What Every Woman Should Know About Detox

July 10, 2017 - - 0 CommentsWhat Every Woman Should Know About Detox

Women in today’s society have their own unique stress and pressure points in their daily lives. When there is also drug or alcohol addiction present, there’s quite a cocktail of stress in play. Often addiction issues in women can be exacerbated further by pregnancy, increasing the fear and anxiety surrounding their addiction and often leaving them unable or too fearful to seek help. More often than not this is down to lack of education on the subject of addiction and not realizing there is significant help available.

How Detox for Women is Different

Gender is considered an important clinical issue when it comes to addiction treatment for women. This is due to the differences in the development of substance abuse between men and women, which also required different treatment approaches.

The core principles of detox for women are as follows:

  • Recognizing the significance of the close personal relationships in a woman’s life
  • Addressing the specific health concerns relating to women
  • Acknowledging the socioeconomic differences among women
  • Dealing with the multiple caregiving roles women assume
  • Recognizing that society has different expectations and attitudes towards women with addiction issues

The Challenges Faced in Detox for Women

The main challenge faced by female sufferers of addiction is the stigma attached to substance abuse and how that is perceived by the people around them. This can lead to a fear of the response from others that prevents women from accessing treatment for fear or being judged more harshly than male addicts.

The fears faced in women detox include loss of child custody; lack of support from social services and lack of options particularly for addicted women in pregnancy. It is down to an addiction counselor to help women in their care overcome any personal obstacles to treatment – including shame and lack of motivation.  Counselors should actively encourage total engagement in alcohol or drug treatment programs.

The unique needs of women in drug and alcohol addiction treatment include:

  • Women face more serious medical complications than men as a result of drug or alcohol abuse including reproductive problems, cancer, and organ damage.
  • Social stigma and the possibility of losing custody of children is a significant challenge faced by women with addiction.
  • If a patient is pregnant, the right kind of detox program is essential and needs to be completed under full medical supervision to protect her unborn child.
  • Often, women are drawn into substance abuse due to underlying depression, anxiety or low self-esteem. The prolonged use of alcohol and drugs exacerbates these feelings and addressing these underlying issues is an essential as part of a woman’s detox program.
  • Female addicts often have a history of physical or sexual abuse which plays a part in their drug or alcohol use.

How Drug and Alcohol Detox Differs for Women

According to research, women have every chance of remaining in treatment once they have initiated it as men are. However, there are specific factors that encourage continued engagement in detox and rehab including easy access to childcare and collaborative therapies that focus on providing emotional support during treatment.

Another factor coming into play for women in rehab is whether they are receiving support and active participation in treatment from their significant others if they have one. It is thought that women cope more with the detox process when they are ‘backed’ by their romantic partners and the matter is completely in the open within their important relationships.

Women also have different emotional responses when they relapse during addiction treatment than their male counterparts. Factors that are detrimental to progress include interpersonal problems, anxiety, depression, and feelings of worthlessness. Women also have greater difficulty in distancing themselves from others who continue to use, particularly if they are in a relationship with them. Failure to develop a support network among new friends without addiction can prolong successful recovery. However, one point of note is that women who revert back to using are more likely than men to seek help sooner and have shorter periods of relapse.

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