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Women’s Treatment Center

Women's Drug Rehab

Women + Substance Abuse Treatment

Women and Addiction

Gender-specific or gender-focused addiction programs are drug and alcohol treatment programs designed to treat the unique needs of men and women in separate treatment programs. Because women and men use substances differently and for different reasons, they also face different obstacles while working towards recovery. Gender-focused or women-only programs address these differences and treatment needs to promote healing in a safe and supported setting. 

Recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate that rates of addiction and abuse across a range of substances for women are higher than many might realize. Data from the most recent surveys show:

  • Approximately 5% of women meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder
  • Up to 23% of women struggle with nicotine addiction
  • Women between ages 45 and 54 are more likely to die from complications of prescription drug overdose than any other age group
  • 2018 data indicates almost 4.5 million adult women (over age 18) misused opioids in the previous year 
  • 300,000 women reported abusing heroin in 2018
  • 29% of women over age 13 reported abusing buprenorphine
  • Statistics suggest that 5% of women report abusing marijuana
  • Data from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows approximately 1% of women report cocaine abuse

If you are looking for drug addiction treatment for women, contact Hillside Mission Recovery today. Hillside Mission Recovery is a luxury drug rehab in Mission Viejo.

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We offer thorough aftercare planning & alumni programming to keep clients connected to the recovery community.

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Addiction in Men and Women is Different

How Does Substance Abuse Impact Women?

Statistics suggest that women are more likely than men to report using prescription drugs for reasons other than intended. Women often begin using drugs or alcohol because they need a coping mechanism for the symptoms of an abusive relationship or another type of trauma history. Often, women who use alcohol or drugs have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse and may begin to use due to “environmental” causes. 

Women typically start using at lower rates (smaller doses and lower frequency) than men. However, the frequency of use and average dose amount quickly escalate to dependence and addiction. Often at a rate far quicker than that of males. Although women tend to enter an addiction treatment program sooner, they often do so with higher incidences of co-occurring mental health conditions, including anxiety and mood disorders.

Treatment Just For Women

Are There Women-Only Rehab Programs?

Aside from notable differences in why and how the genders start using drugs or alcohol, there are also different expectations and goals for addiction treatment. Gender-specific programs are ideal for addressing these differences by providing benefits specific to each demographic. For example:

  • Specialized treatment programs and therapy models consider gender-unique physiological, relational, and emotional concerns
  • Minimized gender-related or sexual tension between male and female group members
  • Supportive therapy groups inspire open communication about the unique pressures faced by women with substance use disorders
  • Elevated comfort levels in gender-specific treatment environments encourage trust and bonding with peers in the program

The Pros of Gender-Specific Substance Abuse Treatment

What Are the Benefits of a Women's Rehab Program?

Just as there are many differences in how men and women experience addiction, there are many benefits to providing gender-specific treatment.

Specialized treatment

Women and men have notably and sometimes dramatically different therapeutic needs due to how their bodies and minds react to drug and alcohol use. Male and female bodies are biologically different in several ways. As a result, their organs process drugs and alcohol out of their systems differently. Research shows that women may experience more significant effects from stimulant drug abuse (for example, cocaine and methamphetamines) because estrogen affects the processing and breakdown of these drugs. Female bodies also contain less water and more fatty tissue than males, making women more vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcohol abuse as fat retains alcohol while water dilutes it. 

Women may also have different social needs and concerns when they begin treatment. Women participating in addiction therapy often have a trauma history. The mental health implications of these life experiences underscore the importance of choosing therapeutic models focused on helping women heal. 

Finally, how women and men develop substance use disorders is different. While women are statistically less likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction, when they do, it occurs at an accelerated rate. For this reason, women are more likely to enter rehab with more severe medical, emotional, social, and behavioral treatment needs. Addressing these co-occurring mental and physical health needs is crucial to ensure you have the most significant opportunity for achieving and maintaining sobriety. 

Greater comfort during treatment

In a mixed-gender therapy group, women may feel uncomfortable disclosing traumatizing, intimate, and painful life experiences. Gender-specific therapy removes this apprehension and offers a therapy environment that feels safer and more welcoming. The increased comfort level achieved with women’s treatment encourages honesty and open communication-two vital components of effective treatment. 

Less distraction

While in recovery, focusing on your health, self-improvement, and growth is essential. For some, having a member of the opposite sex present within their treatment program may be a distraction that hinders progress and development while in recovery.

Understanding What You Need

Hillside Mission Provides Comprehensive Rehab for Women in Southern California

Historically, drug and alcohol treatment programs have been designed around the needs of men, with treatment outcomes derived from studies with male participants. It wasn’t until recently that treatment professionals and the medical community began to promote treatment geared towards the needs women face, which can be drastically different from those of men. Several factors specific to women need to be considered when developing a treatment plan. For these reasons, treatment for women should and will look different than it does for men.

The road to freedom from addiction is not always a straight line. Even those who are dedicated to achieving sobriety and maintaining lasting recovery will experience bumps and setbacks along the way. Choosing a women’s rehab in Southern California can help make your journey safer, more comfortable, and more effective. Therapy sessions at a gender-specific rehab provide the opportunity to work with a group of like-minded peers who share the same goals and treatment challenges. 

Not all rehab programs offer gender-specific or women-only addiction treatment. 

Contact Hillside Mission Recovery today to learn more about our Orange County substance abuse treatment programs for women.

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