Trauma and Addiction: A Common Link

There is a significant correlation between trauma and addiction. Addiction can occur because of trauma and other mental health disorders related to trauma. In turn, those that suffer from a substance use disorder are at a higher rate of experiencing traumatic events due to engaging in high-risk behavior. Understanding how trauma increases the rate of addiction, and how unresolved trauma can negatively impact an individual’s ability to stay sober is essential to helping those on the road to recovery stay sober and prevent relapse. 

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as: any event or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as life-threatening or emotionally or physically harmful. It is important to understand that trauma is relative to the individual. What is traumatic for one person, may not be for another. Trauma can occur at any time in a person’s life. Trauma has lasting effects that affect an individual’s ability to function emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. There is a wide array of events that could be considered traumatic including but not limited to: grief and loss, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, or a natural disaster. Long term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. It is likely that many of us have experienced a traumatic event in our lives at one point or another.

Childhood Trauma and Addiction

Evidence has shown that the correlation between trauma and addiction is particularly high for adolescents struggling with PTSD. One in 4 children in the U.S experience a traumatic event before the age of 16. Studies show up to 59% of youth with PTSD, end up abusing substances. The prominent effect trauma has on a child’s adulthood can be explained by noticing that children have a lower tolerance to handling stressful situations than adults do. Children also rely on their caregivers as a source of support during hard times. If caregivers in the home are unavailable or are the source of the child experiencing neglect, abuse, or other traumatic event, family support is not an option. This leaves the child feeling hopeless and alone, eventually leading them to reach out for substances to self -medicate and alleviate the effects of being victimized at a young age. Not having the tools and resources to process traumatic events can leave people trying to handle symptoms with unhealthy behaviors. 

Women and Trauma

Research indicates that women are twice and likely to develop PTSD, experience a longer duration of symptomatology, and are more sensitive to stimuli that remind them of the trauma they have experienced. Despite the understanding that women are at a greater risk of negative consequences due to trauma, many women struggle to seek help and support. Many women feel fear and a negative stigma about asking for help and processing the events that have happened in the past. Women are at a higher rate that men of experiencing sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape. It is important to know that it is ok to ask for help. No matter what you have been through, you don’t have to go through it alone. A woman need never feel ashamed of the painful experiences she has been forced to walk through. There is help and healing available to you. 

What Can We Do?

With two thirds of all individuals struggling with a substance use disorder, having experienced some type of traumatic event in their life, it is important to understand that childhood trauma increases risk to substance use in the future. Knowing this you may be able to take preventative measures to help an adolescent in your life take a different path. Seeking counseling services and support groups for individuals having experienced trauma will provide a safe space for both boys and girls to process their experiences in a healthy, supportive and non-judgmental setting.

In regard to addiction treatment, choosing a gender specific program that offers dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders such as PTSD, is a great first step to starting the healing process. Other therapies and modalities that are known to help heal wounds from traumatic experiences include, EMDR therapy, cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy, and trauma informed process groups. 

We’re Here to Help

It is never too late to start the journey of recovery. There is support and services available to you. Anchored Tides Recovery wants to let you know that you no longer have to suffer in silence. Call our admissions line today to speak with a treatment admissions counselor to find the best options for you or your loved one. 

Tips to Help Your Loved One During the Recovery Process

Addiction is a terrible disease and it can take a tremendous toll on not only the addict but the rest of the family as well. When someone first agrees to get help for drug abuse and addiction, they often think that detox is the only step during the recovery process. People who are addicted to alcohol might even come out of the detox process and think they can drink socially. This is not the case. Sobriety represents a lifelong commitment and people need to embrace this commitment every day. Having support from friends or family is one of the main factors that keep a recovering addict determined and disciplined. It’s a great idea for friends and family members to familiarize themselves with ways they can help an addict through the recovery process.

How to Tell if Addiction is Taking Hold of a Loved One?

