drug rehab for women

Drug and alcohol addiction affects people of all demographics differently. The most significant difference is between men and women. The differences in addiction’s effects also mean a difference in treatment and recovery. Women have unique needs, so drug rehab programs for women are very important.

Between January of 2017 and January of 2020 in North Jersey, 24,317 females entered treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. 12,972 women began treatment for the first time, while 11,345 women returned to treatment after relapsing. The majority of women entered rehab for alcohol and or opiates

Leading Causes of Addiction in Women of North Jersey

The road to addiction is vastly different for women than for men. Some factors that lead women to abuse drugs and alcohol can include:

  • Trauma
  • Loss/grief
  • Social insecurities
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Hide mental illness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Impress men/break stereotypes
  • The stress of being a perfect woman
  • Abuse – mental, physical, and sexual

Since so many women have such busy lives and many responsibilities, they tend to misuse and depend on substances, including prescription drugs. Some women still believe that if a doctor prescribes it, then they cannot develop an addiction to it. This can be a deadly misconception. 

Sadly, when some women realize they have a substance use disorder, all the excuses to deny treatment arise. Women may avoid treatment for fear of:

  • Losing custody of their children
  • Financially hurting their family
  • Neglecting their responsibilities
  • Disappointing their family

Inpatient Drug Rehab vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab for Women

Inpatient treatment or residential treatment allows women to live in the facility. Living in the facility provides around-the-clock care. Women with severe addictions who choose inpatient treatment have higher sobriety success rates. Some women prefer the safety and stability of inpatient care so they can focus only on overcoming addiction and healing from what led them there. 

Women who have a stressful home life are more apt to relapse if they do not choose inpatient treatment. Residential treatment allows a woman to step away from the stresses and responsibilities and put themself first. There are many reasons a woman should choose inpatient treatment for their substance use disorder. These include: 

  • Polysubstance use disorder
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • History of dangerous withdrawals
  • History of relapse
  • Lack of positive support at home
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Outpatient treatment for women allows for more time at home, work, school, and caring for their families. Women who choose outpatient treatment must have a robust, healthy support system. They have to be honest with their families when they are struggling. A woman has to be very disciplined and make sobriety as much if not more important than other responsibilities. It can be easy to want to skip a meeting, but it is important not to do so. 

Outpatient treatment allows a woman to participate in life’s activities. But treatment will consume a big chunk of the day. Treatment is 5-7 days a week for multiple hours each day. Women will attend individual therapy and group therapy, along with other treatment programs. 

Some of the reasons to choose outpatient treatment include:

  • Affordability. The cost of outpatient treatment is more affordable than inpatient treatment. However, this should not be the main factor in making your choice. Instead, seek professional advice on the matter.
  • Flexibility. Outpatient treatment allows the least amount of disruption to a woman’s life. 
  • Family. Treatment only works if a woman’s family is supportive and encouraging of a sober life. 

Benefits of Women Only Addiction Treatment

Gender-specific treatment for women treats many different addictions and co-occurring disorders. This is vital as the majority of women battling addiction also suffer from a mental disorder. Treatment programs for women offer a more comfortable setting for those who may have suffered from sexual or physical abuse at the hands of a male. 

Benefits of a drug rehab for women include:

  • Safety and security – In traditional treatment, men and women are treated together. This can prevent some women from being open and honest about their thoughts and experiences. Women who have suffered abuse and trauma at the hands of a man may even leave treatment from the fear of more harm. 
  • Nurturing environment – Treatment centers that offer programs for women give a female the ability to talk openly and receive the support only other women can provide. This builds a support system that helps all women succeed in their sobriety.
  • Therapy-based on the unique issues of women – Women can feel like they are abandoning their family when they enter treatment. They may suffer from self-esteem issues and not feeling good enough. Women naturally put themselves on the back burner, so putting their needs first can be very difficult. 
  • Multidisciplinary approaches – Substance use disorder treatment centers understand that therapy for women needs to cover more profound issues than traditional treatment. Rehab centers like North Jersey Recovery Center offer many therapy options such as:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Contingency Management
    • Motivational Interviewing
    • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
    • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
    • Matrix Model
  • Accepting environment – Women, in general, are more accepting of other people. Women are less judgmental of sexual orientation, lifestyle, and addiction struggles. 

