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The Main Barriers Women Face in Overcoming Addiction

Both men and women undergo devastating emotional and physical effects of addiction to alcohol or drugs. However, some studies have revealed that women in particular face some barriers and hurdles in dealing with addiction, seeking treatment and getting effective treatment to help them in overcoming the addiction problem. Below are a few of the unique challenges that women face in rehabilitation.

The majority of the women who opt to go to rehabilitation are at a disadvantage from the start. Various studies have shown that women who become hooked on alcohol or drugs tend to have lower socioeconomic status and lower education levels. They frequently look for treatment after referral from the judges or friends, family or co-workers. On the other hand, many men are referred to rehab centers by employers, doctors or even the legal system.

Many women also treat drug addiction as an issue related to stress and assume that it will go away without seeking treatment. Women normally have more responsibilities in their families in raising children and thus might feel that they cannot leave their family for a long time to go for treatment or might be in denial about how serious their addiction problem is. Women who are addicted to alcohol or drugs normally have depression and anxiety that cause them to avoid treatment or might have undergone some emotional, physical or sexual abuse which causes feelings of shame and trauma.

There is still a lot of stigma that’s attached to women who abuse drugs or alcohol particularly women who have children or who are not pregnant. With no help to look after their children, work and family duties during recovery and rehabilitation, women are most times discouraged from searching for treatment. The social shame and potential disapproval from family, friends, co-workers, and employers are sufficient to keep many of them out of treatment completely, and the fear of losing the custody of their kids is another demotivator.

Other women might be intimidated by other obstacles from the treatment facilities themselves. As an example, a woman who experienced emotional, sexual or physical abuse from a man could be terrified of the idea of going for treatment from facilities where men work. Since women might have major responsibilities for childcare and might also be working or don’t have insurance coverage; rehab facilities may not be possible because of financial factors.

Luckily, there are treatment centers that recognize that women’s needs are different from men’s needs and it may be beneficial to have a program which is specifically designed to overcome these barriers and help them find treatment. Several facilities offer programs that focus on helping women to deal with addiction.