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Learning The “Secrets” of Health

The Major Challenges Women Face in Overcoming Addiction

Both women and men go through devastating emotional and physical consequences of addiction to drugs or alcohol. However, some studies have revealed that women in particular face some barriers and hurdles in dealing with addiction, seeking treatment and getting effective treatment to help them in overcoming the addiction problem. Below are some of the special challenges that women face in rehab.

Many of the women who decide to go to rehab are at a disadvantage from the start. Various studies have shown that women who become hooked on alcohol or drugs tend to have lower socioeconomic status and lower education levels. They often seek treatment after referral by the courts or by friends, family or co-workers. On the other hand, many men are referred to rehab centers by employers, doctors or even the legal system.

Many women also treat drug addiction as an issue related to stress and assume that it will go away without seeking treatment. Women normally have more responsibilities in their families in raising children and thus might feel that they cannot leave their family for a long time to go for treatment or might be in denial about how serious their addiction problem is. Women who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often have anxiety and depression that cause them to keep off treatment or may have experienced some emotional, physical or sexual abuse that causes feelings of trauma and shame.

There is still a lot of stigma that’s attached to women who abuse drugs or alcohol particularly women who have children or who are not pregnant. With no help to look after their children, work and family duties during recovery and rehabilitation, women are most times discouraged from searching for treatment. The social shame and potential disapproval from friends, relatives, co-workers, and employers are enough to keep lots of them from treatment completely, and also the fear of losing the custody of the kids is another demotivator.

Other women might be intimidated by other obstacles from the treatment facilities themselves. For instance, a woman who experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse from a man may be afraid of the idea of seeking treatment from centers where men work. Since women might have major responsibilities for childcare and might also be working or do not have insurance coverage, treatment facilities may not be possible due to financial reasons.

Luckily, there are treatment centers that recognize that women’s needs are different from men’s needs and it may be beneficial to have a program which is specifically designed to overcome these barriers and help them find treatment. Several facilities offer programs that focus on helping women to deal with addiction.