What Happens In Women Only Treatment?

If a woman has never been to rehab before, the unknown can be scary. Knowing what to expect when walking through the doors can help ease the nerves. Plus, it is a building full of nurturing and caring women. 

Medical detox is best done at a facility that understands the withdrawal process. Detox lasts typically 5-7 days. Once detox is complete, a treatment plan is developed to treat all aspects of a woman’s addiction. Treatment plans include goals, activities, and steps needed to reach those goals. 

Treatment plans can include:

  • Medications 
  • Mental health therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Life skills training – employment, communication, stress-management, goal-setting
  • Participate in support groups – Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous
  • Relapse prevention
  • Create a continued care plan

Each day in treatment is filled with activities and therapy sessions. Women can also have time alone to reflect on the day, journal, and unwind from the day. There is no time for boredom or doing nothing. It is essential for women to regain a sense of purpose and avoid reverting to unhealthy routines. 

Treatments in Women’s Addiction Programs

An addiction treatment facility must meet the needs of each person that walks through their doors. Drug rehab for women offers several therapies and treatment types to cover all the unique needs of women in recovery. A few treatment types include:

  • Parenting classes. Most women who enter rehab are mothers. Mothers not only have to learn how to be sober but to parent sober. Motherhood can be stressful, so it is vital to learn healthy coping methods to prevent relapse.
  • Alternative therapy. Massage therapy, acupuncture, and yoga are excellent forms of relaxation therapy. Life is stressful, and battling addiction can be exhausting. Women always feel better after being pampered. 
  • Trauma therapy. Trauma is a leading cause of addiction in women. Women need to work through the trauma and recover from it to achieve life-long sobriety. 

Addiction Treatment for Pregnant Women

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 pregnant women between 2011 and 2013 abused alcohol while 1 in 9 abused drugs. Along with the treatment mentioned above, pregnant women with addiction issues require additional care. Effective treatment includes:

  • Prenatal care
  • Healthy nutrition plans
  • Future healthy living situation
  • Prevention of further abuse

Pregnant women may receive all-around care if they choose inpatient treatment over outpatient treatment. Substance use and withdrawal can have very serious effects on pregnant women. The risks of substance abuse on an unborn child include:

  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Physical defects
  • Low birth weight
  • Placenta abruption
  • Developmental defects
  • Postnatal withdrawals
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome

Help for Pregnant Women in Treatment

Treatment care for pregnant women may include:

  • Medical detox
  • Prenatal care
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Aftercare planning
  • Individual therapy
  • Life skills workshops
  • Specialized treatment plan
  • Pregnancy education and training
  • Co-occurring mental health treatment

Many therapeutic approaches have shown to be useful in substance use disorder in pregnant women. Contingency management uses rewards to encourage positive choices and behaviors. Motivational interviewing helps women who are pregnant accept their situation and change their behaviors.

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps pregnant women learn the reasons they are where they are. Women learn to change their negative thinking, feelings, and behaviors and replace them with healthy ones. 

Women who are in the latter stages of pregnancy show more initiative in receiving treatment. It is time to enjoy a fresh start and create a sober life for themselves and their baby. 

North Jersey Recovery Center Helping Women Get Sober

Our recovery center offers a variety of treatment services for successful addiction recovery. In addition to psychotherapy, we’ll also use methods, such as:

At North Jersey Recovery Center, we offer many drug and alcohol treatment resources to help you with addiction recovery. Our dedicated counselors, psychologists, and other licensed medical professionals are eager to help you achieve and continue a life of sobriety.

Contact us here and let North Jersey Recovery Center help you create a life of sobriety. If you are looking for drug rehab programs for women, please reach out to us today!

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brian Ostertag

brian-ostertag-150x150Brian Ostertag, BA, MA, LCADC, CCS, is the Clinical Director for North Jersey Recovery Center. Brian is a compassionate leader with a desire to see others exceed, and who believes that people want to work hard at something they find meaningful and believe in. He is a strong addiction services professional with degrees in Psychology Addiction Studies, and Pastoral Counseling.