A women’s treatment center offers the opportunity to embrace recovery alongside other women. Every woman is an individual. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. Therefore, when a woman is suffering from addiction, she’ll need to make important decisions regarding her recovery.

Facts About Women and Addiction: Why are Women’s Treatment Centers Needed?

  • While men are more likely to abuse and overdose on illicit substances, women are as likely to develop a substance use disorder.
  • Women tend to progress through addiction and enter treatment faster than men.
  • Women may be more susceptible to cravings and relapse during early recovery.
  • Experts designed traditional rehab programs based on research involving males.
  • Women may experience a higher degree of anxiety during addiction and substance abuse.
  • Women often suffer from social or medical consequences resulting from addiction sooner than men.
  • Gender-specific programs may help in cases of dual diagnosis.

Why Do Women Avoid Treatment for Substance Abuse?


A woman may worry about how entering treatment may affect her reputation. She may fear repercussions in her career, personal life, or relationship with her children. A survey from 2015 found that 73.3 percent of women were afraid of revealing they were abusing substances. The fear stems from the idea that they will lose custody of their children. This can be a major barrier to seeking treatment. 

All cases are unique, but revealing an issue with substance abuse alone usually doesn’t cause a mother to lose custody. This is especially true if she is seeking help. Other factors, such as legal troubles or unemployment, may increase the odds of this unfortunate scenario.

Admitting that one is struggling with addiction isn’t easy. Regardless, the best way a woman can protect her reputation is to seek treatment and get well.


Childcare can be another barrier. A woman may not have a spouse or other relatives who can look after the children. If not, she could struggle to commit to inpatient rehab.

Some rehab centers offer daycare facilities or other services to help mothers in this position. Others reach out to distant relatives or friends who might be able to step in. If nothing else, the woman could opt for an outpatient program. 


The price of rehab can sometimes be a barrier. If an uninsured woman can’t afford treatment, there are programs that can help. Most states offer rehabilitation services for low-income people. Women with financial struggles should contact the rehab facility to discuss payment options.

What Are the Options at a Women’s Treatment Center?

Not every woman can drop everything to enter full-time treatment. Thankfully, when it comes to rehab, there are options for every situation.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab requires a stay at the treatment facility. It’s generally more expensive, but it also has a higher success rate. It’s best for those with serious issues with substance abuse or those facing a dual diagnosis. Some of the other benefits include round-the-clock emotional support, medical supervision, and a substance-free environment.

The main drawback of inpatient rehab is that it disrupts one’s normal routines. If a woman has caretaking or career responsibilities, she may find it difficult to enter a program. Inpatient rehab stays can last between 28 days and six months.

Outpatient Rehab

During outpatient treatment, the patient does treatment during the day while living at home. There is a greater risk of relapse in early recovery due to more access to substances. However, research shows outpatient rehab can still help patients maintain long-term sobriety.

women's treatment center

The positives of outpatient rehab include less disruption, more affordability, and the ability to remain a caretaker. Programs typically last between three months and a year.

Medical Detox

Detox is different from addiction treatment. Nonetheless, it’s often an important first step. Detoxing from certain substances can be dangerous without medical supervision. During medically assisted detox, a doctor will be on hand to provide medications and advice during the process.

Along with being safer, medically assisted detox can also help the patient quickly clear illicit drugs from her system. This establishes a baseline of sobriety that the doctors can use to observe the state of her mental health. From there, they will decide if the patient requires psychiatric help.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

According to data from SAMHSA, 5.6% of women over the age of 18 have a substance use disorder. Within that group, an additional 3.4% also suffer from a mental illness. 

Treating addiction and mental illness at the same time is challenging. The patient must first detox from all substances. This often requires medical supervision. Once the system is clear of illicit substances, the doctors at the women’s treatment center will decide whether the patient needs medications.

 Those who are suffering from addiction and mental illness should choose a women’s treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis. This is important for a successful outcome. A study of 256 rehab programs across the United States found that only 18% met the criteria for helping patients with dual diagnosis. 

What Are the Benefits of a Women’s Drug Rehab Program?

If a woman is facing rehab, she may choose a program for women only. Coed treatment programs are available as well. People can get sober and find success in both types of programs. However, choosing a women’s program has numerous benefits.

A Sense of Safety

Most people feel vulnerable during the early stages of recovery. Along with the physical discomfort of detox, the patient is often facing a great deal of emotional turmoil. Anyone who has been abusing substances has been escaping their emotions for some time. Facing the harsh reality of life can be a brutal experience. The woman may feel anxious, sad, or frightened. 

Being around other women during the recovery process can sometimes help. One peer-reviewed study found 81% of women in a treatment program reported a history of physical or sexual abuse. If the abuser was male, the woman may feel unsafe around men, especially during the early stages of sobriety. An all-female environment creates feelings of safety. It also provides an opportunity to share in the healing process with other abuse survivors.

Better Outcomes for Dual Diagnosis

Women with a dual diagnosis may want to choose a gender-specific program. Research has shown that these programs may be particularly beneficial for women who suffer from addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

An Understanding of Women’s Issues

Women face a variety of unique issues. Even the kindest and most compassionate men can’t understand what it’s like to be a woman. There are hormonal issues like menstrual cycles and menopause. There are pressures to look or act a certain way. Sometimes, the pressure women feel to be perfect can push them toward substance abuse. This includes pressure in the areas of parenting, career, or appearance.

Women are usually caretakers. This alone presents a unique issue. A woman may believe that leaving home to attend rehab would mean abandoning her family. She may feel terrible guilt. This is on top of the shame addicts feel as they come to terms with the mistakes they made while under the influence.

The professionals who run women’s drug rehab centers understand how to help a woman through this difficult time.

More Time to Focus on Women

Group meetings and therapy sessions are part of most rehab programs. In coed rehabs, group discussions will focus on issues that affect both genders. In a woman’s program, group discussions remain focused on issues that are specific to women.

Therapies at a Women’s Treatment Center

Rehab centers offer a variety of clinically proven therapies.

womens drug rehab

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Most people abuse substances as a way of coping with emotional pain. This type of classic talk therapy can teach a patient new behaviors and coping mechanisms. CBT shows the patient the consequences of drug use and the positives of remaining sober. The therapist can also assist the patient in acknowledging triggers that may lead to relapse.

12-Step Programs

This is a program utilized by most rehab centers. Participants work through a series of 12 steps that can help them abstain from substance abuse. These steps involve surrendering to a higher power, asking for forgiveness, and embracing community support.

Family Therapy

Loved ones should be part of the recovery process. Family issues are often involved in the emotional pain that can lead to substance abuse. It’s important for family members to learn how to help. Rehabs often invite family members to therapy sessions to work through issues that could stand in the way of recovery.

Experiential Therapy

This type of therapy involves a variety of activities. Art, music, or meditation are common examples. These therapies are meant to compliment other types of therapy, such as CBT. Through these activities, patients explore emotions associated with difficult memories and past relationships.

Contact Chapel Hill Detox Now

Women who are suffering from addiction may feel lost and alone. Help is available. If you or someone you love is dealing with issues involving substance abuse, please contact Chapel Hill Detox today. We offer detox, inpatient rehab, and dual diagnosis treatment in beautiful West Palm Beach, Florida. Our compassionate staff is ready to support your healing journey.