Choosing the right drug treatment center is, undoubtedly, an overwhelming task. Especially if it is for your daughter, your sister, your wife, or a close female friend. Studies show that there is a greater stigma against women who use drugs and alcohol. And this stigma prevents many women from wanting to seek help. It also prevents many families from recognizing when their loved one has a problem.
Women, who are often seen as maternal figures, are held to certain standards or gender roles in society. When a woman is addicted to drugs, there can be more shame and judgment involved. Often, there is also great trauma and suffering rooted in female drug use. As a result, women often closet their drinking and drug use, and do not seek treatment out of fear of what others may think.
If you know your loved one has a drug or alcohol problem, it is important to find the right help. A women’s drug treatment center that recognizes the unique experiences of women battling substance addiction. A treatment center that offers both compassionate and clinical support, and that can tailor their program specifically to your loved one’s needs.
Ready to start your search? Below, we outline the top three considerations to keep in mind as you choose a women’s drug treatment center for your loved one.
Are the treatment programs for women only?
As noted above, and detailed here, women and men have very unique experiences with drug use. As a result, they also have very unique needs in addiction recovery. Women, for example, are more vulnerable to the long-term effects of drugs and alcohol. Women are also quicker to develop an addiction than men and, once addicted, find it more difficult to quit. This alone gives them different needs in a drug treatment program, which is why a women’s only rehab program is so crucial.
Women’s drug treatment centers are staffed with experts in female substance addiction. They are specifically trained in counseling women with substance use disorders, and in healing them – mind and body – from the detrimental effects that drug use has caused. Women are more susceptible to relapse than men, so women’s only rehab programs really focus on teaching coping skills and relapse prevention methods while in recovery. At Turnbridge, our experienced clinical team has received training and accreditation in women’s addiction treatment.
This is not the only reason a women’s treatment center is so crucial. Fact of the matter is that women battling addiction usually do not want to be in a mixed-gender program. And they find less success as a result. You see, women with drug problems typically start using through a significant relationship (such as a boyfriend). Many women also use drugs to cope with past traumas, such as physical or sexual abuse.
Gender-specific treatment allows women to feel comfortable in their program; they are not scared of or distracted by the opposite gender. By being surrounded by only women, they are more likely to open up in counseling sessions and group therapies, and share their experiences with one another. This is more productive for the healing process, and allows them to relate to other women in recovery.
Does the facility offer dual diagnosis and trauma-informed therapies?
Women battling substance addiction are highly likely to have experienced trauma in their lifetime. They are also highly likely to have a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, or PTSD. Research shows up to 80 percent of women suffering from addiction also battle a mental health disorder. Meanwhile, between 55 to 99 percent of women in drug treatment report a history of trauma.
For this reason, it is critical that the women’s drug treatment program you choose is specialized in co-occurring disorders and trauma-informed therapies. Even if you do not suspect your loved one is battling a mental illness, or has a history of trauma, it is possible that she has experienced some deep-seated issues, and that those actually triggered her substance use. A women’s treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis can help your loved one get to the root of her drug use, uncovering and treating any other issues at bay.
In Turnbridge’s treatment program for women, we use an evidence-based, trauma-informed care model. Through counseling sessions and group therapies, we discuss unique matters such as abuse, trauma, relationships, and motherhood. The integration of substance use and mental health treatment allows us to provide more holistic care for women, and enables women to confront and overcome their battles, and re-discover their best possible selves.
Does the treatment center provide a safe, comfortable healing environment?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests that women’s addiction treatment should reflect a high level of safety. This is one of the key principles of trauma-informed treatment specifically. Each women’s drug treatment center must provide a comfortable, secure, and confidential environment for each client to heal.
Due to their experiences with abuse and trauma, women are likely to feel unsafe in a new environment, around new people, and even in their own bodies. They often experience anxieties and worries as a result, and require a calm and tranquil environment to make them feel safe once again. The right drug treatment center will provide just this – a protected, peaceful, and positive environment where women can feel at ease and focus on their wellness. They will not be threatened by outside pressures. They will live in a drug-free space, away from triggers like toxic relationships, or drug-using friends.
The right women’s treatment center will not be a hospital setting. While clinical care should be provided, and 24/7 care should be promised, the residences of the treatment program should be comfortable and serene. The setting should be built for success – not only offering women the therapy and living spaces needed to heal, but also resources to allow them to flourish. For example, Turnbridge’s inpatient treatment program for women involves holistic and recreational activities such as yoga, spa treatments, knitting, hiking, art making, dinner and theater outings, and more.
When researching treatment centers for women, be sure to ask yourself each of the above questions. For more ideas on what to ask the rehab center staff, please review our article, “10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab Facility.”
If you would like to learn more about the gender-specific programs at Turnbridge, or our women’s drug treatment program and facilities, please do not hesitate to reach out. Call 877-581-1793 today.