If you are a woman who is seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the process of trying to find the best treatment option. A quick search will show you there is no shortage of treatment facilities, but how do you know what is best? You may also wonder if it is important to choose a women’s addiction program. Co-ed programs are more common, and you can certainly get clean and sober in any program, so why should you choose a women’s addiction program over a co-ed program? Some women choose a women-only program because they feel safer and more secure, and find it less distracting. You may find that being in a women-only recovery environment makes you feel that you can speak freely and be yourself. These are good reasons to choose this type of treatment, but there is more to it than that. What Makes A Women’s Program Unique? Research has shown that when it comes to addiction, sex and gender differences play a huge role in how men and women are affected. These differences play a huge role in the impact that substance abuse has on women, how it impacts women’s health and what kinds of challenges and barriers women face when it comes to overcoming addiction and getting help for addiction. A good women’s treatment program isn’t just about separating the women from the men. Most co-ed programs keep the genders separated, and have separate groups and activities for each gender. This isn’t the same as a treatment program designed for women, though. A women’s program offers more than just a safe place to recover from addiction. It also offers a space for growth and change. In a women’s program, a strong emphasis is placed on self-discovery, finding your voice and healing from guilt and shame. Differences Between Men And Women In Addiction Women’s needs in addiction and recovery are often drastically different than men. Women respond differently to drugs and face different challenges than men do in regards to achieving abstinence from drugs and alcohol. This has been a topic of research and it has been found that the differences between women and men in addiction is physiological as well as mental, emotional and societal. Understanding these differences is essential in helping women recover. Unfortunately, it is only recently that there has been much attention paid to women and addiction. For years, addiction and recovery research was focused solely on men. Recent studies have revealed a wealth of knowledge that will hopefully move women’s addiction treatment forward in the future. While this new research is promising and welcome, women’s addiction programs have known for years that significant differences between the sexes exist when it comes to substance abuse and recovering from substance abuse. Women face differences when it comes to societal expectations and the stigmas that surround addiction. Mothers who are struggling with addiction face enormous amounts of guilt and shame, and often criticism from family, friends and society at large. Women are more likely to have experienced trauma and abuse in their addiction or in childhood and are also more likely to be experiencing a co-occurring eating disorder or anxiety disorder. Women often struggle with body image, sexuality, and self-esteem issues. In order to effectively address the struggles that women in recovery face, it is important that a program is designed to create an environment where women are encouraged to grow, heal and recover. What To Look For In A Women’s Addiction Program When looking for a women’s addiction program, it is important to discern whether it is a program that simply separates women from men, or whether it is a program designed for women. A good women’s addiction program is often founded by women who are in recovery and have seen the need for a program that addresses women’s needs. All good treatment centers should offer a warm, homelike environment that is safe and welcoming to its residents. Staff should have proper training and accreditation and the facility should be licensed. Ideally, a women’s addiction program is staffed by women. This helps women in the program feel safe and supported. Individual counseling, trauma counseling, and group counseling should be available, as well as other treatments and therapies that are beneficial and help encourage self-exploration and the development of self-esteem and self-worth. Some examples may include art, music and movement therapy, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and relapse prevention that focuses on the specific factors that often contribute to relapse for women. By asking a few questions, you can get a sense of whether or not the program is created to address the needs of women in treatment. Remember, a good treatment center doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. Only in a women’s treatment program are you going to find people who truly understand what it means to be a woman with an addiction, and what it means to be a woman in recovery today. Getting Help For Addiction At Wayside House If you are a woman looking for a women’s addiction program, contact Wayside House today. Our program is designed for women, by women. We offer unique treatments and therapies including art therapy, equine therapy, individual counseling, yoga and more. Our facility is set in a safe and welcoming environment and staffed with knowledgeable professionals who will treat you with respect and compassion. Contact Wayside House at 800-655-0817 to learn more about our program.