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Gender Specific Drug Rehabilitation

Most drug rehabilitation facilities are built to serve majorities, and most people seeking treatment for drug abuse are men. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Accumulating evidence indicates that drug abuse may begin and progress differently, have different consequences, and require different prevention and treatment approaches for women and men.”

Those drug rehabilitation facilities that do recognize the gender-specific characteristics of drug use of women tend to focus on pregnant women who are actively using, women who are mothers of small children or female sex workers. However, research has shown us that women of all ages and ethnicities regardless of their parental status exhibit decidedly different drug use catalysts, treatment needs and relapse patterns. These gender-specific issues are commonly overlooked in drug treatment centers.

At Orchid Recovery Center, we are now and always have been devoted to serving women as they strive toward a life of balance in recovery. We focus on the individual woman as a whole and work to understand the factors that led to drug abuse and create a plan for an abstinent future.

Gender Differences in Drug Rehabilitation

There are a number of issues that women who use drugs commonly face in addition to their addiction issues. These social, cultural and personal concerns may be catalysts for their use or a cause of relapse if not properly dealt with. These issues include:

  • A partner who also has issues with substance use
  • Children who are dependent upon them
  • Problems at the beginning of treatment
  • Past sexual abuse
  • Past physical abuse
  • Psychiatric and mental disorders

Pregnant women and those with children at home are more likely than men to seek drug treatment but those without dependents may take longer than men to ask for help because of the social stigma.

Gender Similarities in Drug Rehabilitation

Research has shown an unfortunate growth in similarities between men and women in their drug use habits. Called a ‘narrowing of the gap,’ the differences between when men and women begin to use, the substances they use and the number of relapses are not as different as they used to be. That is, the research a decade ago showed women using at a later age than men, using different substances and relapsing less often than men after drug rehabilitation. Now, however, the trends are changing and women are using at a younger age, using more addictive substances and finding it more difficult to maintain abstinence after drug treatment.

Orchid Recovery Center: Looking Toward the Future

More research comes available each year that provides a better understanding of the benefits of gender-specific drug rehabilitation. At Orchid Recovery Center, we cater specifically to the needs of women in recovery. Women of all ethnicities, ages and backgrounds are welcome.

Further Reading