Practical and Helpful Tips: Wellness
The Major Challenges Women Face in Overcoming Addiction
Both women and men go through traumatic emotional and physical consequences of addiction to alcohol or drugs. 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 a few of the unique challenges that women face in rehabilitation.
The majority of the women who opt to go to rehabilitation are at a disadvantage from the start. Some studies have shown that women who become addicted to alcohol or drugs tend to have lower socioeconomic status and lower schooling levels. They frequently look for treatment after referral from the judges or friends, family or co-workers. On the flip side, most men are referred to rehab centers by doctors, employers or even the legal system.
Many women also treat drug dependence as an issue related to stress and assume that it is going to go away without requiring treatment. Women usually have more responsibilities in their families in raising children and so might think that they cannot leave their family for a long time to seek treatment or may be in denial about how severe their dependence 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 which is attached to women who abuse alcohol or drugs especially women who have kids or who are pregnant. Without the help to take care of their kids, family and work obligations during rehabilitation and recovery, women are most times discouraged from looking 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 may have significant responsibilities for childcare and may also be working or don’t have insurance coverage; treatment facilities might not be possible because of financial factors.
Fortunately, there are treatment centers which recognize that women’s needs are not the same as men’s demands and it might be advantageous to have a program that’s specially designed to overcome these obstacles and let them find treatment. Many centers offer programs that focus on assisting women to deal with addiction.