In order to be able to support someone throughout the recovery process, you’ll need to be able to spot the signs of addiction. There are a few key signs that someone is suffering from addiction: 

  • Defensive behavior: Addicts tend to become defensive during their addiction. If you start to ask them why they don’t have money or why they’re losing weight, they’ll get angry and most likely try to turn the conversation around on you. Although this can be hurtful, remember that they aren’t doing this maliciously. 
  • Hiding their use: People drug and alcohol abuse are generally not socially acceptable, addicts hide their use. An addict may stash alcohol or drugs in their car so no one can find them. They’ll often lie about what they’re doing as well to hide their use. If you ask an addict to come over for dinner, it’s common for them to make up an excuse because they want to get high. 
  • Mood swings: Drug and alcohol use can cause unstable moods. Someone using a stimulant will be down one minute, then up the next. Someone who is addicted to alcohol may start their day out feeling happy and normal, but the more they drink, the more depressed they can become.
  • Financial problems: Sustaining an addiction can become very expensive. If you suspect someone is struggling with substance abuse, and they ask to borrow money, they might have a problem. If you find someone going through your personal belongings to steal money, they most likely have a problem. 

When is it Time for Help?

It’s never too soon to get help. Once you recognize that someone you love is suffering from substance abuse, it’s time for help. Addiction is a progressive disease, the longer it manifests, the worse it gets.  It is critical to stop addiction in its tracks as early as possible to limit the collateral damage that might result.

How To Help Someone with Addiction

It may feel hard at first to try to help someone who is suffering from addiction. It’s normal to feel angry, or sad, or confused, especially if someone’s addiction has impacted you directly. The most important thing to remember is your loved one is sick. If they did something to hurt you, it wasn’t purposefully. It’s important to approach someone who is suffering from addiction with care and compassion. If they feel like they’re being attacked or misunderstood, they may resist getting help. 

There are different ways to approach someone about their addiction. Because everyone is different and every addiction is different, it can be hard to determine what is the right thing to do. If your loved one is struggling and is an introvert, try having a private conversation with them. They may get overwhelmed if too many people confront them at once. If your loved one gets agitated easily, you may want to confront them with someone else present. 

After you confront the addict, the most important thing to do is let them know you’re here to help them. You can offer to help them with researching different treatment options and even help by calling different facilities to learn more about their program. 

The best thing to do when helping someone during the recovery process is to not judge them and lend a shoulder to cry on. You’d be surprised at how much it can mean to someone by just saying “I’m here for you if you ever need to talk”. 

Let Us Help You With Your Addiction Treatment

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a complete, dual-diagnosis enhanced addiction treatment program, designed specifically for women, by women. This program provides a variety of levels of outpatient services, which include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a traditional Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term recovery monitoring. Our goal is to help women overcome addiction and mental health disorders. If you are interested in learning more about how our professionals can help you overcome the bonds of addiction, please contact us today!

How Are Women Impacted Differently by Addiction?

Addiction is a disease. It does not discriminate against anyone based on gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or occupation. It has the potential to impact anyone at any time. For the longest time, the vast majority of research was focused solely on drug abuse and alcohol addiction in men. This was because the trend was to use only men in medical studies. This exclusionary bias that women faced started to emerge in the 1990s. Many organizations in the United States noticed that women were also impacted by addiction, yet they were not receiving the same level of attention and treatment as their male counterparts. This led to a push to study addiction in women to a greater degree with the hope that medical professionals would be able to reach them more effectively during treatment sessions.

The Impact of Addiction in Women

As a whole, men are more likely than women to suffer from drug abuse and addiction. Between 11 and 12 percent of men over the age of 12 suffer from some form of substance abuse disorder. Just over 6 percent of women over the age of 12 suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Although the number of women suffering from addiction is lower than men, women are more likely to suffer fatal consequences from a substance abuse disorder. Women are more likely to end up in the emergency room or overdose due to substance abuse. For this reason, we want to raise awareness and spread information on the importance of getting the correct treatment. 

How are Women More Susceptible to the Dangers of Addiction?

Two ways in which men and women are impacted differently by addiction are biological and sociological.  Society expects different things from men and women and these sociological pressures impact how both genders respond to addiction. Differences in body size, composition, and hormone levels also impact how men and women respond to addiction.

Women are far more likely to transition from substance to substance when they suffer from addiction than their male counterparts. This means that women may use alcohol, then opioids, then stimulants. Even though men are more likely to become addicts as a whole, women are more likely to engage in self-medication with certain substances. 

Women are more likely to suffer end-organ damage from the effects of substance abuse and overdoses. This includes damage to the liver and kidneys depending on the type of drug. 

Finally, women are also more likely to experience cravings during the recovery process. This means that women are also more likely to relapse while they are in addiction treatment programs. 

