Of all of the facilities in the United States that provide addiction care, about one-third have developed specialized treatment programs just for women, according to the Alcohol and Drug Services Study. Facilities that provide this kind of specialized care are acknowledging that women have slightly different histories of drug abuse, and they also need slightly different care if they are to recover. These are the elements considered essential in any program that’s made just for women.
A Focus on Family
While many families in the United States take a gender-neutral stance in terms of parenting and childcare, women often define their role and their worth in terms of whom they help and care for. For women with addictions, a long history of drug abuse can keep them from developing healthy relationships with those around them, and the guilt about that lack of connection can work as a prompt that sparks a return to drug use.
Some women-centered programs keep family connections alive by providing on-site childcare, so a mother can bring her children with her to her sessions rather than searching for someone willing to watch over the children. But this isn’t the only option available that could help a woman with her family. Other worthwhile services might include parenting classes or family therapy. Some programs even offer outreach to community programs, so low-income addicted women can find safe places to live with their children and gain assistance with food and health care.
Any or all of these additional aspects could reduce the amount of stress a woman faces, and that might keep her from falling back into addiction when her treatment program is complete.
Mental Health Consideration
While anyone who abuses drugs might do so in response to underlying trauma, studies suggest that the link between prior trauma and addiction is especially strong in women. For example, in an article in The American Journal on Addictions, researchers suggest that 30 to 59 percent of women who abuse drugs have a co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder. Often, this illness arises due to:
- Physical abuse during childhood
- Sexual assault during childhood
- Assault during adulthood
- Domestic violence
Programs made just for women must provide enhanced mental health capabilities, so these sources of pain can be explored and dealt with. Women who emerge from sensitive therapy programs like this have the tools they need to deal with their memories without leaning on drugs, and that might help them to avoid a relapse in the future.
Help for Women at The Oaks at La Paloma
At The Oaks at La Paloma, we’re sensitive to the needs of women with addictions. That’s why our programs are built on a foundation of family. We include family members in our treatment programs, as needed, and we always amend our treatment plans based on the progress our patients make under our care. Our Dual Diagnosis approach also allows us to address any mental illness that might be compounding an addiction problem, and we provide extensive follow-up care programs, so we can ensure that the gains made in therapy last for the long term. Please call us, and our admissions coordinators will be happy to tell you more about the healing we can provide at The Oaks at La Paloma.