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Recognizing Substance Abuse in Women

Substance abuse can affect anyone. However, women may face unique challenges due partly to biological and psychological factors. Learning how to recognize substance abuse in women and promoting gender-specific treatment options are crucial steps toward providing the necessary support for a woman in your life.

If you are concerned that a woman you care about has a drinking problem, you can turn to 5 Palms for guidance on helping your loved one recover. Give us a call at 1.844.675.1022 to speak to one of our friendly staff members about our women’s rehab program.

How to Spot Substance Abuse in Women

You may have started noticing some concerning changes in a woman close to you, but you are unsure whether you are overreacting or there is a genuine concern. Have you noticed any of the following signs?

Changes in Appearance

When women have drinking issues, their appearance can begin to decline since less attention may be given to self-care and hygiene. Sudden weight loss or gain is common as they may be less likely to maintain a healthy diet. Some women struggling with substance use experience a decrease in appetite, causing drastic weight loss. 

Changes in Behavior

Women engaging in substance abuse may also become more secretive in an attempt to hide their usage. They might hide drugs or alcohol or lie about how much they use. Self-isolation also becomes more common, and your loved one may no longer show up for social outings or come up with excuses for their absence. Additionally, you might notice they do not show interest in hobbies, activities, or events they once loved.

Mental Health Issues

Substance abuse can be detrimental to one’s mental health. One possible sign that a woman may be struggling with drugs or alcohol is a change in temperament, such as mood swings, impulsivity, or irritability. Depression and anxiety are also widespread when one has an issue with substance abuse.

Decline in Productivity

Women with drinking problems may struggle to keep up at work or school. Frequent absences and declining grades or work performance can threaten their financial stability or career future. For women with partners or children, there may be a noticeable decline in household responsibilities, whether childcare, cleaning, cooking, or staying on top of the household bills. 

How Common Are Drinking Problems in Women?

Although drinking problems more often affect men and women— men are approximately four times as likely to have an alcohol addiction than women—there is an increasing incidence of substance abuse among women. The most afflicted age group is women in their late teens and early twenties, but no age group is immune. 

Gender-Specific Treatment for Women with Addiction 

Coed addiction treatment plan programs can work well for most people, but some women find that enrolling in a gender-specific program offers them more personalized care. Some unique components you may find in a women’s rehab program are:

  • Trauma-informed care – Women are more likely to experience trauma, so providing trauma-informed care and specific trauma therapies will provide more effective treatment and help women feel more comfortable in the treatment environment.
  • Co-occurring conditions treatment – Women are more likely to deal with depression or anxiety than men, so treating mental health conditions alongside addiction treatment is vital for recovery success.
  • Women’s support groups – Women tend to heal better when they feel supported by those around them. Women’s support groups focus on relevant topics for women in recovery, such as the challenges of parenting, domestic violence, trauma, eating disorders, and mental health conditions. 

Some gender-specific treatment programs may also offer the services of a case manager who can connect women to the community and government resources they need while they work on their recovery.

Reach Out to 5 Palms and Start Treatment at Our Women’s Rehab

Substance abuse in women can be challenging to overcome, but with the proper support and treatment, recovery is possible. At 5 Palms, we offer a women’s rehab program designed specifically for women’s needs in recovery. Our compassionate team of professionals understands the unique challenges that women face when struggling with addiction and provides individualized care to address these issues.

When substance abuse affects a woman you love, it is time to reach out to 5 Palms—contact us online or call 1.844.675.1022. Our comprehensive treatment programs will provide your loved one with a personalized regimen of behavioral and holistic therapies and medications to help them heal and move on to a healthier future.

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