How to Find Treatment for Addiction

When seeking treatment, people have the option to choose from an array of programs. There are mixed gender treatment centers, gender-specific, adolescent focused treatment, etc. While it’s great to have options, it’s important to seek the right kind of treatment. For instance, some women will feel particularly vulnerable when going to treatment and feel safe around other women. If this sounds like you, then an all women’s treatment center is the right choice. 

All treatment centers have the same end goal in mind, the only difference between mixed gender and gender-specific is the gender aspect. Often, people start the treatment process by trying to break free from addiction on their own. Sadly, this is not effective. People are bound to relapse. Therefore, it is important for everyone to reach out to professionals for assistance.

There are plenty of programs out there for individuals who are looking to treat addiction effectively. For example, many people start in an inpatient program so they can get through withdrawal and detox under the supervision of trained professionals. From there, individuals often transition to an outpatient program. This might include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). There are programs out there for everyone. People simply need to know where to turn for help.

Let Us Help You!

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced program that has been created by women to help other women recover addiction. We offer various levels of outpatient services including Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term rehab and recovery monitoring. If you would like to learn more about our addiction treatment options, then please contact us today! We would be honored to help you and your family with the recovery process.

Why You Should Travel to Huntington Beach for Addiction Treatment

When someone is suffering from addiction, it’s important to seek help as quickly as possible. The sooner people ask for help from trained professionals, the faster they can get on the road to recovery. Because there is a sense of urgency associated with seeking treatment, it’s common for people to look for treatment programs close to home. At first, this may seem to make sense because home is familiar and comfortable, but upon further evaluation, it actually makes more sense to travel for treatment. It’s important to leave the toxic environment that led to your addiction in the first place.

What Are the Benefits of Traveling for Addiction Treatment?

There are a lot of benefits to traveling for addiction treatment. Traveling to Orange County is a chance for someone to start a new life. It’s critical to break the normal routine that allowed addiction to take hold in order to seek recovery. In a new environment,  people will be able to look inward and learn more about themselves. They’ll have the chance to close the book on a destructive period in their life.

We feel by escaping the old, destructive environment, someone can leave behind bad routines, bad relationships, and the other consequences caused by substance abuse. It’s important to be able to reflect on the habits that were built that led to addiction. The best way to do this is by separating yourself from your old environment. Go on a journey of self-discovery by seeking treatment in a new place.

Reasons to Seek Addiction Treatment in Huntington Beach

There are going to be more opportunities for people to seek help from specialists in Orange County. Everyone’s addiction is different. Not only are people addicted to different substances but their reasons and circumstances for using are different as well. Therefore, people need to have the ability to seek help from specialists who have seen similar cases in the past. When people travel to Huntington Beach, they will have access to experienced professionals who can help them break free.

Huntington Beach is home to gorgeous weather. Unlike other parts of the country, Southern California is pleasant all year round. The sun is always shining and there’s zero humidity. This can help people cope with some of the challenges that are going to come up with addiction treatment such as withdrawal and depression. Do not underestimate the power of fresh air and sunshine. 

There’s also access to the beach here in Huntington Beach. It’s fantastic and recommended to incorporate physical activity into the process of addiction treatment. Hiking, swimming, running, etc, are all great activities to clear someone’s head. There is something very therapeutic about spending time outdoors and connecting with nature. Nature also has a way of focusing on one’s priorities. People who come to this area love taking advantage of the beach and it’s healing components.

The biggest benefit of traveling to Southern California by far is that people can prioritize themselves instead of their addictions. There is so much room for exploring in a new area. Once you are in a sober state of mind you’ll probably realize there are a lot of things you’d like to start doing. Huntington Beach is the perfect place to rediscover yourself, new hobbies, and what makes you truly happy. 

Let Us Help You with Your Recovery!

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced program that has been created specifically for women, by women. We provide a wide variety of outpatient services including a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a traditional Outpatient Program (OP), as well as long-term recovery monitoring. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find recovery in Orange County, then please contact us today! 

Women’s Addiction Treatment: Why It’s Necessary

Dealing with treatment and recovery from substance abuse is a hardship for all involved, and that can be compounded by generic programs that don’t take into account the needs of different clients. The fact is, women have a very different path more often than not when trying to pick up again after addiction. Unlike men, women are more frequently in the role of needing to be a direct care provider for children or elders at the same time that they need to address their own mental, physical, emotional and personal needs. As a result, a women-only rehabilitation program is oftentimes a far better approach than a mixed audience option.

