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Women’s Addiction Treatment

Addiction affects all genders. It has been noted, however, that addiction does affect women differently than men.

Women, for example, experience more addiction related mental health problems. Additionally, it has been noted that addiction progresses faster in women than in men. Much like addiction affects women differently than men, so too does treatment. Women respond differently to different types of substance abuse and addiction treatment methods. Research indicates, that women as much as men, are likely to stay in treatment once it is initiated. Certain aspects of treatment have been proven to better support women in recovery, such as supportive therapy, collaborative therapeutic alliances and other integrated therapeutic services.


The first step for addiction treatment, regardless of gender, is detox.

Detoxing one’s body from any abused substance is an essential initial step in one’s recovery. There are many options for detox processes. While there are facilities that will offer co-ed detox programs, others may offer gender specific options. Detox lasts typically between two days to one week long. For many, the detox stage is a very inward experience, meaning that individuals are for the most part uninterested in their surroundings, the presence of other individuals who may be detoxing, and are primarily focused inward and on getting through the detox process.

After the detox stage is successfully completed, following it up with some form of substance abuse or addiction treatment program is usually recommended. Again, there are many co-ed options, as well as gender specific programs. Inpatient programs will last from three weeks to six months long. Outpatient programs typically last from two weeks to three months long. Selecting a proper addiction treatment program that best suits one’s needs may require a bit of research. Fortunately, there are an abundance of addiction treatment options available in America in this day in age. For some women, participating in an all female treatment program may provide a sense of comfort, depending on their personal experiences.

As previously touched upon, women are far more susceptible to mental health problems as a result of substance abuse. Therefore, many women-only treatment programs are also equipped to work with dual diagnosis clients.

An additional layer added for women in recovery surrounds motherhood. Whether it is custody issues, using while pregnant, and/ or the effects substance abuse may have on a woman’s reproductive organs, all will factor into a woman’s recovery process from substance abuse or addiction.  Attending a treatment program that is sensitive to this, even if it is a co-ed program, can be incredibly helpful for a female’s recovery process. After the completion of an addiction treatment program, it is not uncommon for a person to transition to a sober living facility. Gender specific sober living facilities are widespread.


An aftercare plan is an incredibly useful tool for women who have successfully completed a substance abuse or addiction treatment program.

Detailed aftercare plans will often include specific support group meeting information (i.e. times, locations…etc.). Aftercare plans can also provide goals in terms of obtaining adequate nightly sleep, participating in certain exercise classes or carving out time during one’s day/ week to exercise, keeping a journal of one’s food intake…etc. Aftercare plans are specific to each individual, and will cover the particular needs of the individual. Most commonly aftercare plans are co-created with a substance abuse counselor or professional member of a treatment program’s staff and the individual. Aftercare plans will always have further resources listed for an individual to connect with should he or she need additional support at times post-treatment.

Further Information

Substance abuse and addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life, as well as have the potential to be incredibly dangerous.

The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please do not hesitate to get help as soon as possible. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we would love to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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