The importance of providing women in recovery with female-centered addiction treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.


Since drug and alcohol addiction affects men and women in different ways, it only seems sensible to design addiction treatment programs specifically for women and for men. You may find facilities that offer coed treatment or others that are gender specific. Just to clarify a little further, addiction, including substance abuse as well as process addictions like gambling or sex, is a disease that affects men and women alike, however, by virtue of our unique makeup, characteristics and reactions, it may behoove us to implement treatment for substance abuse for females and males to best ensure long term success in recovery.

Women who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction may have several circumstances that may have led to their chemical dependency. Some examples specific to women may be pregnancy, postpartum depression and anxiety, menstruation, menopause, miscarriage, sexual abuse and eating disorders. In addition, every day stresses of work, body appearance, family, and many more, may be underlying issues for addiction.

Women have a different perspective on day to day life situations, such as relationships, employment and finances, and how to deal with them. Women affected by drug and alcohol addiction warrant special attention as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Treatment Improvement Protocols – addressing the specific needs of women in treatment for substance abuse (TIP).

Before beginning any drug or alcohol rehab program, it is imperative to seek a thorough screening for the presence of drugs, alcohol and any potential dual-diagnosis disorders. This also includes being assessed for any eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, risk of doing harm to self or others, and a complete history of childhood trauma or interpersonal violence. This process is ongoing which allows therapists to gain a better analysis and enable them to track women’s progress in treatment. During this phase, many aspects will be observed such as a woman’s strengths, coping styles, and available support systems and should also include an overall health assessment and medical exam.

Women with drug and alcohol addiction face several challenges in treatment, such as the stigma of substance abuse, fear of loss of child custody, limited resources for women with children, lack of collaboration among social service systems, lack of culturally congruent programming, and limited options for pregnant women.

Addiction treatment for women involves her particular needs, severity of the disorder, availability of treatment facilities in the area, financial situation, and available healthcare coverage. When deciding upon a treatment facility, women must take into account pregnancy, child placement, and children services. Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and/or dual diagnosis may include detoxification, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and residential and inpatient treatment. Some factors that seem to encourage women to stay in treatment include, supportive therapy, onsite child care and children services and participation of significant others.

Here at Scottsdale Recovery Center we offer a unique blend of treatment services for women, and we expressly focus on those elements most crucial to their individual recovery needs. If you are a female suffering from addiction and want to learn more about drug rehab for women, please contact Scottsdale Recovery Center 24/7 at 602.346.9142.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.

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