Why Women’s Specific Treatment Is Important

Finding addiction treatment specifically geared for women, however, can be challenging. Many programs are geared for all-gender therapeutic treatment and don’t cater to a women-only environment request. And that can leave a patient uneasy or exposed and vulnerable to male clients in the same residential setting. Granted, many programs provide a very high level of security and treatment care for clients and don’t intend to create an unsafe environment. That said, the mixing of vulnerable clients has sometimes been a negative factor in treatment conditions versus an improvement.

The other factor that a mixed audience treatment program can’t directly provide is that women going through similar scenarios may often build bonds in their commonality and strong friends who reinforce each other far better through treatment than any external person could provide them, including medically-trained staff. Those kinds of personal synergies can help a client stay on track, even well after the addiction treatment has ended because the close friendship connection has not.

Is A Women’s Only Rehabilitation Right For You?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to substance abuse treatment. Regardless of the fact that people are frequently categorized by the type of addiction, demographics and even economic background, people’s situations are fundamentally different from each other when one gets into the details. One situation may very well be a cascading problem of job loss, divorce and family strife contributing to addiction for distraction and trying to get away from the problems. Another situation may be rooted in one’s family history from decades before. Another may be triggered by abusive relationships that act as a catalyst for substance abuse. If a treatment program applied a generic approach to every case coming in the door, a good portion of clients would fail, which is a big problem with many generic treatment providers.

With a women-only rehabilitation center, a patient could very well be a good fit for the gender-specific treatment approach if there is a history of relationship problems with men that act as a catalyst for addictive behavior. In other cases, female patients may be very apprehensive in mixed crowds but in a women-only environment, it becomes easier to open up, which contributes to adjustment and learning versus being defensive. Still, other female clients may want to stay close to their children during treatment and can’t do so in a mixed-gender addiction treatment program. Female clients who find strength in common experience will frequently find benefits in recovering with other women who’ve lived similar lives too.

Women Need Enhanced Rehab Treatment

Many generic programs again only provide the same approach for all patients that come through the door. However, because of the physical toll substance abuse can take, withdrawal effects can be far stronger on women than men. As a result, a second particular aspect female clients or their families need to consider is that the program can address the additional help a female client will likely want or need in the recovery process. These issues often include mental and psychological conflicts of personal worth, sensitivity to groups and societal norms, or fear of the legal system being aggressive towards women in general. Childcare, as mentioned before, is also a big concern for many female patients afraid they might lose their children committing to an addiction treatment program. So, treatment approaches that accommodate mothers are essential to alleviate this fear and reason for not seeking help.

Getting Help That Works

Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced program designed specifically for women, by women. We offer various levels of outpatient services including a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), and long-term recovery monitoring with aftercare. If you’re a woman finding treatment for yourself, another female friend, or a loved one, it can be challenging. Call us today. We can help you get the support your need.

The Top Five Most Influential Women in Recovery

For those who struggle with addiction, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders, it is easy to feel isolated. After all, many people who see others going through addiction believe that this can never happen to them. For young women who battle these issues, the situation can be that much more difficult. Often, substance abuse in women develops as a side effect of prior traumas or bad relationships that drove someone into the arms of addiction in the first place.

It is critical for women to know that they are not alone. There are countless others who have been there and many of them end up recovering. There are even powerful, successful, and influential women who have gone through recovery and succeeded on the other side. There are several stories that women can turn to for inspiration.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith is an incredibly successful actress from Baltimore; however, she did not always star in movies. She lived in a terrible part of the city with a single mother who was addicted to drugs in the midst of an epidemic. At 11 years old, she was very much on her own, as her mother was under the influence and unable to help her.

Jada Pinkett Smith ended up as a drug dealer in the 1980s; however, she also suffered from alcoholism. She never learned to say no to alcohol and drugs and began to drink on a nightly basis. She says that she did this to try to numb the pains of her childhood.

Eventually, Jada Pinkett Smith sought help for substance abuse. It was a long road to recovery, but she has now been sober for more than 20 years. She reminds us all that sobriety is not a destination but a journey.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is one of the most recognizable stars from the Disney Channel. She starred in Camp Rock, which came out in 2008. She became immersed in a successful music career and has served as an inspiration to many; however, it is not her entertainment skills that are the focus. It is her journey back to sobriety.

