Meeting the Treatment Needs of Women Seeking Recovery

Written by Journey Pure Staff

Studies have shown that women have specific recovery needs that impact which type of treatment, therapy, and aftercare will best prepare them for lifelong sobriety. Understanding what research has uncovered about women in recovery can help you make the best decisions for yourself or loved ones as you consider treatment options and resources.

Until the early 1990s, most studies conducted to find effective substance abuse treatments included only male participants. This caused the research base on best practices for addiction treatment to be skewed towards men’s needs. At the urging of the National Institute of Health (NIH), researchers began studying women with addiction and looking for the best evidence-based treatment options specifically for them. The results shed light on many important facts about women with addiction to consider as you plan for recovery.

Severity and Range of Symptoms

Women tend to progress through the cycle of addiction more quickly than men, moving from regular drug or alcohol use to full-blown addiction in a much shorter timeframe. Despite using for fewer years than men on average, women tend to experience more advanced symptoms of addiction at the time they enter treatment. These symptoms include medical complications, co-occurring psychiatric disorders like depression and eating disorders, and complex social and relationship consequences of addiction. Treatment facilities that include specific detox care to medically manage symptoms of withdrawal can help women have better outcomes throughout this first phase of treatment. Journey Pure Voyage features three tiers of medical detox to help women overcome their withdrawal symptoms with safety and comfort as the primary goals.

Barriers to Treatment

Women are less likely to enter substance abuse treatment than men. Research has uncovered many underlying factors for this trend including: women having less family support for treatment, economic barriers, greater social stigma and discrimination (especially in the workplace) for entering treatment, greater responsibilities for child care, trauma histories (especially of sexual abuse) that make treatment facilities feel less safe, and a higher prevalence of co-occurring disorders, which leads many women to seek treatment for their mental health needs while not addressing their underlying substance use disorders. Journey Pure Voyage was designed to help women overcome many of these common barriers to treatment, offering both inpatient and outpatient treatment options featuring therapies created specifically for women.

Benefits of Women’s-Only Treatment and Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Research has illustrated that women tend to benefit more from facilities that are women-only and focus on the unique array of issues common to women with addiction. Factors like co-occurring mental health issues and trauma histories are not only more common to women, but they also have a big impact on treatment outcomes and relapse prevention. Research indicates that attending a facility that focuses on comprehensive integrated services for co-occurring disorders is most beneficial in helping women achieve sobriety. JourneyPure features treatment designed to address co-occurring disorders, trauma, relationship issues, and total mind-body wellness. The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) model practiced at JourneyPure helps clients build relationship skills, uncover important self-knowledge, and get to the heart of the emotional and mental triggers to use substances, which helps prevent relapse.

JourneyPure created a gender-specific treatment program that utilizes the most important aspects of the research based on women’s recovery needs. Every facet of treatment has been carefully crafted using evidence-based practices and the utmost consideration for the unique needs of women. The facility has a nurturing, comfortable environment that teaches wellness and self-care skills alongside addiction treatment and therapy. JourneyPure also features important aftercare coaching, which can help reinforce the tools learned during treatment and support you in long-term sobriety.