Top 7 Women’s Issues in Addiction Recovery : In comparison to men, women make up a smaller proportion of those with substance abuse and addiction problems. But their number is still in millions. Healthcare, rehab, and other facilities tend to cater to the needs of men. In society, addiction is largely seen as a men’s issue.
Women respond to substance abuse and recovery differently because they have different social backgrounds, biological responses to substances, learned behaviors, and hormones. Thus, those differences must be acknowledged and taken into account for Orange County rehab.
Among women, addiction and treatment can present the following issues-
Mental Health Problems
A majority of addict women may struggle with undiagnosed mental health problems like ADHD, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, etc. In most cases, women who use substances are victims of domestic violence, rape, or torture. Domestic violence is a major risk factor for chronic pain and mental health issues. Addiction and mental health issues commonly coexist, which increases the chances of self-medicating behaviors and relapse.
Addiction and recovery are significantly complicated by pregnancy, due to hormonal changes, emotional shifts, and depression, and negative moods. The stress, hardship, and emotional strain of pregnancy may impede the process and result in relapse during recovery. Substance abuse during pregnancy also leads to negative consequences including miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues in the baby. For instance, if a woman is addicted to opioids the physical stress from detox can result in miscarriage or related issues.
Barriers Like Childcare and Support
Child caretaking duties are more likely to fall to women than to men. In some cases, women fear losing custody if they confess, or they are worried about looking bad to their children. If a woman does wish to receive treatment, she must arrange for someone to care for her children during the 1- 3 month treatment period. Treatment is often avoided by women who fear they may have to leave family members or invest in expensive daycare or entrust the child with a family member who might be an addict as well. For many women, having a child already limits their willingness to seek treatment.
In a traditional societal role as family organizing factors, women have often suffered higher levels of stigmatization when it comes to substance use. It is denial, shame, and fear preventing women from speaking with family and friends about their drinking and drug use, so they are reluctant to seek help. The stigma is more prevalent among women, who are under more pressure from society to be or remain “pure.” Women overdose on prescription medications because they aren’t given the same risk assessment and management as men given the same medication.
In addition to affecting women’s risk of addiction, their hormonal cycles can lead to triggers that increase risks to relapse. Women’s hormones can be disrupted by poor nutrition and toxins in the body. Upon entering treatment, most women experience serious medical, behavioral, and psychological problems. Women going through menopause, their monthly cycle, and even just stress can create additional hormonal changes that can bring on feelings of anxiety, depression, or exhaustion. Addiction or relapse could be triggered by these emotions.
Pace of Coping Up
Taking substances, especially to cope with relationship and/or family stress, is common among women. Social routines and performative usage often result in men becoming addicted to substances. Women often find it challenging to reorient their coping mechanisms away from private to public and social roles. To deal with cravings, one needs to seek help by reaching out for assistance or therapy. Most women fear this drastic change in their self-image and presentation.
Triggers Causing Relapse
The chances of women experiencing economic, financial, social, and familial stress are higher than those of men. Following the recovery treatment, they are significantly more likely to receive less pay, have difficulty finding work and be the sole caretaker of children etc. Stress and relapse can be caused by these factors. Some women relapse after celebrating recovery milestones.
Women with substance use disorders face different struggles than men when it comes to achieving and maintaining long-term recovery, showing particular challenges and needs. It’s crucial to take necessary steps like offering special programs for women, incorporating childcare & family therapy, and providing long-term aftercare through sober living homes, employment placement, and follow-up therapy to prevent relapses.
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