The recent rape and brutal beating of a female student in New Delhi has focused the attention of the entire world on the issue of women’s rights within India. Solutions to the problem of inequality have ranged from publicizing the profiles of rapists to putting more female police officers on the streets, CNN reports, but most experts agree that full equality for the women in India may be decades away from fruition.
In the interim, executives from The Orchid have chosen to become personally involved in the struggle for women’s rights in India. Specifically, The Orchid is supporting research into the global treatment of women who are dealing with substance abuse and/or addiction, and Julie Queler, Chief Executive Officer of The Orchid is personally visiting India in order to gain more insight to the hurdles women might face as they deal with inequality, addiction and recovery.
- Violence due to dowry: Between 25,000 and 100,000 women are killed each year due to dowry disputes.
- Low birth rates: Female babies are more often aborted than male babies.
- Lack of nutrition: Female babies are breastfed for shorter periods of time and receive less food after weaning than their male siblings.
- Lack of medical care: Women have a greater risk of heart attacks, likely due to poor medical care throughout life.
Addiction might be a hidden problem that could be impacting an even greater number of women in India. Living in a society in which rights aren’t respected, the threat of violence is present, and traumatic memories might be easy to access could lead to drug use and addiction. A report produced by the United Nations seems to bear out this assumption, as the female drug users interviewed stated that they began to drugs due to “…humiliation, shame, anger and powerlessness as a response to their situation.” Addiction could be the piece that is keeping women sedated and at risk. Perhaps by addressing addiction, women would have the strength to fight back and achieve the equality they deserve.
Recovering from an addiction is possible with robust counseling and a strong support system, but evidence suggests that not all women in India have access to help like this. For example, a study conducted in Punjab found that most villages had multiple drugstores, but few had health care clinics. When access to basic health care is limited, it’s likely that access to targeted addiction facilities would be difficult for many women to find.
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Access Is Key
When there are addiction treatment programs present, women might still find it hard to get help. According to an article produced by the Inter Press Service, some addiction centers in Kashmir don’t accept female addicts, meaning that women with addictions might only receive medications but no counseling services. Some women might never return for their follow-up appointments. This is tragic, but even women who are accepted into traditional treatment programs in India might not get the help they’ll need, as the programs they might access were designed for men.
The executives at The Orchid believe that women heal best when they’re provided with a warm and welcoming environment that emphasizes relationships and nurturing. Currently, The Orchid is the only treatment program that emphasizes this kind of care for women, but it’s quite possible that this is the kind of care that all women need in order to leave an addiction issue behind them. Treatment programs like this, that are focused on the specific needs of women, allow women to feel comfortable sharing their stories, and they allow women to get in touch with their inner power and their inner resolve. A treatment program like this, made just for women, might be an excellent resource for addicted women in India. Executives at The Orchid hope to share the lessons they’ve learned in treating women who are addicted, and they hope the dialogue that begins during this visit will persist in the months to come, ensuring that women in India get the addiction help they so desperately need.
- Hope Trust
- Caim Treatment
View The Orchid Recovery Center on wwww.deaddictioncentres.in.