In the world of addiction treatment, the focus is often on men. Most studies on drug addiction were conducted on men, and because men are more likely to become drug and alcohol addicts than women, many drug counselors assume the male model of addiction treatment will work equally well for women. For women living in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and throughout the United States, finding appropriate drug rehab isn’t always easy. Whether you hail from a progressive city like Portland or are deeply entrenched in the Mormon culture of Sandy or Salt Lake City, GetRehab.info can help you find the perfect addiction treatment program to meet your substance abuse needs.
Understanding Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Women
It’s easy for drug and alcohol addicts to write off their substance abuse as a minor problem that hurts no one, but the statistics belie this claim. About 17% of the U.S. population has struggled from a form of addiction, with drug and alcohol abuse sending a stunning 2.5 million people to hospital emergency rooms each year. For some drug addicts, the trip to the ER is their very last. Alcohol kills almost 80,000 people each year, with drugs killing more than 10,000. Though drug addiction deaths used to be primarily due to street drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, prescription drugs now kill more people than any street drugs, and are set to overtake all other groups as the leading cause of drug addiction.
For women, prescription drugs are often the gateway to drug addiction. Though men are far more likely to use street drugs than women, women and men abuse prescription drugs at roughly equal rates. In some cases, the drug addiction is an “accidental” one. A woman might begin taking a prescription drug for sleeplessness, anxiety, or chronic pain. Over time, though, the body can develop a chemical dependency that causes the woman to keep taking the drug even after the prescription expires. This clearly shows that drug addiction is not a choice, and that not all addicts became addicts because they tried a drug they shouldn’t have. All addicts have a story. Many use drugs to cope with challenging lives, and others never thought they’d get addicted to drugs. If you are a drug addict, you deserve compassion.
The consequences of drug addiction extend well beyond the borders of your own life. Drug use is a major funder of organized crime and international terrorism, with groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL relying on the proceeds from drug sales to fund violence and wars.
Drug use also increases women’s likelihood of being crime victims. Women who abuse drugs are more likely to spend time with men who do the same. Drugs and alcohol play a role in 75% of domestic violence incidents, and a stunning 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol; oftentimes, the perpetrator uses alcohol to control the victim and diminish her ability to say no. And sometimes, drugs even interfere with your ability to remember a violent attack or to accurately report the encounter to authorities.
Is Drug Addiction Different for Women?
Men are more likely to try drugs and alcohol, but women who try drugs are far more likely to become addicted. The reason for this is simple: on average, women have smaller bodies than men. This makes it easier for them to get intoxicated, easier for drugs and alcohol to affect their bodies, and easier for them to get addicted.
Though drug addiction is physiologically and psychologically the same an men and women, the social factors that lead to it vary significantly. Women’s reasons for using drugs and alcohol, as well as the ways in which such use affects their lives, also differ. Women are significantly more likely to be victimized by violent crimes such as rape and domestic violence than men. Nearly one in three women report childhood sexual abuse, and about 30% of women have been victims of intimate partner violence. The scars of such abuse can last for a lifetime. Not only do drugs and alcohol increase the likelihood of experiencing such abuse; they can also serve as unhealthy coping mechanisms that prevent women from seeking the help they need and moving beyond a life of trauma.
Women face a culture of discrimination that men do not. Women, on average, earn less than men for the same work, are less likely to be listened to than men, and even face medical discrimination. One recent study, for instance, found that when men and women presented with the same medical symptoms, doctors referred men to specialists while dismissing women as “hypochondriacs.” Women tend to have more childcare and housework obligations than men, and a pervasive “beauty myth” teaches women that their worth is inextricably linked to their weight and appearance. It’s no wonder that so many women turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the challenges of everyday life.
Do I Need A Drug Rehab Tailored for Females?
Though it’s possible to become addicted to drugs and alcohol during your first use, drug addiction doesn’t typically happen overnight. Instead, the process begins with chemical tolerance. If you use alcohol and drugs long enough and at sufficiently high doses, their effects will begin to diminish, forcing you to use larger doses to get the same effects. Eventually, you may develop a chemical dependency. This dependency convinces your body that you need drugs and alcohol to survive, just like food and water. And when you try to quit, your body reacts violently, leading to painful – and occasionally life-threatening – symptoms of withdrawal.
