The vast majority of treatment centers in the US are co-ed. While there is inherently no problem with this, there are situations where gender-specific treatment facilities are the preferred choice. Women in addiction face unique struggles when journeying towards sobriety. Programs that are female only are experienced in addressing and treating these struggles, while limiting outside distractions.
Treating the Needs of Women in Recovery
Gender-specific treatment programs are important to recovery as women often have different challenges associated with addiction than men. Women’s treatment centers acknowledge that men and women experience addiction differently and that both genders require their own specialized care. For women, that care can include:
Holistic Treatment Approach:
Women, statistically, more often have complex emotional and trauma-related sources for their substance use. Women’s centers work to address not just the addiction itself, but also the underlying emotional, physical, and psychological issues. The focus is on healing the whole person, not just a piece of her.
It has been said that addiction thrives in isolation and recovery thrives in community. Women’s treatment programs cultivate a strong sense of community and sisterhood amongst the residents. This camaraderie creates a safe environment to share experiences, struggles, accomplishments and insights. Building connections with other women who have experienced similar struggles can be instrumental in the recovery process.
Treating trauma is something that must be done in a protected and controlled context. It’s essentially ripping off a band-aid and the wound underneath has to be given enough time and space to heal. Exposing that open wound to an unclean environment increases the risk of infection and exacerbates the wound. Gender-specific treatment programs provide that safe space for healing. Trauma-informed care treats addiction as a symptom of trauma and treats the two together. Since women suffer from a higher rate of trauma and abuse than men, there needs to be a dedicated approach to processing those experiences and getting control of their life back.
Women’s Rehab vs Men’s Rehab
Treatment plans are customized to suit the specific needs of each woman. Men and women experience addiction differently and so their recovery is experienced alternatively as well. Women generally use drugs and alcohol for a shorter length of time when compared to men, but enter treatment with much more progressed addiction symptoms.
Focus on Relationships:
Women’s rehab programs spend time focusing on establishing healthy relationships and providing guidance on exiting toxic ones. Education on trauma-bonds, stockholm syndrome, and the effects of abusive relationships is shared. Women are more often than men addicted to drugs or alcohol because their partner is. This relationship dynamic can become codependent and abusive. Healing can’t begin until those toxic ties are broken.
Substance abuse treatment research has been geared towards men. Historically, women were not included in clinical research around addiction and addiction treatment. Because of this, many co-ed programs use the same treatment modalities for both men and women despite having evidence that they work effectively on both genders. Gender-specific treatments use evidence-based approaches for women’s treatment such as supportive therapy, taking a collaborative approach to treatment planning and incorporating trauma-informed care.
Fostering an empowering environment where women seeking recovery from addiction can heal and grow is at the core of women’s rehab centers. Taking a comprehensive and personalized approach to treatment acknowledges the differences in how women experience addiction and utilizes clinical modalities that work. If you or a loved one is considering treatment for substance use, take time to find the right program that aligns with your specific needs. Call Momentum Recovery today to learn more about their women’s program, The Cove and see if it’s the right fit for you.