Demi Lovato started using drugs during her Disney days. She was partying, drinking, and doing drugs in an effort to self-medicate and deal with the emotional stresses of her job. She was using cocaine hourly. Eventually, Demi Lovato went on to seek help. She navigated her way through recovery and was able to return to her career. She has now been sober for five years and performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the most recognizable actresses in history. She underwent a surgical procedure decades ago. Sadly, after this procedure, she became addicted to painkillers. When she went a while without opioids, she started to develop cravings and knew she was going to end up in withdrawal. Therefore, she knew she needed to get help. Addiction ran in her family and she lost a brother to heroin abuse.

Eventually, Jamie Lee Curtis got the help she needed. She was able to achieve sobriety once again and returned to her acting career and now works with anti-drug organizations in an effort to raise awareness of the epidemic.

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige is one of the top R&B artists of all time. Many have even called her the queen of hip hop and soul. Mary J. Blige had her own issues with both mental health and substance abuse. She says that her addiction problems came from a traumatic childhood. She was sexually abused and had numerous dark moments. This led to the development of drug addiction. She was high on cocaine and drinking heavily during the early days of her career. She was able to seek help from trained professionals and learned from Whitney Houston’s journey. Today, she is sober. She carries on in the memory of Whitney Houston, one of her great idols.

Kristin Davis

The star of Sex and the City has also had a long battle with substance abuse. In 2008, she revealed that she is a recovering alcoholic. She started drinking as a teenager in an effort to medicate her social insecurities and get through her parents’ divorce. She drank to fit in, but it grew into an addiction. Now, she shares her journey with everyone. She encourages people to recognize the signs of addiction early on. The sooner people get help from the professionals, the faster they can recover.

Call Anchored Tides Recovery Today

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a drug abuse and addiction treatment program designed specifically for women. We work hard to provide the latest treatment resources to every woman who comes to see us for help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

How Domestic Abuse Can Cause Substance Abuse For Women

There are many issues in society that people simply aren’t comfortable discussing. Sadly, many of these issues tend to go hand in hand. This is exactly the case when it comes to domestic violence and substance abuse. These are almost always found together. When someone abuses drugs or alcohol, they tend to lose control of themselves. Substance abuse has the potential to destroy relationships with loved ones. When someone surrenders control of themselves to the cycle of addiction, they tend to lash out at loved ones. This can lead to domestic violence.

At the same time, the inverse is also true. When someone is the victim of domestic violence, this can drive someone to the bonds of addiction as well. For this reason, many women who end up in the world of substance abuse are also victims of domestic violence. It is critical for everyone to know how the two are related. That way, they can get help if they need it.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is any pattern of behavior in a relationship that is exercised to gain or maintain power over someone else. Domestic violence is a major problem in society and many people feel that the exact figures are under-reported. Domestic violence can take many forms. While many people feel that domestic violence is limited to physical abuse, this is not the case. This type of behavior can also include verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and even sexual abuse.

Domestic violence, like addiction, has the potential to cause collateral damage as well. In households where there are children involved, they can end up getting caught in the middle. This can lead to severe trauma for children, tearing a family apart. Finally, women who are victims of domestic violence are far more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol down the road.

Addiction and Domestic Violence are Related

What many people don’t realize is that addiction and domestic violence are related. The actions of domestic violence come out of someone’s desire to control someone else. When someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are going to lose control of their own inhibitions. When someone is under the influence, they are far more likely to engage in abusive behavior. Furthermore, research has shown that the vast majority of domestic violence crimes are related to the use of drugs.

Drugs have the ability to change how the neurotransmitters in the brain flow back and forth. The brain develops a need for these drugs and will do anything to force the person to find them. As a result, significant others who get in the way of this addiction will cause someone to lash out. This will lead to domestic violence. There are a few major characteristics that addiction and domestic violence share. Both activities can cause someone to lose control over the actions, engage in dangerous behaviors despite the negative consequences, will get worse over time, and can lead to both denial and shame. In many cases of domestic violence, both the abuser and the victim have a substance abuse disorder. This only complicates things further. If there are children involved, the situation only becomes even direr.

The Effects of Addiction and Domestic Violence

The effects of these two dangerous activities can lead to serious issues. When someone is the victim of domestic violence, they are far more likely to experience other mental health disorders. While substance abuse is a mental health disorder unto itself, there are numerous other complications that might result as well. Some of the problems that might arise following addiction and domestic violence include:

  • The development of other dependencies including designer drugs and alcohol
  • The development of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder can also start to manifest
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is becoming more common

These are only a few of the many mental health issues that might result when someone is the victim of domestic violence. Addiction is bad enough; however, when it is coupled with domestic violence, the consequences can be particularly severe. That is why it is important for everyone to rely on trained professionals to help address addiction and substance abuse. Nobody should have to face these problems alone.

