Women are using drugs and alcohol at faster rates than men in present times. Alcoholism is growing for women, leading to health complications like heart disease, liver damage, and mental health complications. Women are also at risk of violence, sexual assault, and other crimes against themselves when they drink excessively. Rehab programs are the safest spaces for women to experience healing from addiction and recover from alcoholism. Support is key throughout the process from family, friends, and loved ones.
Women Drink for These Reasons
When women drink, it is not just to relax. Alcoholism is more than just a drink here or there. Women are actually at a higher risk than men of developing alcohol use disorder. Teen girls drink for different reasons than older women, although teenaged drinking behaviors can extend into young adult years onward. Relationship status is another reason women drink, but they may also drink because:
- Trauma, abuse, and neglect in their history makes them more prone to develop problem drinking behaviors
- Alcohol use can be used to numb painful feelings or thoughts
- History of alcoholism is a risk factor from the family of origin
- Mental health problems (anxiety or depression) may make a woman more likely to drink
- Self-medication to manage stress or deal with life (which can lead to addictive behaviors)
The challenge is to look for signs of alcoholism in women, which can be quite hidden when a person does not know what to look for in a loved one.
Alcoholism Signs in Women
Alcohol use disorder is a condition that women are diagnosed with when they display two or more of the following signs and symptoms within a 12-month period of time:
- Not able to control the use of alcohol in spite of the desire to try
- Drinking more than planned or for longer
- Using, removing, or getting over the effects of alcohol
- Getting drunk or recuperating from a hangover frequently
- Missing work, school, or not following through on responsibilities to others due to drinking behavior
- Drinking in spite of consequences or causing danger to self and others
When seeking help for drinking, women need to focus on programs tailored to them. It is easier to open up about concerns or emotions in groups where it is all women and women-focused issues. Finding help is the key issue for women in finding the right support
Searching out rehab programs for women is key to healing in recovery. It may be easier to open up, but it is more important they receive necessary care to thrive in recovery. This might mean inpatient programs tailored to women or outpatient programs for women only. This may also mean dual diagnosis programs for mental health disorders along with addiction. Mental health diagnoses and addiction are linked, with one making the other harder. In order to be sober, both issues must be addressed in treatment. Women who can meet in mixed-sex groups or women’s only meetings are more likely to maintain long-term sobriety than women who do not. Other ways women can seek help and support are through counseling, group, and individual sessions, along with family treatment programs that encourage child and partner incorporation into their recovery work. The goal is to keep them sober and clean long after they leave rehab so they can continue working on personal growth and development to maintain sobriety on their own. This takes a village to support women who need lots of help emotionally, spiritually, and physically in the weeks and months after they leave rehab. Support is essential to maintaining a healthy outlook on recovery.
Oceanfront supports women who are seeking help with addiction, including alcoholism. Our goal is to teach you the steps to take now so you can learn how to walk on your own after rehab ends. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295