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Rehab for Women: Expectations vs. Reality

NC Rehab for Women

The majority of substance abuse treatment centers in the country are co-ed. While not the norm, gender-specific treatment programs offer a highly personalized approach to treatment. If you have never heard of rehab for women only, you may be wondering what to expect. We’re here today to examine some common expectations and explore their realities. 


Expectation 1: Luxury & Comfort


Expectation: It’s easy to think of women’s rehab like a spa. Full of private, luxury rooms where comfort is the overarching goal. 


Reality: Most rehab facilities place an emphasis on creating a supportive, comfortable, and communal environment. While privacy is respected, shared rooms are common and luxury is not the primary goal. The main focus is on healing, health, and recovery. 


Expectation 2: Instant Cure


Expectation: It’s a common misconception that women’s treatment programs provide a 30 day quick fix for addiction. Come to rehab for a month and leave cured. 


Reality: While a lot of healing can happen in 30 days, there is no “quick fix” for addiction. Recovery is a lifelong journey. Think of women’s rehab like school. All the materials, education, and resources are provided but it’s still up to you to use the provided tools and put in the work.


Expectation 3: Unpleasant Experience


Expectation: Many people believe rehab and sobriety equals a dull life devoid of enjoyment. Treatment is a place where the focus is on abstinence of all things pleasurable and intensive therapy. Life without substances will be gray and meaningless. 


Reality: While abstinence is the goal, and therapy is a part of achieving that goal, women’s rehab is structured as a place of personal development and self-discovery. Therapy is much more than sitting across from someone and talking about your parents. It includes art therapy, yoga, equine therapy, group outings and more. Patients often report that their life in recovery is more fulfilling and enjoyable than anything they experienced in active addiction. 


Expectation 4: Judgement & Stigma


Expectation: The fear of judgment and the stigma of addiction can keep some women from seeking help. Worrying about how they will be perceived by their friends and family, especially if they are mothers is a major concern. 


Reality: Treatment facilities are judgment-free spaces. Often, many of the staff are in recovery themselves and understand the struggle. Everyone involved is there to provide support, encouragement, and understanding in the challenges and complexities of addiction and recovery. Family and friends are more concerned about your health and wellbeing than your ego. 


Expectation 5: Lack of Control


Expectation: Entering into a treatment facility means you are no longer in control of your life or autonomy. That whatever the rehab says is law. 


Reality: You lost control of your life when you entered active addiction. Women’s treatment programs are centered around regaining control of your life. Every individual is an active participant in their recovery. Entering into rehab is a voluntary process. No one is going to hold you there against your will. 


Expectation 6: One-Size-Fits-All Approach


Expectation: Women’s addiction treatment centers are cookie cutter programs that treat every individual the same. Treatment in general is a rigid, generic process. 


Reality: Every treatment center operates their approach differently. What the best ones have in common is that they tailor each recovery plan to the individual. No two treatment plans are the same because no two individuals are the same. Addiction happens as a result of our brain chemistry, genetics, the environment, and life experiences. As a result, the path to recovery should address each of these unique factors as well. 


Expectation 7: Isolation from Friends & Family


Expectation: Treatment equals no visits, no phone calls, and a complete disconnection from those you love and care about. 


Reality: While there is usually an initial 5-7 day blackout period to help new entrants get settled into the treatment program, after that you can see and speak with loved ones. Access to phones, letters, and family visits is allowed. Participation in family programs, where loved ones come out for a long weekend and participate in treatment, is encouraged.

Don’t be surprised if gender-specific treatment challenges your perceptions of rehab. While it may seem scary and daunting at first, the majority of those who complete treatment find it to be a transformative, positive experience. What’s really scary and daunting is continuing to live a life dependent on drugs and alcohol. 


If you’d like to learn more about women’s addiction treatment programs, call Momentum Recovery today.