Why is there a need for a female-specific approach to recovery?
It is widely known that men and women are very different mentally and physically. Did you know that the hormone cycle that women experience every month, along with the way the female body stores fat causes drugs and alcohol to affect the female body and mind differently than men? Everything down to the reasons that each gender uses drugs or alcohol is different.
For women, the main reason for drug/alcohol use is to self medicate. Whereas for men the most common reason is the high itself. This means that for women there are likely underlying physical or mental issues that need to be treated alongside the treatment for addiction itself. It creates a much more complex program. A program that needs to be individualized for each woman in it.
Women today face more struggles than most people realize. We have to balance everything the men do, plus deal with our bodies constantly changing throughout the month. Those changes can bring about headaches, backaches, exhaustion, overwhelming emotions, lower abdominal pain, and even confusion. All due to the natural hormone cycle that our bodies experience just to be able to reproduce. We also have to continue on with our daily lives as if nothing is changing. That’s where self-medicating comes into play. It makes it more bearable.
On top of that, according to the APA approximately half of all women will have experienced trauma in their lives. The APA also states that women are more susceptible to PTSD than men. This means that while our bodies are experiencing their change we now might have PTSD to battle on a daily basis as well.
Women also, become addicted more quickly than men do. This is due to our physiological makeup. Which is why it is important to have a gender-specific focus for addiction treatment. We are just 2 completely different beast.
If you are a female seeking female-specific recovery then visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline or call 1-800-662-HELP.