Understanding Female-Specific Treatment

Drug and alcohol programs which include female-specific treatment with a focus on gender-specific trauma and gender-specific support groups offer ideal connection for women. For example, women who have been sexually assaulted or have endured pregnancies and battled substance use disorders (SUD) can be in a safe environment that is sensitive to their healing needs. Studies have confirmed that women endure mental and emotional challenges unique to them depending on social stereotypes and gender expectations.

Additionally, women who battle eating disorders and SUDs related to adhering to gender-based standards of beauty can find treatment that addresses both conditions. Female-focused treatments allow each group member to discuss private gender-focused topics, feel safe in groups of their peers, not be distracted by outside relationships, and receive hands-on treatment approaches including treatment medications.

Featured Centers Offering Female-Specific Treatment

Why Gender-Specific Treatment Is Ideal For Women

Female-specific treatment provides care that is tailored to the female experience. These can include female group facilitators and female counselors or therapists. SUDs often co-exist with anxiety and depression, both of which impact women more frequently than men. Themes like motherhood, changes in behavior due to hormonal imbalances, workplace challenges (sexism or balancing work with motherhood), and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse may be uncomfortable if discussed with men present. Female-specific groups allow the ultimate freedom of expression and can enhance overall trust in treatment programs.

A study confirmed the types of mental health challenges women face are unique to their treatment preferences and comfort level. Additionally, women are more likely to attend and stay through treatment for SUDs when compared to men. Specific factors impacting the recovery experience for women include the involvement of a family member. Including a loved one can offer the emotional support needed in recovery to thrive. Studies show women are more likely to complete treatment if they stayed at a specific location. This means if a woman finds a center offering the necessary treatment she prefers and she continues treatment, she is better able to complete her recovery.

Female-focused groups allow members to discuss private gender-focused topics and feel safe in same-gendered support groups.

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Gender-Specific Treatment And Support Groups

Women wanting to disclose their traumas in support groups with both genders may feel timid. Opening up about rape in front of men may create feelings of restriction, especially if male support group members have insensitive opinions. Furthermore, women who practice cultural or religious practices focusing on gender roles or gender conservatism may not be comfortable opening up about personal traumas or substance use disorders. Younger women who may not be able to relate to issues like motherhood may feel uncomfortable or reserved about opening up in larger female groups.

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Teenage Female-Specific Treatment

There are age-specific treatment centers that target teenage women. Despite some teenage women growing and developing skills in the world, they are not free from traumatic events. Experiences such as bullying, pressures to fit into social circles, insecurity, self-harm, and academic stress can foster poor coping methods.

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Teenage sexual trauma and sexual abuse can follow women into adulthood, and many end up abusing harmful substances for relief. Stopping this by getting teenagers the treatment they need can be a proactive step in the right direction. To cater to age-focused audiences, teenage female-specific treatment centers provide medication as regular facilities would, as well as fitness programs to ensure health. Some facilities will offer academic preparation for teens to enhance their experience.

12 Steps For Women

In response to such challenges, female-focused support groups that incorporate both community and unique 12-steps are ideal. One example is how author Stephanie Covington penned A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps in 1994; below is a loose summary of each step.

  • Step 1: Look inside ourselves. We can become more truthful with ourselves as we turn inward.
  • Step 2: Ask ourselves, “Who can we trust in?” and “What do we believe?” The answers to these questions can help us when times get tough.
  • Step 3: Turn our will over. When we are too determined to have things a certain way, there will be conflict. Our will keeps us “pushing against life, not going with the flow of it.”
  • Step 4: Understanding the guilt can hold us back in some ways. We must stop agonizing about the past to have a better relationship with ourselves.
  • Step 5: Healing is an important element of vulnerability and better relationships.
  • Step 6: A willingness to change and let go of old habits that may have caused an imbalance.
  • Step 7: Accept ourselves. This gives us more awareness and helps us change through acceptance.
  • Step 8: Examine our relationships for resentment, bitterness, and hostility. Ask ourselves who we avoid, or have issues with. We can tend to these relationships.
  • Step 9: Take responsibility for our part in relationships to make amends.
  • Step 10: Being aware helps improve relationships with accountability.
  • Step 11: Choosing a practice that gives us a sense of peace.
  • Step 12: We can offer direct explanation for the 12 steps, or our own, sharing our story any way we’d like.

Find A Local Female-Specific Treatment Center Today

There are many options to discover for treatment. Deciding to take control of your life is the first step to freedom. Contact a treatment provider today to learn more about available treatment options.

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Author

Krystina Murray

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  • Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

Deborah Montross Nagel

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  • Deborah has a Master’s Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor – CAADC. She is  nationally certified as a MAC – Master Addictions Counselor – by NAADAC (The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors). Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no "bad guy" in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!

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