Overcoming Sexual Abuse in Recovery
Every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States, adding up to more than 200,000 sexual assault victims each year. And, unfortunately many of survivors of sexual abuse don’t report the abuse and don’t seek proper treatment, turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with the traumatic effects. And then the cycle of substance abuse and psychological pain begins.
Many women struggling with substance abuse and addiction have experienced sexual abuse and other trauma. As a result of their unresolved trauma, they develop depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders and other psychological disorders. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol is common among women in this type of situation, which then leads to physical dependence and addiction.
Healing can begin in the environment of a treatment program that addresses both sexual trauma and addiction. This is the first step. Then, with the tools learned in treatment, women can continue to overcome sexual abuse in recovery.
Substance Abuse Treatment and Trauma Resolution
The ideal setting for drug- and alcohol-addicted women who have experienced sexual abuse is a gender-specific treatment that offers dual diagnosis treatment and trauma resolution therapy. At the Orchid Recovery Center, the all-women staff is equipped for treating and supporting each woman who walks through our door, seeking reprieve and recovery.
At The Orchid, special attention is paid to the issue of trauma. Until this trauma is effectively addressed, emotional pain will continue to threaten a woman’s recovery and success at long-term sobriety. Orchid Recovery Center counselors focus on helping women uncover past trauma as well as teaching them ways to resolve this trauma.
Overcoming Sexual Abuse in Recovery
Once inpatient treatment is completed, survivors of sexual abuse can continue to heal and thrive in recovery with the support of certain services and actions. You may no longer be in the intensive, protected setting of the treatment center but, you can begin to build a life without the debilitating pain of past trauma and addiction. Overcoming sexual abuse in recovery is possible for every woman and through different avenues.
Sexual abuse in recovery is possible through ongoing therapy, such as psychotherapy – where you meet with your therapist on a one-on-one basis on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and talk about any issues you may be dealing with as well as your goals, aspirations, and dreams. A therapist can support you with ways to understand your thought process and behaviors. This is valuable in learning how to change your perceptions and coping tools.
Another support to overcoming sexual abuse in recovery is to work with a sponsor – another woman in the program who has completed her steps who can take you through the steps. This process will allow you gain introspection and self-awareness, somewhat like therapy does, which can also help you alter your perceptions in a healthy way.
Many women also find that overcoming sexual abuse in recovery was possible with the love and support of other women in the program. And the best way to meet other women is by attending women-only meetings. Besides allowing you to forge strong relationships with women, you will also be in a safe place where you are likely to feel more comfortable to share. Remember, we’re only as sick as our secrets; by sharing your thoughts and feelings, you will continue the healing process.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or sexual abuse trauma please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.