While there are several different types of addiction treatment, one of the more important trends we’re seeing in recovery is demographic-specific treatment. Among those forms of demographic-specific treatment, a women’s rehab is unique in that it can address the numerous social, cultural, economic, and familial factors that might contribute to the development of addiction in women. But what, exactly is a women’s rehab? How is a women’s rehab different from gender nonspecific rehabs? And what can a person expect from a recovery program at a women’s rehab?
What is a Women’s Rehab?
Typically, when we consider the effects of addiction, many of us have a tendency to associate the physical effects most readily. However, the problem that results from quickly associating the disease of addiction and its physical and health-related effects is that we often overlook some of the other effects and, instead, focus more on the loss of one’s physical health. As we’ve learned through years of observation and study, there are quite a variety of effects that we can now attribute to addiction, which has been a major contributor to the disease being quite difficult to treat. In fact, it was only until quite recently that most majority of addiction treatment programs employed a more generalized approach to addiction with all patients — regardless of age, gender, religious, and virtually all other demographic factors — participating in the same types of treatment and therapy.
You might be wondering what recovery needs a women’s rehab would address that other gender nonspecific programs couldn’t meet or may not meet to as great an effect. First, it’s important to be aware that a number of the effects of addiction are actually the same for women as they are for men. For instance, both women and men experience some level of deterioration with regard to physical health. Additionally, the development of an addiction leads both women and men to have trouble with relationships and often causes them to exhibit dramatically changed behavior or even personality traits as a result of being addicted. But in spite of the similarities in the effects of addiction across gender lines, it’s important to know that there are some distinctions, too.
Specifically, research has shown us that women tend to develop substance abuse problems more rapidly than men; in other words, the period of time between beginning to abuse mind-altering substances and becoming physiologically dependent on the substance is shorter for women than for men, according to statistics. Further, it’s often the case that a female will experience more difficulties regarding their emotional or mental health resulting from addiction to alcohol or drugs. In short, women more commonly display symptoms of comorbid or co-occurring emotional disorders as a result of a substance abuse problem, which makes treatment with a dual-diagnosis focus necessary for women at a higher rate than dual-diagnosis treatment is needed for me. Similar, programs with a dual-diagnosis focus tends to be particularly valuable and beneficial for women.
Historically, we’ve seen a number of cultural and societal differences between men and women. Particularly, research indicates that while men tend to be more reluctant to ask for help and seek treatment, women are usually much more receptive to help, making the availability of addiction treatment programs focused on women especially important to their success in recovery. Further, women’s rehabs and the treatments they offer often have different emotional focuses than treatment for men. For this reason, a women’s rehab is particularly effective when it comes to helping women with things like personal empowerment, positive self-image and self-concept, and any dual-diagnosis support that might be needed if there happens to be a comorbid mental or emotional illnesses.
How a Women’s Rehab is Different
As you’d likely expect from any quality addiction treatment program, a women’s rehab has a strong foundation in psychotherapy and individual counseling, otherwise colloquially known as “talk therapy.” The idea of counseling is to help our patients learn what caused their substance abuse problems so as to ensure that those factors don’t lead to relapse in the future. Moreover, counseling and one-on-one psychotherapy often incorporate exercises in empowerment and for strengthening self-esteem.
Group therapy is another key component of our women’s treatment for addiction in Pasadena, California. In group therapy sessions, patients will learn more about the disease of addiction, the journey of recovery, and a variety of practical life skills. Additionally, group therapy is oftentimes the ideal medium for teaching relapse-prevention strategies. Meanwhile, patients have the opportunity to hone their social skills and develop mutually-supportive relationships with other patients and peers.
Of course, a women’s rehab offers a variety of supplemental therapies and even recreational activities for patients to enjoy as part of women’s treatment for addiction. As research has shown, having time for recreation and personal reflection can be quite integral to the recovery process as it helps patients to find ways of enjoying themselves without resorting to substance abuse while also affording them time to reflect on the knowledge and skills they’re acquiring through the rehabilitation process. As well, recreational has been identified as being quite useful when it comes to things like meditation as well as in letting patients blow off steam and enjoy themselves during their free time.
Benefits of Receiving Treatment at a Women’s Rehab
Addiction to alcohol and/or drugs has been connected to a great variety of different effects, both for women as well as for men. However, as mentioned previously, there are certain components of addiction — whether pertaining to the development of a substance abuse disorder, the progression of its severity, or an individual’s journey through rehabilitation — that differ between women and men; hence, women’s rehabs have become the preferred route of recovery for women who are suffering from the disease of addiction.
If we consider a more cultural perspective, women have historically been more forthcoming when it comes to their thoughts and feelings. However, there are a number of gender-specific issues women regularly face, and it’s these various issues that are frequently a focus at a women’s rehab. One example is victimization. Research consistently shows that victims of violent and/or sexual crimes are frequently women; thus, finding healthy, productive ways of coping with the post-traumatic stress that inevitably results from being victimized is one of many topics that are likely to be covered at a women’s rehab.