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Barriers Women Face in Recovery Process

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A recent study released in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal revealed that women reported a startling increase in alcoholism and alcohol use disorders over the past decade.

As research and healthcare professionals grapple with this data, it is important to consider the complex barriers to alcoholism treatment which women face during the recovery process.

 

 

“In light of the recent data, it is important that we search for creative solutions to the multiple barriers keeping women from getting the professional help they deserve,” said Stephanie Smith, LPC-S, LCDC, Executive Clinical Director of Origins Recovery Centers. “It also means that we must consider the unique challenges that women face as they approach recovery.”

 

In many ways, the life experience of women is distinct from that of their male counterparts. Women are much more likely to have been the victims of trauma, abuse or neglect than their addicted male counterparts. This includes:

 

  • Domestic violence
  • Homelessness
  • Victimization
  • Sexual trauma
  • Sexual assault
  • Molestation
  • Sexual abuse

These barriers also play an integral part mental health disorders which often occur alongside addiction. Co-occurring mental disorders are common with addiction and may also include:

 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Low self-esteem

 

Consequently, any one of these barriers or mental health disorders can exacerbate substance use in unique ways. When these challenges are combined with a lack of access to childcare, a fear of stigma, and an unfavorable family or financial environment for women who also happen to be mothers, the pressures become even more enormous. As a result, women do not receive the help that they need or deserve.

 

“As the industry looks to improve the lives of women, we need to seek solutions that are evidence-based and trauma-informed. Curriculums that are individualized to meet the needs of women will need to be a defining factor in the treatment of addiction.”