Both women and men go through traumatic emotional and physical consequences of addiction to alcohol or drugs. But, some studies have shown that women particularly face some obstacles and barriers in dealing with addiction, seeking therapy and receiving effective treatment to assist them in overcoming the addiction issue. Below are some of the special challenges that women face in rehab.
Many of the women who decide to go to rehab are at a disadvantage from the start. Various studies have shown that women who become hooked on alcohol or drugs tend to have lower socioeconomic status and lower education levels. They often search for treatment after referral from the judges or friends, family or co-workers. On the flip side, most men are referred to rehab centers by doctors, employers or even the legal system.
Many women also treat drug addiction as an issue related to stress and assume that it will go away without seeking treatment. Women normally have more responsibilities in their families in raising children and thus might feel that they cannot leave their family for a long time to go for treatment or might be in denial about how serious their addiction problem is. Women who are addicted to alcohol or drugs normally have depression and anxiety that cause them to avoid treatment or might have undergone some emotional, physical or sexual abuse which causes feelings of shame and trauma.
There is still a lot of stigma that’s attached to women who abuse drugs or alcohol particularly women who have children or who are not pregnant. Without the help to take care of their kids, family and work obligations during rehabilitation and recovery, women are most times discouraged from looking for treatment. The societal shame and possible disapproval from relatives, friends, co-workers, and companies are enough to maintain lots of them from therapy completely, and also the fear of losing the custody of the children is just another demotivator.
Other women might be intimidated by other obstacles from the treatment facilities themselves. As an example, a woman who experienced emotional, sexual or physical abuse from a man could be terrified of the idea of going for treatment from facilities where men work. Since women might have major responsibilities for childcare and might also be working or don’t have insurance coverage; rehab facilities may not be possible because of financial factors.
Luckily, there are treatment centers that recognize that women’s needs are different from men’s needs and it may be beneficial to have a program which is specifically designed to overcome these barriers and help them find treatment. Several facilities offer programs that focus on helping women to deal with addiction.