As of 2020, 31% of women 18 years and older were battling substance use disorder or a mental health issue. Behavioral health is a complex and multi-faceted problem in this country. Even more so for young adult women. Historically under-represented in clinical studies and under-served in the treatment industry, women require different treatment approaches than men do. Finding quality gender-specific treatment programs that utilize evidence-based practices can be difficult. Today we’ll explore everything you need to know about treatment programs for young women so you can make an informed decision and find the program best suited for your loved on.
Why Young Women Need Different Treatment
Women and men experience addiction differently according to research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This is due to a number of factors, including biological, psychological, and social differences. In young women experiencing substance abuse, trauma and co-occurring disorders are more prevalent. Gender specific treatment programs are necessary to create a safe and supportive environment where women can openly process and heal. SAMHSA also emphasizes trauma-informed care when treating young adult women with substance abuse disorders. A study known as the Adverse Childhood Experience found that early exposure to trauma can greatly increase the chances of addiction. Trauma-informed care examines addiction as a symptom of trauma and works to heal both together. Young women deserve a tailored approach to treatment - one that can address the unique and specific needs they may face during recovery.
What to Expect From a Quality Treatment Program
Comprehensive Assessment: A thorough and comprehensive assessment should always start off the treatment process. This assessment should evaluate an individual’s physical, psychological, and emotional health. It should also record medical history, family dynamics, substance abuse history, and trauma history. This information will be used by the treatment team to create a personalized treatment plan that will encompass the specific needs of the individual. A treatment plan is only as good as the information it contains so honesty during this process is crucial to a healthy recovery.
Gender-Specific Therapy: Gender-specific programs offer the best chance of true healing for young women; especially those with trauma or co-occurring disorders. Being surrounded by experienced therapists that understand and can accommodate the needs of a young woman beginning her recovery journey are not to be underestimated. Working within a community of other women where they can share their experiences, build support groups, and develop coping skills can be a life-changing experience.
Trauma-Informed Therapies: Clinical approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are all evidence-based therapies that address trauma. They also work wonders on co-occurring disorders and substance use disorders. Treating women's trauma and addiction, side-by-side, can be much more effective than trying to figure out which came first and treating them in that order.
Holistic Approach: Going beyond simply treating addiction is a hallmark of a quality treatment program. Focusing on nutrition, mindfulness, and stress management will help to support overall well-being. Successful recovery includes physical and mental wellness.
Aftercare Planning: Women’s treatment is just the beginning. Detailed aftercare planning should include ongoing support groups such as 12-step programs, relapse prevention strategies and education, and getting plugged in with local resources to provide stability, accountability, and support. Real recovery starts when rehab ends. .
Hopefully now you feel better equipped to make a decision around treatment for yourself or a loved one. Understanding why women need their own treatment programs and knowing what to expect will ensure a better experience for everyone involved. Call Momentum Recovery today to learn more about The Cove - a gender-specific treatment program for young adult women. The Cove is committed to providing the highest quality care to support young women in recovery and reclaim their lives from addiction.