatment, whether outpatient or inpatient, so that you can recover without any apprehensions and for a better life.