Are you struggling with addiction? No one sets out to become addicted to substances. It sneaks up on you, stealing your dreams, your health, your family and your security. Addiction is a vicious cycle of using, often against your will. The consequences start to pile up, and for many women, the desire to quit using simply isn’t enough. At some point, you realize you need help.
Once you have made that decision, the next step is to find the help that’s right for you. The statistics can seem grim. You may even have heard that there is no hope for recovering from addiction, or perhaps you have tried many times to quit, but have had no lasting success. The good news is that there is hope, and you can recover.
Women And Addiction
As a woman, you face a multitude of challenges in your life. Research has shown that women respond to substance use differently than men. Women are more likely to become addicted in a shorter period of time, women have a more difficult time quitting, women are quicker to experience physical consequences to using, and women are more likely to experience victimization, violence and exploitation.
To make matters worse, women are more often the primary caregivers of children, and are more likely to lose custody of their children than men, often have less access to treatment, and may be more financially disadvantaged than men.
The stigma that comes with being addicted continues to be negative, and women may face a great deal of judgment, particularly if they are mothers. Guilt and shame are powerful and may keep you using, or lead you back to using if they are not resolved.
It is common for addicted women to be in unhealthy relationships, and may lack the resources to leave such situations. Domestic violence is also common. Addicted women often grapple with low self-esteem, low self-worth, negative body image, codependency and a lack of skills needed to gain their independence.
Finding The Right Treatment
There are a lot of drug treatment centers out there, and the fact is that most of them were designed to treat men.
Up until about 20 years ago, little research was devoted to women’s addiction or addiction treatment. When women needed help with addiction, they went to a men’s treatment center, where they were often met with treatment and therapies that were ill-equipped to address the unique needs of women with addiction. Not only that, but women were often left to feel that they were in an intimidating environment, where they did not feel entirely safe or respected.
While plenty of women have completed coed treatment centers successfully, it’s become increasingly clear that a better way needed to be found. Too many women were leaving treatment feeling as though their needs were not addressed, or feeling as though they weren’t much better off after treatment than when they went in.
How Women’s Treatment Is Making A Difference
Because women are facing different challenges in their addiction and recovery, and because they respond differently to treatment, it’s important that women have access to treatment that is designed specifically for them.
A women’s treatment center offers this, and in a safe, secure environment that allows women to heal, recover and find their voices.
Addiction robs you of your self-worth, your potential, your identity and your dreams. Recovery can restore them. A treatment center that gives you the tools you need to not only recover from addiction, but that teaches you skills that can help you build a new life. Here are some examples:
Therapies specifically designed to foster growth, self-esteem, competence, confidence and life skills, such as:
Equine therapy has been shown to reduce stress, improve confidence and leadership skills, aid in anger management and increase empathy and communication skills. Animals are natural healers, and spending time with horses offers multiple therapeutic benefits, including a reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Every woman who comes into treatment is an individual, with unique challenges, strengths and obstacles. Individual therapy helps women work through these issues while healing and recovering from active addiction.
Dual Diagnosis Therapy And Services
Statistics show that as much as 48% of people struggling with addiction are also dealing with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and eating disorders. In order for addiction to be successfully treated, co-occurring issues must be addressed, too. Treating the whole person, not just the addiction, is essential for long-term recovery and a healthy, satisfying life.
Art therapy isn’t just about creative expression. So many women come into treatment struggling with trauma, unaddressed and unprocessed grief, anger, guilt and shame — much of it buried deep beneath the surface. Talk therapy is a great tool for helping to work through and process many of these issues, but it takes time to build a therapeutic rapport, and for many women, verbally expressing deep down wounds isn’t easy. Art therapy allows women to get in touch with some of these issues in a non-threatening and non-confrontational way.
Even under ideal circumstances, parenting isn’t easy. We aren’t born knowing how to raise children, we learn through experience and example. Being in active addiction can result in ineffective parenting habits that can create problems in the short and long term. Parenting skills classes can give women the tools to help them give their children the security and consistency they need to thrive.
Unfortunately, trauma and PTSD are common conditions faced by women in recovery. Oftentimes, they are not diagnosed and addressed. When women do not get treatment for their trauma, they are at a higher risk for relapse, depression, anxiety and repeated trauma.
Getting help for these conditions is vital to recovery. Today, we have better tools and strategies than ever for addressing these issues. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a proven, cutting edge therapy that can dramatically improve the symptoms of trauma and PTSD.
Wayside Offers Affordable Addiction Treatment For Women
If you are a woman 18 or over who is looking for comprehensive women’s treatment, Wayside House can help. Our program is created by women, for women, and offers inpatient treatment in our serene, safe facility and is staffed by knowledgeable addiction specialists who are committed to helping you recover and reclaim your life. Call 800-655-0817 to learn more today.