Regardless of which way you spin it, men and women are different in many ways. While some may argue in one direction or another, it is no secret that women have emotionally and mentally evolved differently from men. Countless studies can back up this difference, showing women tend to excel in empathetic scenarios that rely heavily on emotional intelligence. These same studies performed on men, however, show that oftentimes scenarios in which bravado or intimidation can be demonstrated will likely suit their personalities well.
Because of this difference, it makes sense that women may have a higher chance of recovery from addiction when they are able to participate in a treatment program that is designed specifically to work with the female mind. This success does not stop at the approaches used during treatment, as recent studies have shown that being surrounded by like-minded females can build a sense of comradery and friendship that can also increase their chances of recovery.
The Benefits of a Women’s-Only Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program
Without a doubt, there are many women who are able to reach recovery in a co-ed residential inpatient program when it comes to treating drug addiction. For these women, co-ed may have been the only option they knew about at the time, or gender may just not have been an issue on their mind. However, there are many hidden benefits to choosing a female-only treatment program.
Here are just a few:
- The pressure is off – In a world obsessed with sex and dating, it can be really easy to get wrapped up in the pressures of ‘attraction’ these days. Have you ever gone out to run an errand and suddenly have found yourself self-conscious of your appearance in the presence of the opposite sex? Often this can happen for no reason at all, even if you are not looking for someone to date. In a female-only treatment program, this pressure is taken care of for you, enabling you to focus completely on your recovery.
- Girl power – It may sound cheesy, but women find power in numbers. This is especially true when it comes to addiction treatment. Participating in a female-only program can feel like you have an entire cheerleading squad rooting for your recovery. Oftentimes, women who participate in a female-only addiction treatment program report that they felt like they had a network of support at their fingertips, encouraging them during their rough days and celebrating for them on their best days.
- The focus is on you – When you participate in a female-only addiction treatment program, you get to focus on yourself a whole lot more. However you decide to dress, if you choose to go for a run, if you choose to wear makeup, etc. – all of these things are dependent on only one factor, and that is however you want to feel. On the days that you want to wake up feeling like the most beautiful version of you, then you get to do that for yourself. And on the days that you just want to be comfortable, you get to do that for you too.
- No time for judgement here – Girls can be mean, this is very true. However, when you put a group of women in one place with one common goal to achieve, you would be surprised at the results. Every woman is here for the same thing – to overcome addiction. There is no judgement, because everyone has done something they’re ashamed of. The women surrounding you in programs like these want to see you succeed. They see themselves in you, and want to see you achieve recovery just as much as they want to see themselves achieve it.
- Specialized approaches – Women think differently than men. We work differently, and sometimes we act differently. So it only makes sense that we would heal differently, especially when it comes to mental health. Understanding this is immensely important when it comes to considering your own recovery. Therapy and counseling are a large part of addiction treatment, and one that should be approached differently when it comes to women. We are often more likely to share our stories, but also more likely to remain guarded and keep our deepest secrets to ourselves. Because of this, a therapist who is experienced in approaching women who have been through traumatic events is more likely to have success in digging to the root of a mental health issue like addiction.
Make a few friends while you’re here – Friends? At drug rehab? Don’t worry, you read that correctly. Yes, many women who successfully complete a female-only addiction treatment program often report that they enjoy true friendships during their time in rehab. Some even report that the friendships lasted long past inpatient rehab, giving them a supportive friend who understands what they have suffered through. This is not surprising, considering that the women going through addiction treatment with you might actually understand you better than many of your family members.
Addiction and Women: Psychological Differences
Because of the psychological differences between the sexes, the root causes of addictive behavior can differ greatly between women and men. There may be a particular rehabilitation program that is well-suited for the recovery of a male, but that same approach may not suit a women nearly as well. In some cases, a gender-based rehabilitation program can be the key to their success.
Many individuals who suffer from drug addiction or abuse have also suffered some sort of trauma in their life. In some cases, previous patients who are interviewed years after completing a drug rehabilitation program are able to admit to years of trauma or a significant incident in their lives that can be attributed to their addiction.
The same is true for women, however it is not uncommon for many of them to have similar stories of trauma and abuse. Domestic violence, for example, is commonly addressed in female-only addiction treatment programs. Women who have suffered years of abuse, violence, and psychological games may turn to drugs as a means of escaping.
When these types of women are united in one positive, healing, and supportive setting, they are often able to face their fears head on as a group. Having suffered in silence for so long, women like this are finally able to share their story with others who will understand what they have been through. This type of environment combined with the unspoken bond of friendship through commonalities can promote a spiritual healing that can lead to a lifelong recovery.
Overcoming The Shame And Guilt Associated With Addiction
It is not uncommon for women who are suffering from addiction to feel an overwhelming sense of shame and guilt about their substance abuse issues. This can be especially true if that woman happens to be a mother with children who depend on her to care for them.
It is not uncommon for women who are suffering from a substance abuse issue to report feeling more guilt associated with caring for their children than men do. Much of this may stem from our society, which tends to view women as the primary caretakers of the world’s children. While this view may not be shared by everyone in our society, it is hard to deny that mothers are often expected to exhibit faultless behavior.
Therapists and counselors that participate in female-only addiction treatment programs understand these feelings of shame and guilt, and know that overcoming addiction means overcoming these feelings first. Undoing the trauma and remorse that has been built over years, sometimes even decades, often requires the help of a professional in the mental health field.
Many drug rehabs across the country have come to realize this fact, and have built specific programs to help women overcome addiction. There are even programs that specialize in women who are mothers, providing relief from the overwhelming stigma they may feel and teaching them the skills it takes to stand up for themselves and make a better life in the future.
Private Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers for Women
Through focusing on treatment approaches and modalities that are proven to have given successful results for females in the past, private rehabilitation clinics that offer a female-only addiction treatment program can have a better chance of helping women overcome addiction today. Female-only programs are not new to the industry, but have been practicing tried and true techniques for decades.
Women who find strength in numbers, and enjoy the friendship of someone who understands their past, may appreciate having a variety of support groups to choose from during their rehabilitation. These support groups may involve a common hobby, age range, history of abuse, or it could just be a random assembly of women who are seeking recovery. Regardless of the reason, for many women the support is enough to bring them together.
Some rehab centers with female-only addiction treatment programs will offer their patients the option of working one-on-one with other women who have successfully overcome their addictions in the past. Having access to someone else who has had success in the program can be immensely beneficial for other women who are going through similar scenarios.
Female-only addiction treatment programs can also offer various educational opportunities, from mechanics to raising a family to introductory college prep courses, there is often something for every personality. Women who have access to opportunities like this can often gain a sense of empowerment and strength that they previously did not have.
Find a Women’s-Only Addiction Treatment Center Today
Are you a woman seeking lifelong recovery from addiction? Do you know a woman who has suffered abuse in the past and has turned to drugs to cope? Have you tried a co-ed program in the past, only to relapse after completing the program? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, or if you want to learn more about female-only addiction treatment programs, then you came to the right place.
We have a team of addiction treatment specialists standing by to talk with you about female-only addiction treatment programs. Our specialists can identify programs like this that are near you, or recommend top rated options in the country. Recovery doesn’t have to wait, give us a call today!
SAMHSA (Treatment Improvement Protocols)
National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Hindawi (Journal of Addiction)