Although people struggle with different issues in recovery, women, particularly, have certain needs that must be met to help them in recovery. Women are more likely to face addiction in treatment than men and ask for help, but they also have different needs when it comes to support they would benefit from that men may not need. Learn more about how women function best in recovery and how to support their journey.
Addiction and Women
When looking over the stats, researchers have made clear comparisons between men and women who use illicit substances. The rate of substance use issues is about the same for both but women tend to develop addictions more quickly than men. Women are smaller on average, so one drink can have a greater impact. Women’s stomachs and liver process alcohol less efficiently so their BAC goes higher sooner.
Violence Against Women
Nearly one-third of women are victims of domestic violence or partner violence. It is a major risk factor that can lead to trauma and substance abuse as a result. Dealing with trauma as a child or adult can put women into higher risk categories for addictive behaviors. Mental health issues may also rise up in women with trauma in their personal history. This can result in being susceptible to using alcohol or drugs to numb out.
Women may be more likely than men to become stigmatized around substance abuse. Women are less likely to tell friends they use drugs and less likely to use friends for drugs. They may start using them with a partner, instead, which complicates treatment. Sobriety is harder if a partner uses drugs. Relationships are often built on codependency, where one person enables the other. Many women are often codependent and put their partners’ needs first. Treatment is only successful if they are able to put their needs above and beyond that of their partner’s needs.
Finding Healing Space
Women need space to be vulnerable, time to build social connections and find healing in recovery. A strong sober network is more important for women than men, even though men benefit from it greatly. The best predictor of people getting sober is connections and support from their loved ones. Attending meetings is helpful, going out with friends for sober fun is also key, and having friends and family who stand by no matter what is going to be a marker of success.
Recovery is difficult no matter what stage of life you are in, or if you are a man or a woman. We support your unique needs and challenges in recovery. Our specially trained counselors understand what you need to detox, recover, and heal from addiction. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295