Women in Recovery

When it comes to addiction treatment there are facilities and programs that cater to both genders, some are just for women and some are just for men. That can actually be broken down even further if you wanted to. It is important to understand that this is necessary because everyone’s needs are very different. Many women do not want to share their treatment with men for various reasons and both women and men have very different needs.

If there is no separation in gender during treatment this would mean that both women and men would spend quite a bit of time together, in group meetings, activities, meals, and classes. This can be challenging for some women when they are expected to open up and share details about their life and addiction struggles. It is common for women to share stories about weight gain, eating disorders, childbirth, and menstruation and some women do not want to share when men are present.

More women than men have endured childhood physical and sexual abuse and abuse from a partner or spouse. More women have custody of their children than men do so there is parenting concerns and it is things like this that cause some women to want to isolate themselves from the men. While it is true that both genders will detox the same, relapse the same, have the same fears, and share many of the same triggers, if given the choice some women still prefer a woman only facility. Offering gender separation in rehab, facilities are able to better offer more individualized care to each person.

Would you feel more comfortable seeking substance abuse treatment if you knew you could get help and be around just your gender?

  • 8 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • If I wanted to withdraw from a substance safely then it wouldn't bother me whether the doctor I was was a man or a woman. However, if I wanted to explore the reasons why I got addicted in the first place, then I may well feel more comfortable in a women-only setting. There is definitely a place for gender specific facilities and I think that men should have exactly the same options as women when it comes to this. 
  • They do have the same facilities for men.
  • That's great! There isn't much gender-specific care available for guys here in the UK and I'm sure that there are so many things that guys don't like to talk about in front of women. Being able to speak freely is an important part of recovery and everyone should have a therapeutic environment where they can do this. 
  • I would not have wanted to go to a gender-specific treatment. Back in the day, women were competition. I had such low self-esteem, I needed male attention to feel OK. Sad, but true. It was after years of recovery and therapy that I was able to understand where that was coming from and embrace women in my life.

    Chinne01, you do have a lot of valid points, especially about children. Where I live we have a Mom's program that is strictly for pregnant women and women with small children. Out of treatment, I go to a lot of women's meetings. I find there such acceptance and feel free to talk about what I need to.

    I'm not, however, completely comfortable with your statement, "More women than men have endured childhood physical and sexual abuse." Men's sexual abuse has been so hidden, it is only now that it's being discussed. Many men I know had minimized their physical abuse, and "being kicked across the room" was just how it was. I would not want to minimize the pain and trauma these men experienced. I think both genders would benefit from treatment centers that are particularly able to address these issues.
  • I wish I would have had this option during recovery, but I wasn't given an option at all. But at the same time, I didn't let anything keep me from talking about what was really on my mind. I know that not all men wanted to hear about it, but the fact is--we were all in recovery for different reasons and being open, honest, and understanding to other's needs regardless of gender allowed us to know that problems existed everywhere.

    I do feel bad for the older gentleman who complained about the fact that I didn't have a bra to wear. I couldn't help it--the bra I had on upon arrival, I didn't want to have the wire taken out so I didn't have much of a choice. He had a hard time not looking, but I wasn't trying to show purposely. I suppose this did cause discomfort in his recovery but it was not intentional.
  • Yes. I've always been comfortable with women and I've always been distant to men. I don't know why, maybe it's because I have trust issues with them and I also had a traumatic experience with a stranger who happens to be a male before. I think I would be able to recover faster and better if I were being treated in an all-female facility. Plus, I wouldn't feel gender-oppressed.

  • Totally!  I wish I could have found a women-only rehab center when I was younger, I think that would have pushed me to actually get treatment.  I just didn't like the idea of sharing too much in front a bunch of strangers, specially if those strangers were mostly men.  It definitely  helps to be around other women, because there are experiences that can only be shared with other women.
  • I don’t know that I would actively seek out a women-only rehab center at the moment, but if I’d needed rehab when I was younger, it probably would have been the best option. I think I was one of those low-self-esteem young women who needed male attention to feel good about myself, even if it was just from a platonic standpoint (hence why I hung around mostly guys). So I can definitely see the benefits.
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