Chemical dependency is the clinical definition of drug addiction, so if you’ve experienced withdrawal, you are likely a drug addict in need of addiction rehab. Some other signs that you may be a drug addict include:
- Doing things you regret, mistreating others, or taking undue risks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Breaking the law to get alcohol or drugs.
- Driving while under the influence.
- Lying to yourself, your loved ones, or your physician about your use of alcohol and drugs.
- Health, relationship, career, financial, or legal difficulties resulting from your use of drugs and alcohol.
- Feeling like you cannot function without drugs or alcohol.
- Using alcohol and drugs as performance-enhancers.
- Mixing multiple drugs, or drugs and alcohol.
- Structuring your day around the use of drugs and alcohol, or spending a portion of each day high.
- Spending most of your time around other alcohol and drug users.
- Prioritizing alcohol and drug use over other once-beloved hobbies or people.
What is Drug Rehab Like for Women?
It’s natural to feel a little anxious before trying something new, particularly if you – like many women – have a history of trauma. But drug rehab is a safe place where you can explore your reasons for drug addiction, get support from like-minded recovering addicts, and work to create the life you’ve always wanted. Every addiction treatment facility offers something a little bit different, so it’s important to use GetRehab.info’s resources to explore your options. No matter what drug rehab facility you select, though, you’ll likely have access to at least the following addiction treatment options:
- Medical care. Drug addiction can destroy your health. A physician will work with you to determine whether you can safely withdraw from drugs. She may also prescribe medications to make the withdrawal process easier. Your doctor can also work with you to develop a long-term plan for protecting your health. For instance, if you have an illness that necessitates the use of potentially addictive medications, your doctor can help you find better alternatives or offer strategies for dealing with the specter of drug addiction.
- Therapy with a drug addiction expert. Every drug or alcohol addict has a story. In therapy, you’ll explore your personal path to drug addiction, then work on charting a course out of the darkness.
- Activities to help you master new sills while distracting you from your desire to use drugs and alcohol. Meditation, exercise, and yoga have all been clinically proven to help reduce drug cravings, so it’s common to find these pursuits in addiction treatment centers.
- Group support. You can learn a lot from the mistakes of other drug addicts – including how to avoid making those mistakes yourselves. Most drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Many also feature group therapy. And of course, just chatting with other drug addicts gives you the chance to benefit from their hard-won wisdom and experience.
- Family support. Your loved ones play a vital role in the fight against drug addiction. Yet your addiction to drugs may have undermined these relationships. Many facilities offer family therapy, as well as family educational programs about the disease of drug addiction.
How to Choose a Drug Rehab Facility for Women
The demands our society places on women can feel – and often are – ceaseless. Drug rehab offers you respite from the storms of life by taking you away from a stressful home environment and offering you a safe, drug and alcohol-free space in its stead. Addiction treatment is the first step toward regaining control of your life, but every drug rehab facility is a little different. You need to choose the place that can best work with your needs, your values, and your goals. Before choosing an addiction treatment facility, consider asking the following questions:
- Can you work with my dietary and health restrictions?
- What expertise do you have treating women?
- Can you work with my specific needs? If you have a history of trauma or mental illness, for instance, it’s wise to choose a drug rehab facility that specializes in these challenges.
- What if I don’t like my drug counselor, or disagree with his or her recommendations?
- What is a typical day at your addiction treatment facility like?
- What can I do to improve my chances of getting and staying sober?
- What can I bring? What should I leave behind?
- Can my loved ones visit me in drug rehab? Can I write to them or call?
- How much will the addiction treatment program cost?
- How long will I be there?
- Do you have a specific religious or spiritual affiliation?
- Can I visit your drug rehab facility before checking in?
- What do residents most often complain about? What do they like the most?
How GetRehab.info Helps Women Find the Right Addiction Treatment
GetRehab.info knows that cutting through sales copy and getting to the heart of what a drug rehab facility offers isn’t always easy. We endeavor to make the process a bit more transparent. We offer local listings with details about addiction treatment facilities that may help you with your unique needs. And because we know you can learn a lot from another drug addict’s experiences, we welcome reviews.
Educated consumers are uniquely positioned to make excellent decisions regarding their own drug and alcohol addiction treatment. And loved ones who better understand the disease of drug addiction behave more compassionately and are better able to offer supportive help. For this reason, we maintain an up-to-date library on all things related to drug and alcohol addiction. We hope you’ll keep returning to us for more substance abuse information as you embark on your recovery journey. It’s up to you to take the first steps, but when you do, we’re ready to help you choose the best path to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.