Rely on the Professionals at Anchored Tides Recovery

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are drug abuse and addiction treatment program designed by women because we believe that women deserve to have a dedicated cadre of professionals who know and understand them. We know that drug abuse and domestic violence go hand in hand. That is why we tailor our addiction treatment plans to meet your individual needs. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today.

The Power of Women Recovering Together

Substance abuse, along with mental health disorders, will affect each gender differently. There are studies that show treatment has a better success rate when programs are tailored to gender-specific needs. These programs can remove some of the barriers and distractions that can arise from being around members of the opposite sex. It allows clients to feel more focused and comfortable and recover around peers of the same gender, allowing them to relate over experiences that are specific to gender.

Barriers to seeking addiction treatment are usually gender-specific. Women and men can have different feelings when it comes to treatment, how the disorder affects the body and the stigma that is associated with treatment and substance abuse. Women are more likely to feel guilty for seeking addiction help and those feelings can create a bigger barrier to treatment. Women are also more likely to have experienced trauma leading to substance abuse or mental health disorders. Due to this, women need to undergo trauma-informed care. By choosing a gender-specific treatment, it gives a setting that is supportive, sensitive, and non-discriminatory. Women may be more unlikely to develop drug and alcohol problems but when they do, the process is usually quicker. Women tend to enter treatment programs with more severe medical, social, behavioral, and psychological problems. This has implications on the needs of treatment.

There is a difference when it comes to gender and sex in regard to substance abuse. For example, men have an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the liver and stomach and due to this, men don’t absorb as much alcohol in the bloodstream. This means a man’s alcohol concentration will likely be lower than a woman’s.

It Removes Expectations

Addiction recovery requires that you be vulnerable. Many women find it easier to be vulnerable and speak more candidly about the issue they are facing while in the presence of members of the same sex. There is no need to put up a façade to cover up feelings when you are with other women.

Fosters Honest and Open Discussions

An honest discussion about life’s highs and lows will help women understand they aren’t alone in the experience. Gender-specific addiction treatment reduces the shame and judgment and leads to more understanding and compassion. Many people will feel uncomfortable discussing traumatic and painful life experiences in a mixed group. It’s easier to feel comfortable around people that are similar to you. Feeling safe and comfortable in addiction recovery is important since true healing will only happen if you make yourself vulnerable and share your experiences.

It Reduces Distractions

The main benefit of addiction treatment is that it allows people to focus solely on getting better. When there are other genders then there are distractions, such as romantic ones. Although a romantic relationship can serve as a welcome distraction from what you are going through, it can actually be a distraction that takes the focus off of what you really there for. When women are with women, it reduces the need to keep up with appearances and feel the need to impress the opposite sex. For many, the gender-specific addiction treatment gives one less distraction so the focus is on just healing.

Focus on Gender-Specific Issues

Both women and men face pressures related to work, family, self-esteem, and relationships but those pressures can be different. With gender-specific addiction treatment, clients are surrounded by others who know from personal experience and what it is like to experience addiction as a woman, along with dealing with cultural and societal pressures. Clients are able to focus on a woman’s experience instead of having to split focus. For example, in women’s specific treatment, topics can include pregnancy, motherhood battles, and past trauma.

Creates a Safe Environment

Without a safe environment, treatment won’t be as successful. If a woman has suffered trauma caused by a man then they will not feel comfortable sharing in groups with men. Mothers who have an addiction will benefit from sharing expenses with other mothers since women are usually the caretakers of the family and home. It can be hard to be away from children but with the support of others like them, women are able to share in these experiences.

It Helps with Bonding

With gender-specific treatment, women can bond over shared experiences. There is also the opportunity to bond over new ones. Having a strong peer network is important for maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse after treatment. Gender-Specific treatment can incorporate activities that strengthen necessary connections outside of traditional group therapy.

Importance of Women’s Treatment Programs

Since women in addiction treatment are more likely to have experienced physical or sexual abuse, there is power in women recovering together. Women in treatment are less likely to have a high school diploma or employment. Women are also more likely to have to deal with childcare and the complications of drug or alcohol use during pregnancy.

If you or a loved one you know are struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Anchored Tides Recovery.