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Alcohol Rehab for Women

Every person who struggles with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) faces their own personal challenges, but sex and gender can play a role in addiction as well. While men are more likely to drink to excess and be diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, women are at a greater risk for serious side effects associated with alcohol.1,2 Studies show that:1–3

  • Women’s bodies absorb alcohol faster, they feel the effects more quickly, and effects tend to last longer than in men.
  • Women are at greater risk for chronic health problems, including cancer, due to drinking.
  • Women may face additional strain on the heart and blood vessels.
  • Women with alcohol use disorder AUD have death rates that are between 50 and 100 times higher than men.
  • Women who are pregnant and struggling with an AUD are at risk of harming their babies.
  • Women are more likely than men to experience panic attacks, depression, and anxiety as a result of their substance use.
  • Women who are victims of domestic violence are at an increased risk of substance use.

Because of these and other gender-based issues, some may prefer a women’s-only rehab program that is dedicated to addressing all of the unique challenges women face.

Barriers to Treatment for Women

Women often face unique barriers to seeking treatment, such as:4,5

  • Social stigma.
  • Shame and guilt.
  • Lack of childcare.
  • Lack of family support.
  • Transportation issues.
  • Financial hardship.

Benefits of Women-only Programs

The good news is that women-only (WO) rehab programs offer the same types of evidence-based interventions as mixed-gender treatment centers, but with a focus that may be more beneficial to women specifically. For example, women-only programs may offer:5

  • Onsite childcare.
  • Job skills training.
  • Housing help.
  • Parenting classes.
  • Family and couples’ therapy.
  • Trauma-focused care.

WO programs also tend to have a more supportive, less confrontational approach to group counseling than mixed-gender programs.5

Many women report that the absence of men allows them to speak more freely and open up during group discussions.6 There is great value for women to realize they have similar personal histories with other women, as it can help them feel less shameful about their own situations.6

Types of Addiction Treatment for Women

Women-only alcohol rehab can take place in a number of settings, including:

Women with severe addictions may choose to enter inpatient rehab and live at the rehab center full-time. Inpatient rehab can last anywhere from 30 days to a year or more depending on your treatment needs.

Women with children may prefer outpatient rehab programs over inpatient centers since they allow them to remain at home with their families while going through treatment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Women’s Rehab Center

Research on substance use disorders has historically been disproportionally focused on men.7 But more and more treatment programs are starting to understand how to support women in recovery. Special considerations for women when seeking treatment may include:4

  • Medical services: Gynecological care, family planning, and pediatric care for children should be addressed if needed.
  • Education: Education on reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, child development, and nutritional counseling if needed.
  • Mental health services: Trauma-informed care for women who have been the victims of abuse, or services for mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
  • Life skills: Money management, stress reduction, and healthy coping skills.
  • Childcare services: For women with children who are entering treatment and may need childcare, help with school, and other family treatment services.
  • Case management: For women who need help securing housing, employment, public assistance, transportation, and legal services.
  • Peer support: Strong female role models and peer support can be essential aspects of ongoing recovery.

How to Find Women’s Rehab Near Me

Addiction is a complex disease, but it is treatable. A professional rehab center can help you heal from alcohol addiction. Not sure where to start? A doctor or trained addiction professional can diagnose and recommend the right level of care to meet your treatment needs.

Ready to start your recovery? American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of evidence-based treatment, offering women-only rehab at treatment centers across the country. Admissions navigators are available 24/7 to help you find the right treatment to fit your needs. Call today to talk about your options.

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