There are differences when it comes to treatment for each gender. Just as every person needs special and individualized care, there are special needs for women that need to be met. What treatments that might work for men wouldn’t have the same effects for women.
Context Is Important
Substance abuse treatment for women needs to include a look into their daily lives. This means the relationships with people in her life from family, to friends, to work. It also should involve her social environment and consider the impact of her gender on her life.
Core Principles Of Gender Responsive Treatment
Gender is important when it comes to substance abuse treatment for women. Some patterns show up based on gender and differences for treatment. These differences can actually start with risk factors that men do not have.
Some of the core principles include:
- Recognizing the importance of relationships in a woman’s life
- Recognizing the importance of socioeconomic issues in a woman’s life.
- Promoting being competent when it comes to the care of women.
- Having a developmental perspective.
- Marking the relevance of caregiver roles that women must perform.
- Know that gender roles society gives toward women can affect their substance abuse and their treatment.
- Have a trauma-informed perspective.
- Use a strength-based therapy for women.
- Have a different interdisciplinary therapy for women.
- Having a gender-responsive treatment in all settings.
- Supporting gender-specific care to women.
Beginning Of Substance Abuse
Some factors are more likely to affect women when it comes to beginning substance abuse. Stress, negative effects, and relationships can all cause substance abuse. Often a boyfriend might introduce women to a substance.
Living in a violent household can lead to substance abuse along with having adult responsibilities while still a child. That happens a lot to women. Women who abuse substances are also more likely to have a partner who does the same.
Other risk factors include having anxiety or depression, which is more common in women, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a history of trauma. Since women are more likely to experience discrimination and other issues, this also contributes to potential substance abuse problems.
Women’s Patterns Of Substance Abuse
There are six patterns of women’s substance abuse. They include:
- The gender gap is getting smaller for all women.
- Women are more likely to be brought into substance abuse because of a relationship.
- Women start injecting drugs at a faster rate than men, and high-risk behavior is influenced directly by their relationship.
- The patterns of use already stated are associated with higher dependency risks.
- Women are more likely to change their use to fit with their duties as caregivers.
- Women move faster from the beginning of using drugs to negative consequences.
There are clearly many special needs that must be considered in the unique treatment of women with substance abuse problems.