Why Women Experience Addiction Differently

...and why women-centric approaches are fast gaining ground.

5/17/2021 8:32:00 PM

Women may develop an addiction—and maintain their recovery—for different reasons than men. Here's how that understanding can help shape more effective treatments.

...and why women-centric approaches are fast gaining ground.

about the issues around having SUD, including going to treatment for it.Women tend to be less independent financially than men, so they’re less able to afford treatment and to take off work.Women tend to do the majority of theparenting, so they’re more likely to say “no way, I can’t leave the kids now—maybe later.”

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Women are sometimes in a relationship where their partner doesn’t support the idea of addiction treatment for some reason ("you don’t need it,""you’re not that kind of person,""you need to look after the kids," and so on).

Certain Therapies Are Showing Real Promise for WomenTwo therapies that are working well for women with SUD include trauma-informed care and gender-responsive treatment.Trauma-informed care is exactly what it sounds like: an acknowledgment and awareness of the impact of trauma on a person’s life. This provides a more complete picture of the SUD patient’s situation—past and present. And it shifts the care focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Given the high incidence of trauma in women with SUD, it’s no wonder this type of care is having such a positive impact. headtopics.com

Addiction Essential ReadsWhy Addiction May Have Increased During the PandemicGender-responsive treatment (GRT) is addiction care specifically designed to treat men and women differently. In the residential treatment setting, men and women stay in separate residences, but the gender split runs through everything—from the design of the physical environment to the daily programming to the issues covered during

sessions. The benefits of this GRT for women include:It allows women to more easily talk about social pressures, expectations, and other personal experiences.It helps eliminate any potential distractions that may occur during treatment.It helps women get back in touch with self-care, relaxation, and building community with each other.

A Notable and Long Overdue TrendAs in many areas of health and medicine, the research done on addiction and addiction treatment historically focused on the male population. It was conducted on male subjects by male researchers. Read more: Psychology Today »

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