Statistics show that women are abusing drugs and alcohol at an increasing rate. With about 2.7 million women in the U.S. currently battling a substance abuse problem, the issue of effective recovery options for women has become more important than ever.
Unfortunately, find the right kind of treatment or any kind of treatment at all continues to be the biggest challenge for the majority of these women. The majority of women addicted to drugs or alcohol don't ever get treatment at all because they face a variety of challenges, including:
The fear of being judged by their families, or being cut off by their family members.
An inability to see their drug or alcohol use as a problem. Instead, they attribute it to other causes.
Using their drug or alcohol habit to treat mental conditions, such as anxiety or depression, and continuing to avoid getting help for those conditions.
The stigma of being a woman addicted to drugs or alcohol continues to be a problem. Many women are ashamed or afraid to admit they have a problem and go to great lengths to hide it from family and peers.
All of these challenges have been around for quite some time and continue to keep women from getting the help they so desperately need to heal their lives and make a change. It's unfortunate because there is growing evidence that women can actually make faster progress in recovery than men. Even when they do make the choice to go into recovery, there are additional challenges that need to be taken into consideration. Some of the unique challenges that women face in recovery include:
Women usually start abusing drugs or alcohol for different reasons than men. This means that an effective recovery program needs to take this into consideration. Every woman will have a different path to recovery and different relapse triggers. Many women drink or use drugs when they're alone or at home. This is due to the stigma that surrounds a female drinker or drug user.
Women who have stressful lives are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Many will use drugs to keep up the image of being a successful mother, career woman, and spouse. Others will begin abusing drugs that give them more energy to balance responsibilities or to lose weight.
This type of female alcoholic or addict will appear to be on top of their lives and doing just fine, but in reality they are just high functioning addicts or alcoholics.Women are more likely than men to mix different types of drugs, or mix drugs with alcohol. This potentially deadly mix poses a risk to their health and lives.
A woman with children, a spouse, or prominent role in her family will be more likely to impact the whole family system with her alcoholism or addiction. This not only makes seeking treatment much more daunting, it can also be difficult for a woman to get the support she needs from her family once she goes into recovery.
In addition to these challenges, a woman has different concerns when it comes to mental health, spirituality, and physical health. There are also the unique life circumstances of a woman that need to be taken into consideration during recovery. This is why an individualized approach is so important for any woman in recovery.
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