Women alcoholics who are pregnant or have children face significant stigma when it comes to addiction issues. It is one of the most common reasons women delay reaching out for help, for fear of being judged harshly and losing custody of their children as a result.
Toxic relationships with partners still using substances or alcohol can pile on additional pressure to a woman with her own addiction to deal with, as others try to keep them trapped in addictive behaviors. It is because of the more innately emotional makeup of women, that women only alcohol addiction treatment programs are more effective with better patient retention rates.
Addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by changes in behavior, potentially harmful side effects and constant threat of relapse. As with all other diseases, alcohol or drug dependency can cause significant and long terms risks to the health of unborn babies during pregnancy, further reinforcing the need for single-sex treatment for women’s alcohol addiction.
The Presence of Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders in Women Alcoholics
There are many unique challenges present for women with co-occurring emotional disorders and addiction. These cases are known as dual diagnosis and both conditions are treated independently but at the same time for the most beneficial results. These kinds of disorders include anorexia and bulimia and also depression and anxiety and can cause problems to the development of a prenatal child if an addict is pregnant.
It is mainly because every substance consumed by a woman is transferred to her unborn child that specialist addiction therapy is required at the same time as treatment of any underlying emotional disorders. Alcohol and other drugs pass through the placenta which provides nutrition and oxygen to the unborn baby, which can cause serious problems and even lead to babies being born with withdrawal symptoms.
Pregnancy and Addiction Treatment
If it is impossible for a woman to stop abusing substances when discovering they are pregnant, they should seek treatment at the earliest. Careful monitoring throughout gestation is necessary to deal with the medical aspects of the pregnancy while treating the illness of addiction at the same time. Responsive and proactive addiction treatment for pregnant women can make the difference between the life and death of babies born into addiction.
By monitoring the health of female addicts through pregnancy, it is sometimes possible to focus therapy on the responsibility a woman has for her soon-to-be-born child. By counseling throughout the pregnancy and talking through parenting related issues, a sense of something to look forward to can make a significant difference to a woman’s motivation to complete rehabilitation.
Addicted Mothers Face Significant Social Stigma
One of the main factors preventing women with addiction issues from seeking help is the stigma attached to their illness. This is particularly true when women are in the caregiving role and have children and also when they are pregnant, which can be intimidating for women looking for support with addiction problems.
This is when female-only recovery centers can be particularly beneficial as they provide an empathetic environment where other women have a better understanding of the specific issues female addicts face. Treatment programs that are designed by women specifically for women in all situations and circumstances have been shown to have a higher retention rate and a lower rate of relapse among patients precisely because treatment is more tailored to their unique needs.
Women feel less likely to be judged in an all-female environment and more readily accepted by others who share similar life experiences leading to addiction with them. Social isolation is one of the most common side effects for addicted women and gender-specific treatment goes a long way to providing the framework of support that makes a positive difference.