It is no secret that women who struggle with addiction face noticeable different roadblocks and difficulties along their recovery journey than their male counterparts. The origins of their substance use disorders can range from biological traits to experienced traumas, and the therapeutic interventions they seek can require a specialized approach in order to help them achieve sustained sobriety.
That is why the unique challenges facing women living with addiction are best addressed by clinical treatment providers who are specifically trained to address those challenges and provide guidance that is tailored to their individual needs.
Finding a treatment facility capable of this therapeutic approach requires both research and understanding into the specific roadblocks impacting women who are living with a substance use disorder. This ensures that the potential for success is both viable and longstanding.
Why Women Use Drugs
There are a variety of reasons why women use drugs. Some may be dealing with severe traumatic experiences, while others may be attempting to manage mental health issues through self-medication.
Some of the more notable issues impacting addiction among women include:
• Feelings of loneliness
• Body image issues
• Loss of self-esteem
• Personal stress
• Relationship issues
While these are not the only reasons influencing addiction among women, they do provide some insight into what may spark a substance use disorder or perpetuate a bad habit that already existed.
Why Women Struggle with Addiction
The specific factors influencing addiction among women are more common than you may think.
Studies show that over the past decade, the use of alcohol among women in the U.S rose nearly 20 percent. Over that span of time, the percentage of women who consumed four or more drinks on a given day each week skyrocketed by nearly 60 percent.
Additionally, opioid addiction among women has continued to rise exponentially with hospitalizations increasing 75 percent over that same time period. Some influencing factors include:
• Needs of their kids
• Pressures associated with their careers
• Aging bodies
• Various traumatic experiences
• Financial pressure
While these were just a small sample of the unique stressors experienced by women struggling with addiction, they do highlight a variety of stressors that women endure on a consistent basis.
How Addiction Affects Women
Finding a way to both confront your addiction and receive the help necessary to overcome its grip on your life is no simple accomplishment. It requires not only understanding how your disease has impacted your life, but also why it has been so difficult to defeat.
Being aware of how addictive patterns develop is key to identifying their existence and beginning your journey back to a sober state of being.
Some ways in which addiction affects women include the following:
- Women face unique social pressures and influences
Consider the marketing of alcohol to women and the “mommy needs wine” mentality blasted on social media. Popular Facebook groups like “Moms Who Need Wine” have tens of thousands of fans and one company even calls wine “Mommy Juice.” Drinking is celebrated with memes and photos of cocktails as a way to cope with the stress of motherhood. All of this targeted media directly influences personal drinking habits and the increasing drinking trends among women.
- Experiencing pain is a common driver of addiction among women
Several studies have shown that women suffer more frequently and more intensely from pain and they may require more medication to achieve relief. In one study, women required at least double the morphine needed by males to achieve comparable pain relief. They also are more likely to have chronic and inflammatory pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.
- Women are more often exposed to certain types of trauma that can fuel drug abuse
Interpersonal violence can play a significant role in how and why women fall into addiction. A history of violent trauma is more common among women with drug addiction, placing them at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. They’ve also had more exposure to incest, sexual abuse, and family violence, and are often more vulnerable than men to physical attacks.
How Addiction Treatment Can Help
The benefits of substance abuse treatment, regardless of your specific gender or identification, is important to consider. Getting the best care possible when seeking therapy and treatments requires you to find potential treatment centers that offer clinically qualified services by licensed and trained staff.
Some benefits of treatment focused on women’s substance abuse issues are that it allows women a safe place to open up without fear or embarrassment while focusing on their specific needs. Additionally, treatment of this nature is developed with women’s problems in mind and helps women form friendships with other women who are in a similar situation, fostering a sense of safety throughout the entire treatment experience.
At a treatment center like Ranch Creek Recovery, the belief that women can receive the treatment they need in a safe and compassionate environment is at the forefront of every interaction. Through dual diagnosis treatment, we specialize in addressing emotional or psychiatric issues that may be contributing to their addiction problem.
This comprehensive approach ensures that your time in treatment highlights all your specific concerns and ensures your therapeutic experience is second to none.
Addiction Recovery Programs that Cater to Women’s Needs at Ranch Creek Recovery
You can quit your addiction and lead a thriving life. Our individualized treatment programs are gender-specific, allowing us to address your unique challenges and needs as a woman. Learn more about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today to start your journey toward recovery.