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Rehab treatment for women

Rehab for womenBreaking the bonds of stigmatization

The face of addiction has changed in the past decade. The typical image of a homeless man in a dark alley has been overtaken by the increasing number of women falling prey to addiction each year. Substance abuse related illnesses have been the cause of death for more than 200,000 women every year in the U.S., whereas more than 4 million women need treatment.

Since 1999, the rate for women who have died from prescription drug abuse has risen 400 percent with numbers quickly catching up to those of men with substance abuse problems.

However, statistics show that 92 percent of women do not seek the treatment they need. This is due to the fear of social stigmatization and lack of information.

Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment company for substance abuse, mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. Our expert staff provides our patients with cutting-edge treatment programming and a full continuum of therapeutic care monitored by various licensed health professionals.

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Social barriers

Cultural taboos and stigma often stop women from acknowledging their own problems and they usually face discouragement by their families or health professionals as well who could have helped them seek treatment. Pregnant women and mothers face particular public disdain. Therefore, women are prone to hide their addictions more than men due to the prevailing social stigma.

Women with children usually have the primary responsibility of childcare, apart from many other household responsibilities that fall on them. This doesn’t leave much room for women to prioritize anything else including their own recovery.

The constant societal pressure to be thin and beautiful also plays a major part. Sexual objectification by the media and society has been proven to be directly related to elevated rates of substance abuse in women.

As a result, women often adopt coping mechanisms that make it hard for even close friends and family to recognize that they may have a problem. Statistically, children would notice their mother had an addiction problem later (around age 18) than they would notice their father had an addiction problem (around age 12).

Biological influences

Biological differences between men and women hold considerable significance for accurate diagnosis and successful treatment.

Women’s lower metabolism as well as a higher fat-to-water ratio causes alcohol and drugs to remain in the body longer, increasing their vulnerability not only to dependence, but to liver and brain damage. Women are more susceptible to adverse reactions from certain substances such as opiates. The neurobiological differences between how men and women regulate excess stress also tends to affect how women respond to the substances they use to control stress.

The role of estrogen

Estrogen is a major distinguishing factor that determines how drugs and alcohol affect women. It influences the amount of dopamine released in response to drugs and alcohol, and controls how quickly dependence is formed.

Higher estrogen levels can make women more vulnerable to the effects of drugs. When women are in a high-estrogen phase of their menstrual cycles, for example, they report more positive feelings when taking cocaine or amphetamine.

Co-occurring morbidities

Women are more likely than men to suffer from an underlying mental health disorder, as 72 percent of women who abuse alcohol suffer from a co-existing mental problem as well. Additionally, women are more likely to suffer from anxiety, eating disorders, depression and personality disorders.

Women are also more likely to self-medicate when suffering from a mental health problem, which normally leads to abuse and addiction. One example of this is demonstrated by women with depression being seven times more likely to have an alcohol addiction than men with depression.

Treatment with Sovereign

It is important to realize that traditional addiction treatment programs were developed based on research on men and understanding the psychosocial and biological differences between how men and women process drugs and alcohol is still rather premature. However, resulting differences regarding treatment remain.

At Sovereign, we fully understand the special needs and issues of women and provide treatment that will cater to these needs. Women undergoing treatment for addiction are more likely to have thoughts of suicide and self-harm while also dealing with the concerns of weight gain and body changes that can occur during treatment.

Our programs go beyond treatment, helping patients work on their relationships and self-image alongside addressing any co-existing morbidities. Our family support therapies are particularly designed to accomplish the social and domestic complexities that many women have to deal with. Active involvement of families can help the patient work through these issues. Our treatment is free of judgment and bias. We prioritize our patients’ well-being every step of the way to ensure a sustained recovery and successful reintegration back into society.

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