Entering a drug or alcohol treatment program can be scary challenge for anyone, but especially for women who have developed an addiction as a way of dealing with trauma or stressful situations. In most cases, women who enter a rehab program are struggling not only with their addiction, but also with the problems of everyday life and family relationships.
Making the commitment to an inpatient rehabilitation requires a serious dedication to getting clean and sober while also being ready to make dramatic changes to your current lifestyle. For many people struggling with addiction, it also means that you are ready to address your personal history and past events that have contributed to addictive behavior. Your treatment program will likely include intensive counseling and psychological interventions, along with easing the physical symptoms of withdrawal and finding replacement activities for your addiction. Since addiction issues vary greatly based on gender, many of the top rehabilitation programs offer separate programs for men and women. As a woman, this creates a more comfortable and safe atmosphere in which to explore the root causes of your addiction.
Although entering a women-only rehab center may seem daunting, consider yourself among the more fortunate ones who are able to make the decision to enter treatment. Based on the most recent numbers from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42 women in the country die every day from a drug overdose. Women who use alcohol in excess are prone to heart damage and are more likely to experience violent and sexual assault. If your addiction has lead to health problems or you’ve been exposed to violence, your treatment program will also address these problems and will help you address the possible legal implications if you choose to pursue this avenue.
When you are ready to commit to a recovery center, you might find yourself dealing with your own preconceived notions, or myths, about women-only rehab centers. Fortunately, many of these misconceptions are easily swept aside when working with a professional, dedicated recovery center like JourneyPure Voyage that provides addiction treatment in a women-only center.
Benefits of Women-Only Rehabilitation Centers
As a woman, you likely feel more comfortable discussing personal topics with other women or within a supportive environment. Being in this kind of a welcoming center will increase your success at rehabilitation since you’ll feel safe enough to share your emotions. Women are also more likely to share stories about past trauma and violence, which can lead to addiction issues, when they are surrounded by other women with similar stories.
Although there are many women who are comfortable in and find great success in mixed-gender rehabilitation programs, it’s important that you partake in a program that best fits your personality and provides you with a safe and comfortable environment. Take the time to research the pros and cons of both women-only and mixed-gender rehabilitation program to see which is the best fit for your comfort zone. If you have questions about either type of program, the recovery center you are considering should be able to address your concerns in a caring and supportive manner.
Common Myths About Women-Only Rehab Centers
Many people who struggle with addiction, and members of their family, find hope and a better quality of life after completing a rehabilitation program. However, many misconceptions exist about what happens in treatment and how a person will feel in recovery. These myths about women’s recovery programs make it easy to delay entering a program, since they can be used as excuses for avoiding treatment. We’ve compiled a list of the 12 most common myths about women’s rehab, and we counter it with the truth behind these misconceptions. By addressing these falsehoods head on, we hope to encourage you or your loved one to enter treatment with confidence about the process and without unwarranted fear about recovery.
Myth — All addiction rehabilitations are the same.
Fact — Just as the problems leading to addiction are different, so, too, are the approaches to treatment. A well-rounded treatment program offers a variety of methods to help people addicted to drugs and alcohol. This should include medication to address the symptoms of withdrawal, psychological counseling, 12-step programs and the development of coping mechanisms. In many cases, family members and close friends might be included in the educational approaches to living a sober life. There is no one method that can help everyone with their own addiction problems, so it’s important to research the recovery center before you enter it to ensure that its methods are ones you can work with. In any situation, you should feel comfortable and safe while in the recovery center. If you don’t feel safe, your recovery may be sabotaged by additional anxiety and stress. Your rehabilitation center should feel like a second home where you can relax and be at ease with the emotional work at hand.
Myth — Treatment can cure addiction.
Fact — Entering a treatment program is just one step in learning how to live substance-free, but it’s certainly not the final step. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol will need to resist the temptation to start using again for the rest of their lives. A successful treatment program will give you the tools and methods you’ll need to continue your recovery beyond the time in treatment. That’s why people who have completed treatment are said to be “in recovery,” which reflects the ongoing nature of the process. There is no simple cure to addiction, and the addicted person needs to be ready to take control of their ongoing recovery.
