Drug and alcohol treatment incorporates many different factors. These factors are often studied and tested, then implemented to ensure the optimum potential for an individual to recover from substance abuse addiction. Some factors utilized include available resources, social support, finances, and health care records. Gender, race, and sexual orientation are also important aspects to consider when seeking alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Different demographics have different concerns that may impact the outcome of treatment and are critical to the assessment of treatment options.
At AspenRidge, a leading alcohol rehab center in Denver, we understand addiction’s complexity and the challenges families face when trying to help their loved ones.
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Importance of Women’s Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Gender is often considered to be one of the most important factors in treatment. A clinician will consider gender differences when creating a treatment plan. Understanding gender can help the client and the clinician have knowledge into gender-specific problems that may exacerbate substance use disorders or that may aid in the process of recovery. The topic of gender differences has been a growing factor in the field of counseling and rehabilitation. Sex and gender are significant factors to personal identity and it is important to know the terminology to better understand the impact they may have on the recovery process.
According to RecoveryAnswers.org, in the United States, 5.7% of women suffer from a substance use disorder. From 2010 to 2015, over 50,000 women died from a drug overdose, excluding alcohol-related deaths. Overdose deaths among women continue to increase year over year. Additionally, the patterns of drug prevalence associated with suicide are stronger among females. In a separate study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 29% of female state prisoners in Colorado were sentenced on a drug offense.
Women’s drug and alcohol treatment programs can help mitigate some of these growing numbers. However, due to the complexities of drug abuse and addiction as a disease, it’s important that women’s issues are addressed within any of Colorado’s prevalent drug and alcohol treatment facilities. These issues can include:
- Sex hormones can make women more sensitive than men to the effects of some drugs.
- Divorce, loss of child custody, or the death of a partner or child can trigger women’s substance use or other mental health disorders.
- Women who use certain substances may be more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.
Addressing Women-Specific Issues And Prevalent Drug Abuse
Women have several gender-specific differences and these differences can place them at higher risk. As stated by drugabuse.gov:
Drug use: Women often use substances differently than men, such as using smaller amounts of certain drugs for less time before they become addicted.
Drug impacts: Women can also respond to substances differently. This could include more intense cravings and a higher possibility of relapse during the recovery process.
Hormones: Are also an important factor to consider as this may lead to more intense physical effects for women than for men. For example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging shows more significant brain changes in women than in men which may be the reason for the increased likelihood of an overdose.
Relationship concerns: This can lead to increased substance use for women. Domestic violence, divorce, custody battles, or loss of a partner may lead to co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Trauma: Women, including transgender women, are sexually assaulted or raped more frequently. Sexual abuse victims are 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs than those who have not been sexually abused.
Overall, women are at an elevated risk for developing a substance use disorder or other mental health concerns due to the severity of their gender-specific concerns.
How Prevalent is Substance Abuse in Women?
According to the American Hospital Association, “the number of women with opioid use disorder at labor and delivery quadrupled from 1999-2014.” This is an alarming increase that caught the attention of many substance abuse counselors. By including women in alcohol and drug research, researchers are able to identify important information related to gender and rehabilitation.
Of female high school students in Colorado in 2017, 31% had at least one or more drinks of alcohol in the last 30 days. Colorado statistics in 2017 indicate that 82.1% of women ages 18 to 44 chose to use prescription opioids for short-term pain relief. In the same year, around 6% of women using prescription opioids died due to an overdose.
What are Gender-specific Treatments?
Including women in research studies has provided tremendous insight into gender-specific treatment for women. These treatments incorporate the concerns a woman may have that might prevent them from seeking out professional support for recovery. A few treatment methods have shown elevated success rates in treating women’s drug and alcohol abuse. These treatments include:
- Medication treatment through the use of Methadone or buprenorphine
- Trauma counseling
- Parenting support
- Child care options
- Developing a balance in work, home, and motherhood.
Pregnancy counseling and cessation of substances is an important treatment option if women are using drugs throughout pregnancy. This can be difficult as it is possible for the fetus to be lost if the mother quits substances abruptly. Treatments for women are vast and offer significant success rates both during and after treatment. Discussing your personal needs with trained clinicians and staff is important. Women seeking rehabilitative services are encouraged to contact AspenRidge to explore the assessment process that will aid in tailoring services to the client and gender-specific needs.
AspenRidge Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Center
We are the leading alcohol use disorder treatment provider in Colorado , including mental health and dual diagnosis. Our treatment options work for individuals seeking a life of sobriety.
We provide lasting solutions and outpatient care programs to individuals and their families suffering from these conditions. Call us today at 855-281-5588. Our compassionate and licensed staff is here to help you move toward long-term recovery.