Help for Women
Women might wonder why they would need to seek treatment for their drug or alcohol addictions in a setting catering specifically to their needs. Most people might make the assumption that addiction is addiction, and men and women can be treated in the same way. During the last century, some enterprising psychologists discovered that this is not the case because men and women develop addictions to drugs and alcohol for very different reasons, and these differences need to be addressed in therapy. If these specified reasons for addiction do not receive adequate attention, women have little chance of a successful recovery.
The Reasons Women Become Addicted
It’s true that women become addicted for gender-related reasons, and men have their own gender-related reasons for their addictions as well, but they are very different. This does not mean that men cannot become addicted for the reasons attributed largely to women. The suggestion is only that more women than men cite the following reasons as the rationalization for why they began to take drugs or drink:
- They are co-dependent. Women are more likely to enter into co-dependent relationships than men. If their significant others are involved in drugs or alcohol, the women often begin to take drugs or drink along with them. This presents particularly onerous problems for the staff at a rehabilitation center because the women may believe that losing their addictions will mean that they lose their relationships. This will not be an issue if the man leaves the woman in an addicted state as he begins a new relationship with another woman.
- They have body image problems. A lifetime of looking at magazines and watching celebrities with their perfect bodies on the screen causes many women to develop body image problems. When they find it impossible to create the perfect image in themselves, they ease the pain by taking drugs or alcohol, and this only leads them toward a difficult addiction. They may also take certain drugs because they believe they will help them lose weight. Amphetamine is the drug that is rumored to accomplish this goal, and is the reason that a large number of women begin taking this drug.
- They self-medicate because of prior sexual molestation or physical abuse. Women who have been subjected to physical or sexual abuse may find it too painful to report it or tell anyone about it. Her answer may be to withdraw so that she can use drugs or alcohol to do away with the memories and negative emotions.
The Detoxification Process in a Treatment Center for Women
When women enter a rehabilitation treatment center, they will be introduced to the detoxification process, therapy and the options they have for aftercare. During the detoxification process, women will cleanse their bodies and have the toxins from the drugs or the alcohol flushed from their systems. Women may need to be in a controlled setting where they can receive help from doctors and nurses because detoxifying can mean they will experience the following symptoms:
- Feelings of depression
- The strong desire to take the drug or drink alcohol
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Painful bones and joints
- Suicidal tendencies
The beauty of detox at a rehabilitation treatment center for women is that they will be surrounded by medical staff that is there to make the process easier for them. It’s at this time that these women would seriously consider taking their drugs or drinking alcohol again, but they have help from the staff who prevents this from happening.
Women Thrive in Group Counseling
Once women complete the detoxification process, they will be ready to begin therapy. Individual counseling where one patient meets with one therapist is available at treatment centers that focus on women’s issues, but researchers have found that women thrive in group counseling. Group counseling gives them the chance to form strong bonds with other women, and this is something that they were lacking when they became loners as their addictions took hold. They also do much better in counseling sessions where there are no men around because they find it to be easier to express themselves in this type of environment.
Aftercare Help for Women
Women will need to decide on an aftercare program for when their treatment is complete so that they can live without drugs or alcohol. They have the choice of a 12-step program, follow up therapy at their rehab centers or a sober living facility that will offer them a place to stay that is far away from drugs and alcohol in an environment with other women who are sharing the same experiences.