It’s become very clear among experts in the addiction treatment field that women have different needs than men. In fact, not only do they have different needs, but they also tend to come to addiction for different reasons. They tend to have recovery needs, and they also tend to have different obstacles than men that get in the way of accessing treatment.
For instance, shame and guilt is and has been one of the biggest barriers to treatment for women for too long. Recognizing this fact, Dr. H. Westley Clark, the Director of The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), said, “When we look at our data, we find that 6.9 million women are needing but not receiving treatment.” And what’s worse, 94% of those women felt that they did not even need treatment. For this reason, researchers in the drug counseling and mental health fields are investigating the causes of women’s barriers to treatment, related to shame and guilt.
It’s clear that women’s sober living homes are necessary for the most effective treatment of female alcohol and drug addiction. Perhaps educating women on this key point can facilitate their recovery process. In fact, many community organizations are striving to provide services that meet the needs of women to support their arrival at a sober life.
The Substances Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests that treatment rehabilitative centers as well as sober living homes for women should consider the needs of a woman who is in recovery as well as the needs of those women who could use addiction treatment. The following is a list of factors to consider not only by treatment experts but by women themselves.
- The severity of the addiction.
- The drug of choice.
- The length of addiction.
- A woman’s resiliency.
- Any underlying mental illnesses.
- History of addiction and relapse in the family.
- The extent of a woman’s support network.
- A woman’s financial situation.
- The presence of childcare in treatment.
- A collaborative approach to treatment.
- A supportive environment in addiction treatment.
- The services offered such as meditation, yoga, nutritional counseling, and journaling.
A woman might take her recovery into her own hands by considering the above items. For example, she might make a list of the unique needs she has and search for the right recovery program for herself. This might include, for example, residing at a women’s sober living home after initial addiction treatment.
It’s clear that women’s sober living homes are necessary for the most effective treatment of female alcohol and drug addiction. Perhaps educating women on this key point can facilitate their recovery process. In fact, many community organizations are striving to provide services that meet the needs of women to support their arrival at a sober life. Women’s sober living homes allow women to develop friendships and alliances with other women, which in and of itself is healing. After treatment, once women find long term sober living, perhaps they can return to leading fulfilling lives.
Even though addiction has long been considered “a man’s disease”, there’s no question that women are suffering from addiction, and in fact, women in addiction and recovery are growing in numbers across the country. As a result, women’s sober living treatment services are changing to meet their needs and not just the needs of men.
Despite this change, it’s important to know that women themselves can take their recovery into their own hands. Once determining the needs they have, they can work with a drug counselor, therapist, or trusted friend to find the addiction treatment options that work best for them. Doing this can restore empowerment and strength as well as boost their confidence in staying sober.
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