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Challenges Women Face in Recovery

Jul 30, 2020

It’s no surprise that the needs of women differ greatly from those of men. Certain characteristics that empower women can be the same things that hinder them in both treatment and ongoing recovery. Physical and genetic differences, gender expectations, and social dynamics each play a role in how a woman approaches her recovery journey. Recognizing these distinct differences can be critical in creating a pathway to long-lasting sobriety.

Co-occurring disorders are often common in women facing addiction. 

It is estimated that up to 80% of women suffering from addiction are also affected by a mental health disorder. Many women receiving treatment for substance use also have a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Expectations such as being a good wife and mother, career responsibilities, and past traumas are some of the common challenges women in addiction may face. Recognizing these challenges can break down barriers that hinder the recovery process.

Creating a safe space can promote healing.

Feelings of shame and guilt may hinder some women from seeking help for addiction. Gender-specific and gender-separate treatment options allow for a nurturing and safe environment where women can focus on their recovery without having the added distraction of men around. Since addiction can be overwhelmingly isolating, creating a space where women can connect with other female patients who share similar struggles can be beneficial in the recovery process. Learning how to communicate and relate to one another in a gender-specific setting opens the door to a supportive form of healing.

Family therapy is important.

Women leaving treatment may find it difficult to create a new, more balanced routine for their daily lives. Family therapy can be valuable for both the woman and her entire family. Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family, so it is imperative to involve family members from the time of admission and include them well into their loved one’s recovery program and plans for discharge. Ensuring your loved one feels supported from day one can lessen the pressures she may feel when leaving treatment.

The fight for a life of sobriety can seem overwhelming at first. However, recognizing the differences women face and helping them create a support system can provide a foundation to long-lasting sobriety.

Hannah’s House is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-952-5532.

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