Helping Women Recover
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An anti-drug coalition in Tennessee, called The Jackson-Madison County Anti-Drug Coalition, will be hosting its annual event this coming Thursday, March 12.
Each year, the coalition hosts an event of rising importance in the addiction treatment community. This year, the coalition’s event will come in the form of a seminar on treating women with addictions, called, “Helping Women Recover,” there will be discussion regarding the different treatment aspects when it comes to treating men and women as well as to talk about the necessary support for women and men with addictions.
“In the past, they’ve always treated men and women the same,” Phillip Barham, coalition president, said. “We wanted to put this program on to address the different things women face with addiction.”
The seminar will address such topics as access to treatment, the various different treatment options, support services available to those who are recovering or seeking recovery, and the trauma that can sometimes be at the root of addiction.
“There are outlying issues and it’ll be tremendous in education,” Barham said. “It’ll be tremendous in treating females with addiction.”
The Importance of Gender-Specific Treatment
Women in treatment are grossly underrepresented when compared to their male counterparts as a result of several issues that exclusively affect women only or that almost-exclusively affect women.
In general, women have a harder time reaching out for help, especially when it comes to substance use issues. When it comes to a mixed gender treatment setting, women may not have the same kind of attention or focus on their gender-specific issues as they would at a women’s only treatment center.
Benefits of a women’s only treatment center include:
- Focus on gender-specific issues
- Nutrition and Health
- Address underlying issues, such as trauma
“It’s really important that you offer gender-specific treatment, as well. I think this conference will really go into detail about that,” says Barry Cooper, executive director for the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism. “It’s important to be aware of the things they’ll need after treatment. We don’t focus as much on getting them back with their families.”
Paige Bledsoe, director of girls programming for Eden of Youth Town, says “Treatment for men and women need [sic] to be different because the things we experience in life are different. We need to have treatment geared toward women and why they use. Women base their worth and self-esteem on the relationships they have with others.”
She said the purpose of the training is to teach adult women how to address their worth and self-esteem, as well as reconnecting with their families during treatment.
The conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drugs and other Addiction Services, and is expected to bring agencies, physical and mental health officials and therapists from across the state.
“We were originally going to put this on alone, but they wanted to make this event the statewide event that they promote,” Barham said. “We’ve had such success in the past with our volunteers.”
She said the purpose of the training is to teach adult women how to address their worth and self-esteem, as well as reconnecting with their children during treatment.
“It’s almost a holistic approach,” Bledsoe said. “It addresses the realities of what are female struggles and what do they need to help heal.”
“Anyone working with women, it’s imperative to know the specifics of how to treat men and women,” she said.
“It’s really important that you offer gender-specific treatment, as well. I think this conference will really go into detail about that,” he said. “It’s important to be aware of the things they’ll need after treatment. We don’t focus as much on getting them back with their families.”
If you are struggling with chemical dependency, substance abuse, or addition, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today. At the Orchid Recovery Center, women can feel safe and nurtured as they address their health and well-being and the issues that specifically face women. This is where women come to recover.