Myth — Most treatment programs are unaffordable.
Fact — While it’s true that treatment programs can be expensive, there are many ways to lessen the cost. Treatment centers range greatly in price based on the depth, variety and quality of the services being provided. The amount of time spent in the program is another factor that affects the overall cost. Most inpatient programs last 30 days, but some recovery programs are completed in less time or on an outpatient basis. Being too expensive is one of the myths about women-only recovery centers, especially when you consider the cost of ongoing addiction. For example, someone who is addicted to heroin will spend an average of $150 per day on drugs. During an average month, that’s as much as $4,500. This figure doesn’t include the cost of missed work, legal fees or court costs if arrested. When you consider that inpatient addiction treatment happens for one to three months, it’s easy to see how the financial commitment will pay in the long run, not to mention how your long-term health and relationships will be improved by seeking treatment.
Many health insurance policies cover a certain amount of inpatient recovery, including state-based health insurance and most private insurances. This can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs. If you don’t have insurance, your treatment center of choice should be able to work with you to find ways to make it more affordable, such as long-term payment plans and financing options. When you make the decision to enter a rehabilitation program, don’t let finances stand in your way, no matter what the cost. The benefits greatly outweigh the cost, even if the dollar amount seems daunting.
Myth — Seeking help for a drug or alcohol problem is a sign of weakness.
Fact — Just as you wouldn’t feel weak about going to the doctor to treat the flu or for an ear infection, you shouldn’t see addiction as a sign of weakness. There are strong biological factors at work in people with addiction, including genetics, family history and mental health issues. Addiction itself becomes a physical problem once the body is used to having the substance that is being overused. It is not easy to deal with addiction, both the psychological and physical symptoms, by oneself. Reaching out for professional help is the smart decision. Finding the strength within yourself to enter a treatment program shows you have your best quality of life at mind and are no longer going to lead the life of an addicted person, which is a strong and powerful decision to make.
Myth — You can lose your job by going to a rehabilitation program.
Fact — This is a common myth that can put lives at risk for people who are avoiding treatment in fear of losing their job. Americans who need time off from work for health issues are protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which includes treatment for drug and alcohol problems. Employees usually qualify for FMLA when they are referred to a treatment program by their regular health care provider, so you might not be protected under FMLA if you enter a program on your own. Make sure you discuss your need for treatment with your physician and read the fine print on your health insurance policy to ensure that you understand the parameters you need to meet for having your inpatient treatment covered by your plan.
While you are in treatment, your employer must hold your job for you and must not penalize you for taking FMLA, even when it’s used for an addiction problem. There are, however, a few exceptions to FMLA. You must have been a full-time employee at your company for at least 12 months before taking FMLA, and the company you work for must have 50 or more employees. This rule was established to protect small businesses that might be negatively affected by employees taking off a long amount of time. If you don’t meet these qualifications, you might still be able to enter a treatment program based on your company’s benefits. Carefully review your employee benefit package for more information, or make an appointment with your company’s human resources office for more information about how to enter a recovery program without losing your job.
Myth — Recovery only works if the addicted person hits “rock bottom.”
Fact — The term “rock bottom” means something different to everyone, so it’s difficult to pinpoint. For some people with alcohol or drug addiction, hitting rock bottom might mean losing their job or friendships because of the addiction. For others, it might mean physically overdosing and being hospitalized. All of these situations are signs that a person can benefit from receiving drug or alcohol treatment, but it’s dangerous to believe that a person must suffer great loss before seeking help. Drug and alcohol treatment works best the earlier you start. Waiting for a tragic event to occur to propel yourself into treatment is a bad idea. Seek treatment as soon as you realize there’s a problem, since getting treatment early can prevent ongoing health or legal problems that many people with addictions experience as their issues escalate.
Myth — Entering a rehabilitation program will solve all of my problems.
