August 16th, 2015
Research & Progress
Finding the best drug rehabilitation program for women is challenging — there are a lot of options out there, especially if you consider both gender-specific and general programs.
Still, there are some powerful arguments to be made for specific types of programs and women ‘s only treatment as a whole. When it comes to women with children, the options for really effective treatment narrow even further.
In this article, we’ll look at what makes certain approaches part of the best drug rehabilitation program options available.
Many people believe that men and women can be treated roughly the same when it comes to addiction recovery. This can be true, but in many cases, it simply isn’t.
For example, women with children present many specialized issues which can overstep the expertise of many traditional treatment programs. In order to handle addiction cases in women with children, the rehab center must have experience treating symptoms of young children’s exposure to alcohol and also handling addiction as a family problem.
There are also the emotional and psychological issues which are much more powerful, on average, in the case of women with substance use disorder. While both men and women can develop addictions as a result of emotional trauma, women tend to have different issues than men.
Women much more frequently have sexual abuse in their history pushing them into addiction as well. According to the US national Institute on Drug Abuse, women with a history of sexual abuse in childhood are about three times as likely to develop drug dependency later on during adulthood.
Abuse is, in general, an often-overlooked factor in treatment, especially for women. Consider this: simply being hugged, in a well-intentioned way, by a man during the course of treatment can torpedo a patient’s progress to recovery and trigger a relapse into addiction. Instead of delivering comfort like the man meant, the hug may trigger past traumatic memories, producing a downward spiral.
It’s details like these that represent reasons why understanding the basis of addictions — and the unique issues which women face in trying to overcome them, is so crucial to treatment. Therapists and group support can help patients face old problems and difficult pasts, helping them understand why a factor might be driving them to use and overcome those elements of their pasts. Once this has been done, true healing can finally begin.
A key factor in women-only treatment is the sad fact that many women addicts have children.
In fact, fear of losing her children is the main reason mothers avoid treatment. Lack of guidance from the parents, fear of abandonment, and the consequence of abuse relating to the parent’s addiction can also be significant issues for her children.
For all these reasons, women ‘s only rehab programs like New Directions for Women tend to be very different from general or men’s’ rehab programs.
In particular, New Directions is famous for taking a holistic approach: they blend traditional “12 steps” style therapies with more exotic programs to produce highly effective treatments and is why we consider NDFW to be one of the best drug rehabilitation programs for women.