When choosing a drug treatment program for your loved one, it’s important to consider her needs and to choose the healing environment that will be most successful for her. Will she benefit from an inpatient rehab center, where she can live and focus on her sobriety, or an outpatient program in which she can come home each night? Now, will she benefit from a gender-specific treatment program, that is completely tailored to women in recovery?
Research shows that gender-specific treatment, or women’s specific treatment, often lends the best outcomes to those battling addiction. Here’s why:
- The staff are specially-trained in women’s substance abuse, addiction, and recovery
- The activities offered are tailored towards women’s unique interests and needs
- Women are given a safe space to heal, away from outside pressures
- Women are given a platform to have open, honest, and productive conversations with other women in similar shoes
- Women are given the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with other women in recovery
Let’s dive into more detail.
- The staff are educated and trained in the unique experiences of women battling addiction.
All women battling substance addiction have unique experiences with drugs. And their experiences, as women, usually differ from those of men. Women in drug rehab, for example, are more likely to report a history of trauma (with approximately 55 to 99% of these women having experienced physical or sexual abuse). Women battling addiction are also more likely to have co-occurring mental disorders, like anxiety and depression, are more vulnerable to the long-term effects of drug abuse, and have more difficulty stopping use once addicted.
These are just some of the differences that make a women’s only rehab center so important for your loved one – because the staff will be equipped to handle her unique needs and circumstances.
In a women’s only drug rehab program, the clinicians and support staff are specifically qualified to work with women. At Turnbridge, for example, the women’s team has received training and accreditation in young women’s substance abuse and trauma-informed treatment. They have the tools, knowledge, and modalities needed to create the most effective, sensitive, and successful recovery plans for every woman that enters our doors. Each treatment plan is customized to each individual woman, based on her needs, her drug of choice, her history of drug abuse, and her experiences along the way.
- Women’s only rehab serves as a safe and open healing space.
Research consistently shows that the majority of women in drug treatment have suffered abuse and trauma. And as many of us know, this trauma – as well as the fear and anxiety that stems from it – does not just go away. Women entering rehab often carry the burden of pain on their shoulders. They are haunted by deep-rooted, traumatic events. More often than not, they do not know how to cope with their negative thoughts and emotions properly. Many have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Addiction research also tells us that traumatic incidents are direct contributors to a woman’s drug abuse, and very often, men are associated with the traumatic event. A physically abusive relationship. Sexual abuse in the family. A drug-using boyfriend or family member. Unfortunately, these situations are not uncommon. And many women carry these experiences into their treatment program. As a result, they may not want to be surrounded by men who will trigger memories of their trauma. They may not want to be surrounded by men who they feel unsafe or uncomfortable around. That is why a women’s only rehab can be so significant for women battling deep-rooted issues associated with her addiction.
In a women’s only rehab center, there are no threats – or temptations – caused by the opposite sex. Rather, women are surrounded by other women. They are given a place to focus only on what’s important – their healing and getting themselves back to a physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy state. There are no distractions, no concerns, no pressures. The environment is completely tailored to what women need to feel safe, to feel comfortable, and to begin their recovery journey. Not only does this include gender-specific therapies, treatments, and residencies in rehab, it also includes holistic and recreational activities for women – such as yoga, spa treatments, knitting, hiking, art making, dinner and theater outings, and more.
- It provides women the chance to build lasting relationships with other women in recovery.
In addition to feeling safer in a gender-specific program, women also tend to feel more comfortable, more open, and more willing to talk about their experiences. They typically feel less held back to say certain things or share certain stories. They feel supported by other women who have had similar experiences. When women are more able to talk openly about their journey, they are more likely to move forward in the recovery process.
When a woman enters rehab, she is usually weighted with feelings of shame, rejection, fear, and isolation. She may feel she has been “going it alone” or that she cannot trust anyone again. The right drug treatment program will aim to break down those walls by opening up the conversation with other women, in similar shoes, who will not judge her for her experiences or make her feel like less of a person because of them. In a women’s only rehab program, each person is there for the same reason.
Group therapies, where several women meet together with a clinical counselor, along with support groups and 12-step meetings, can help women re-establish a sense of belonging and community. Women are given the opportunity to listen to one another, talk to one another, encourage each other, and lean on one another in times of need. They can build meaningful and lasting relationships as a result – relationships that are not formed on drug use, partying, or alcohol. They are built on real connections.
Although it can be difficult to take a step into a professional treatment setting, it can be life-changing. However, it is important to find a women’s rehab center that meets your loved one’s needs: one that understands the unique experiences of women, that tailors their programs to women only, and that ensures a safe and open place for women to heal. To learn about the young women’s treatment program at Turnbridge, please visit us online or call 877-581-1793.