Sober living homes were started as a way for people with addiction issues to seek a safe haven away from drugs, and away from temptation. Some people signed up after other forms of treatment, like rehab at a residential treatment facility. Others signed into sober living homes first, straight after going clean, hoping that a community away from drugs would help them stay that way. Over the years, sober living for women and men has helped many people find their path to sober life.
Decades have passed since sober living homes first started becoming popular, and while our understanding of addiction has advanced considerably, and new addiction treatment methods have helped countless people curb and even overcome their cravings and temptations, the role of sober living has not changed: it’s still about providing a drug-free environment where people can come together to form a community and support one another.
However, what has changed is that sober living communities today work alongside treatment centers to incorporate new treatment methods and take them into consideration when setting up schedules and programs for tenants.
Sober living homes separate themselves from other forms of treatment by offering tenants a place to learn a new lifestyle, rather than offering a form of treatment. This presents these communities with unique challenges – in particular, the challenge of housing several individuals with substance problems and mood swings under one roof. Typically, one way to avoid tension is by offering split gender communities. This means some sober living facilities are male-only, others are female-only, and some are coed communities, but with separate facilities and living quarters for men and women, and strict rules regarding curfews and visitors.
If you’re looking for a sober living for women, then it helps to know what you should be looking for – and why picking sober living for women only can help you in curbing your cravings and overcoming your addiction.
What Women Need from Sober Living Treatment
Gender does not play a significant role in the nature of recovery – that is, getting clean and staying clean – but the ways in which gender influences the beginning and reasoning for an addiction often affects how that addiction is treated. For women, drug addiction is a grater danger – while men are more likely to use drugs, women are more likely to get addicted to them. For men, addiction is more common, as is overdose.
Because they are also more likely to struggle with mental health issues and personal issues at a younger age, there is more risk of addiction for young women than for young men. Note that this does not mean women get addicted more often than men do, but simply that they get addicted at a faster pace. In addition, while men often use drugs to be adventurous or to explore new risky behavior, women much more often use them from the onset as a way to cope with emotional pain, a higher risk factor for developing an emotional (and physical) dependence.
Pregnancy can also play a role, as mood swings and emotional pain as a result of pregnancy can pose a greater risk of addiction, and pregnant women need addiction treatment that specifically addresses the prenatal needs of their baby as well as themselves.
A sober living for women is a great environment for women of all ages and walks of life to come together and seek treatment. The majority of physical and emotional abuse women experience is through men – by being in a sober living for women during their recovery, they can enjoy both the fact that their environment is drug-free, and that they do not have to worry about male influences. If a woman in recovery is initially shy towards socializing due to past experiences, then a sober living for women is also more likely to encourage her to open up slowly and become more comfortable with exploring her experiences and finding answers to questions of emotional pain.
As time goes on, it’s important for any individual with addiction struggles to come to terms with themselves and take on life outside of the sober living community. This can be a big transition, but all sober living environments are built to help their tenants achieve this transition much more smoothly.
Sober Living for Women After Treatment
When it comes to addiction, there are very few universal truths. Some things can be vaguely agreed upon – for example, the fact that addiction is a real and chronic issue and takes a continuous effort to correct and overcome. There’s also the fact that addiction worsens mood disorders like depression and can grow stronger with anxiety – and that addressing these issues can help people fight their addiction more effectively.
But many other things depend entirely on the individual. Some people respond best to individual therapy, while others need the social setting of group therapy to make the most progress in their journey towards a stable sober life.
Treatment specialists are not magicians, and there’s no way to divine an individual’s specific treatment needs. But sober living facilities and treatment clinics work together to help every patient find their way: the best way for them to get better.
Despite the fact that women are more likely to abuse drugs because of certain factors, treatment is still determined on an individual basis. Some women develop an addiction not due to emotional pain or as a coping mechanism, but because of curiosity, experimentation and peer-pressure. Other women may use drugs recreationally without qualifying as addicted. While women often have a harder time quitting than men, this does not mean all women struggle more to quit than all men.
In general, long-term addiction treatment necessitates a few things. These include having a solid and stable support system, a clear mind capable of self-care, and the safety of a loving and reliable home. Following a treatment plan that is catered to the individual and residing in a clinic or sober living for women that specializes in a single gender is often more effective than generalized treatment – and regardless of how you choose to get better, it’s important to figure out what works best for you by trying different forms of treatment.
Remember that with anything in addiction treatment, your mileage may vary. Don’t try to rush yourself or conform your progress with statistics or other standards. What matters most is steady, forward-moving progress – even if now and again, you may have to take a few steps back in a relapse. If you keep moving forward, you will find a better way of living.