When it comes to the treatment gap, young women have a difficult time finding appropriate addiction treatment. Facing unique challenges and circumstances that require specialized care, young females are often underserved or find themselves in a treatment program that does not meet their needs. There are plenty of wonderful gender-specific treatment centers out there, you just have to know where and how to look! Keep reading to learn the importance of personalized treatment and where to begin the journey.
The Unique Challenges Faced by Young Women
Young adult women in the grips of substance abuse often face distinct challenges when compared to their male peers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states some of these challenges to be:
Social and Cultural Factors: Stigma and social expectations around gender roles can make it difficult for young women to seek help for substance abuse. Factors such as race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, marital status, career choices, and religion can all be obstacles to getting help for addiction.
Trauma and Dual-Diagnosis Disorders: Unfortunately, young women in active addiction are more likely to have experienced trauma and which can contribute to addiction issues. Young adult females are also at a greater risk of co-occurring mental health disorders which can complicate finding appropriate treatment options. When seeking out treatment, it is important to find a facility that provides trauma informed care and can adequately treat both the substance abuse and the mental health aspects.
Family and Peer Dynamics: The roles of family and peer relationships in a young woman’s life can both serve as an aggravating factor to addiction and serve as a major support system during recovery. Statistically, females are more likely to engage in substance abuse if they come from a family with addicts/alcoholics or are engaged in a relationship with a partner that is in active addiction. Consequently women are more often left by their partners upon entering or completing treatment and are also more likely to relapse as a result of interpersonal problems.
With these conditions in mind, it is crucial to find treatment programs that understand and can adequately work through them.
Specialized Treatment Programs
Treatment programs that are tailored to young adult women are an advantage for several reason:
Gender-Specific Therapy: By providing programs and therapy geared towards the unique experiences faced by young women, these programs help to address the root causes of addiction and chart a course towards recovery. They also limit any distractions that having males around could arouse.
Trauma-Informed Care: With young women experiencing a higher rate of trauma in active addiction, providing trauma processing groups and recognizing the impact of trauma on addiction can place the emphasis on healing from both. Not every treatment facility offers trauma-informed care so it is important to ask.
Peer Support: Young women participating in group therapy sessions together can provide friendship, community, and understanding that is particularly beneficial during the recovery process and beyond.
Holistic Treatment Modalities: Addressing not only the addiction but also the emotional, physical, spiritual and mental aspects of recovery.
Finding the Right Treatment
Seek Professional Guidance: It can be difficult to find the right addiction treatment center; especially if you’ve never done it before. Contacting a substance abuse treatment center that specializes in young women’s addiction treatment is a great place to start. Professionals at these programs will assess the situation, learn about any specific needs and then recommend the most appropriate treatment option. Any ethical, good treatment provider will want to give you the best options for yourself or loved one regardless of if that facility is the one they work at.
Online Resources: SAMHSA provides a treatment locator website that helps you find addiction treatment centers near you. Use the filter application to specify facilities that specialize in treatment for young women. You can also use Google to find young adult female treatment programs in your area. It is highly recommended to do your due diligence during this process.
Consult Reputable Organizations: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) offer information and resources designed to help navigate the treatment process. Most states also have websites dedicated to providing substance abuse and mental health treatment help.
Young women do face obstacles when searching out treatment for addiction. It’s a complex and challenging issue, but with the right support and information it is absolutely doable. The right specialized treatment program is out there for you or your loved one. Call Momentum Recovery today to speak with their team and get the guidance you need to make a healthy and informed decision on the best treatment options. There is a brighter future out there waiting.