Women’s Programs And Dual Diagnosis Programs

by Bridget on February 17, 2012

It is estimated that only six percent of woman actually receive the necessary addiction treatment that they need. This is due to many reasons. For those women who do seek treatment it’s often not successful. Women with addiction often need dual diagnosis services, which are not offered at every drug rehab. Most women suffering from a substance abuse problem have a co-occurring mental illness or trauma from childhood or beyond. In addition, many women have children and are not able to leave them to enter treatment. Due to lack of rehabs that off a women’s program and dual diagnosis programs many women are unable to get the help they so desperately need.


Women who suffer from addiction often have a co-occurring mental condition. This can vary from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, ED-NOS, or even binge eating disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder. No matter the disorder, it is very important that addiction treatment for women get to the root of the addiction. Recovery from an addiction cannot be successful if the behaviors or feelings that are the underlying root cause of the addiction are not dealt with. For example, if a woman who suffered from sexual abuse as a child does not work through the pain and guilt and anxiety surrounding that event in her childhood, she will continue to use drugs or alcohol to escape those memories, feelings, and pain.


Another issue that many women have to contend with when it comes to treatment for their addiction is their family. Often women are single parents, and have no care for their children. Recently in New Jersey, rehab centers have begun offering on-site childcare. Perhaps if more rehabilitation centers offered such services mothers who need help can get it and ultimately become better mothers and stop the cycle of addiction in their family.


Addiction is an indiscriminate disease, it brings with it guilt and shame. However, addiction has underlying causes, and unless these causes are explored and dealt with, recovery is virtually impossible.  For women and especially mothers, they are scared to enter treatment facilities or they don’t have the resources. Many states have finally realized that it is actually cheaper and more beneficial to send an addicted mother to treatment then to take her children away and put her in jail. Hopefully this will lead to more rehab centers offering child care and other resources to addicted women.

Addiction is a plight for many; it ruins lives and unless it is stopped can cycle in families. This is why it is so important for anyone suffering from an addiction to get help. Whether by seeking residential rehabilitation or even just drug counseling. Women who suffer from addiction need to have women’s programs geared specially toward them, these programs should feature job skills, and help those in abusive situations be able to stand on their own. In addition women’s programs more rehab facilities need to offer dual diagnosis programs that will treat co-occurring disorders such as eating disorders or mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder or bi-polar. With more Americans facing addiction every day with the new onslaught of prescription drug addiction the stigma of addicts needs to change and instead of being one of disgust should instead be one of empathy and hope.

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