Finding a rehab facility can be challenging for anyone, but people who have not themselves had to recover from an addiction often miss one key detail: it can be even more challenging for women.
In most cases, women with chemical dependency should be looking at a dedicated womens recovery center.
While it’s true that there are a few facilities which can successfully treat both genders, women usually require special measures in order to ensure they’re getting the best quality of care.
Why The Need For A Womens Recovery Center?
For example, recovery for women who have children represents a special situation which demands the center be experienced both in dealing with addiction from the perspective as a family problem — and must usually also be able to diagnose and treat symptoms relating to children’s exposure to drugs or alcohol.
To complicate matters further, emotional healing is an issue that represents unique challenges for women.
It’s true that men and women alike often develop addictions due to emotional damage, but women almost always have a different set of issues than their male counterparts with chemical dependency.
For women, sexual abuse is a common factor pushing them into chemical dependence: according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women who experience sexual abuse in childhood tend to develop a drug addiction three times more frequently.
The question of abuse does not just demand different kinds of treatment. Successfully treating women with an abuse history practically requires a gender-separate womens recovery center.
Why? For example, even a well-meaning hug produced by a man during the recovery process may greatly harm a patient’s progress to recovery and help drive them back into recovery — rather than delivering comfort — simply because it triggers traumatic memories.
It’s details like this that make it crucial to understand the underlying basis of the patient’s addiction in the context of their overall treatment plan.
Therapists and group supports then allow people to face old, bad times and past problems to understand which factors are driving them to use and why. Once they’ve identified these factors, true healing may begin.
Women With Children: Special Issues
Sadly, many female addicts also happen to be mothers.
This is a major factor in treating women with chemical dependency, for a number of reasons.
Being separated from her child or children in rehab may bring up many very significant issues, such as the child or childrens’ reaction. There may be abandonment fears, a sudden absence of parental guidance, and — in many cases — consequences resulting from emotional, mental, or physical abuse that in turn resulted from the parent’s addiction.
As a result, we believe in taking an extremely active role in meeting the needs of our children at New Directions for Women.
We start by considering addiction as a family disease and ensure we’re able to educate everyone involved, not just the mother. But we also put to work our extensive experience healing the issues which result from prenatal substance exposure: this means assessments which identify delays in development and learning disabilities as well as procedures to identify and address medical needs during treatment.