Fact — Making the decision to enter recovery is a great start, but it’s just the first in a series of steps you’ll need to take to get you into lifelong recovery. Once you’ve gotten through the physical symptoms of withdrawal, you’ll still need to address the issues that led to your addiction in the first place. This is done through intensive ongoing counseling that doesn’t end when you leave the program, so you’ll need to work with your recovery center to find a psychologist or counselor you can work with closer to home. You’ll also need to address family problems that might have been caused by your addiction, and you may need to mend relationships with loved ones. Finally, you’ll need to develop coping skills that you can call on when you are tempted to return to your addiction. This is why people who have gone through rehabilitation are said to be “in recovery” as opposed to being cured — it’s an ongoing process that requires continued dedication and work, but the benefits of living a life in recovery greatly outweigh the risks of a prolonged addiction.
Myth — Having a relapse is no big deal.
Fact — Although many people who have gone through drug and alcohol treatment suffer from a relapse at some point in their recovery, it should not be seen as a normal step in the process. It’s also not uncommon for people in recovery to relapse several times before they are able to quit their addiction permanently. The problem with believing that relapse is a natural part of recovery that all addicted people go through is that it can give one an excuse for returning to their past behavior. This myth allows people to believe that it’s okay to relapse as long as they recommit themselves to the recovery process.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Relapsing is dangerous for several reasons:
- It returns the addicted person to their past behaviors and influences and opens them up to new problems.
- It makes it more difficult to return to sober living.
- It can put the person in danger of an overdose. Many people who relapse after being drug or alcohol-free do so with the same amount of substance that they previously used. During addiction, your body develops a tolerance for the substance, so an increased dose is needed to produce the same effect. When you’ve been clean, your body may not be able to handle the same amount of drugs or alcohol that you used in the past. Trying to use a substance at that level can make you overdose quickly.
On the other hand, some people believe that the progress made in treatment is lost after a relapse. While the person in recovery will need to examine the reasons behind the relapse and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, recovery can and will successfully continue after a relapse.
Myth — Life in recovery is boring.
Fact — After being addicted to drugs or alcohol for a long period of time, it’s difficult to imagine life without them. For many people who use these substances in social settings or with friends, it seems like living without drugs or alcohol will be a daily difficult struggle that is boring and pointless. In truth, most people in recovery find new activities and heal their past problems without the need for drugs or alcohol. Living a life substance-free is a treat in itself, and most people find that their new lifestyle is better and more exciting than it was during their addiction.
Myth — Treatment centers are like going to jail.
Fact — Although every treatment center is different, most are tastefully decorated and include amenities like yoga classes, art therapy and meditation. Weather permitting, most rehabilitation centers include outdoor activities, like hiking or swimming, in their weekly calendar. Although centers encourage people going through treatment to stay within the facility’s campus, there is usually nothing preventing you from leaving, although doing so could jeopardize your progress. Your treatment center should make you feel comfortable and, while the work of recovery is difficult, it should feel like an opportunity to improve yourself in a supportive setting rather than a confined space where you are being punished for past behaviors.
Myth — Detoxing for 28 days is just as good as rehabilitation.
Fact — Many people believe that simply getting the drugs or alcohol out of their system and becoming physically sober is all that’s needed to enter recovery. Although healing the body from physical dependency on a substance is a critical first step in a successful rehabilitation program, the reasons and causes of addiction must be addressed. Getting the body through the detox period but returning to your former life with the same temptations and stress will only lead to relapses. While most rehabilitation facilities have medication to help you through the detox process, the emotional and psychological healing is just as, if not more, important. Some people try to go “cold turkey” to address their addiction issues, but without proper counseling and follow-up, you are more likely to relapse on this method than if you worked with a rehabilitation center.
Myth — Rehabilitation only works if the person is committed to the process.
Fact — Many people assume that drug and alcohol addiction can only be addressed if the addicted person is 100 percent ready to enter treatment. This can give some people a reason to put off their treatment under the assumption that “I can’t go until I’m really ready.” The truth is, therapists and psychologists who specialize in addiction treatment are able to work through the resistance and doubt that many people bring to treatment with them. Even someone who has the attitude of “I don’t need rehab” can be reached and eased onto the path of recovery.
Contact JourneyPure Voyage
If you or a woman you love needs help with her drug or alcohol addiction, please contact JourneyPure Voyage at (615) 939-9294 for more information about our women-only rehabilitation programs. Our treatment center in Tennessee provides an understanding and safe environment for women who need help with an addiction, and we tailor our recovery programs to your individual needs.