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Women’s Drug Rehab Centers

Woman hugging herselfWomen have unique needs when it comes to addiction recovery. Women’s rehab centers are designed to address these needs and offer support in the safest and healthiest way possible. Women-only addiction treatment is offered in inpatient or outpatient settings and provides evidence-based therapies and services.

Research shows that interventions with gender-specific information and programming are associated with fewer relapses and higher treatment satisfaction.1,2

Are you struggling with addiction and looking for help? A recovery center for women may be exactly what you need to stop your cycle of substance abuse. Give us a call today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? to speak to one of our support representatives.

Reasons Women May Use Drugs or Alcohol

Women may abuse drugs and alcohol for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons may include:

  • Pain management: Some studies show that women are 1) more likely to have chronic pain and 2) more sensitive to pain than men. Women of reproductive age have a high rate of opioid prescriptions written for them. Women, in general, are also more likely than men to use opioids without a prescription as well as misuse opioids for non-pain issues such as anxiety. 8
  • Mental health issues: One study found that 29.7% of women with substance use disorders also had a mood disorder such as major depressive disorder, and 26.2% had anxiety disorders such as phobias. 1
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Among women who seek treatment for substance abuse, 55% to 99% have a history of physical or sexual abuse. In addition, many of these women have symptoms of PTSD. 1
  • Intimate partner violence: Studies have found that women who have experienced violence from their partners are at increased risk of substance use. In addition, women who have been in abusive relationships are more likely to be coerced into using drugs or alcohol by their partners. 7
  • Life changes: Changes in a woman’s life circumstances may trigger her to use substances. These changes could include loss of child custody, death of a spouse or partner, or divorce. 6
  • Eating disorders: Women who have eating disorders have high rates of substance abuse. Up to 40% of women with lifetime eating disorder behaviors have substance use disorders. 1

Female-Specific Treatment Issues

Women often face challenges in treatment that men do not. For example, pregnant women who are abusing substances such as alcohol, meth, or heroin are at an increased risk for medical complications. Using substances during pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk for:6

  • Miscarriage.
  • Migraines.
  • Seizures.
  • High blood pressure in the mother – which is dangerous for the baby.
  • Stillbirth.

Gender-specific drug abuse treatment accounts for factors such as pregnancy and the role they play in a woman’s life. Rehab programs that provide perinatal services, home care, child care, domestic abuse prevention, homelessness services, and other services targeted towards women understand the demands placed on women and mothers. These services help ensure that women will enter and finish treatment, and they can prove vital to a woman’s success in sobriety.

Physical and/or sexual trauma often leads to the development of PTSD.

In addition, many women have a co-occurring disorder in addition to drug or alcohol abuse, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD. Numerous drug rehabs for women specialize in dual diagnosis – treating both the mental health and substance use disorders.

Trauma is common among both women and men who abuse drugs and alcohol. Among drug-abusing women, physical and/or sexual trauma often leads to the development of PTSD. Many gender-specific programs address trauma and its consequences in therapy.

Programs and Services

Two women hugging in a rehab program

Drug rehabs for women provide support so that you feel comfortable to share your story of substance abuse with your therapist or peers. In rehab, you will develop relationships with other women in the program to share resources, stories, and support. Many women find that they are able to be themselves in rehab. They are able to focus on their health, and rediscover what their goals are and what makes them happy – without drugs or alcohol.

Rehab Programs

There are many different types of women’s rehab centers. The right program for you or your loved one will depend on several things, including the cost, location, the addiction, and any comorbid mental or medical health concerns.

  • Inpatient: Inpatient or residential treatment is the most intensive treatment option because it offers 24/7 medical care and monitoring. You live on-site at the rehab facility. Inpatient programs usually offer a combination of services such as individual therapy sessions and group counseling. Medication may also be a part of your treatment plan. Inpatient programs may also include aftercare planning so that you feel prepared to transition out of treatment and into a daily routine that does not include drugs or alcohol. Most inpatient programs last 30 to 90 days, giving you enough time to remove yourself from your home environment and begin long-term recovery.
  • Outpatient: Outpatient treatment allows you to live at home while you seek treatment. If you have children or other responsibilities at home, and are not at a high risk for relapse, this might be the best option. These programs run cheaper than many inpatient programs because they do not provide the same level of medical supervision and do not require participants to cover the costs of residing at the center. During outpatient treatment, you will visit the facility for regular therapy sessions. Outpatient substance abuse treatment programs can last 2 months to a year and can have different levels of daily time commitment. Intensive programs may require a person to attend 9 to 20 hours of treatment per week. 3
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): Many people in PHP programs need medical supervision and a high level of care, but are stable enough to spend evenings and weekends at home. In a PHP program, you may spend 4 to 8 hours in treatment per day for at least 3 months. 3

There are also specialized programs for:

  • Youth: If you are under 18 years old, there are programs that are designed specifically to meet your treatment needs.
  • Executive: These programs cater to the busy lives of executives or professionals in high-power positions. These facilities offer special amenities and treatment features, such as private meeting rooms and Wi-Fi.
  • Luxury: Certain centers offer high-end amenities at a premium price to make sure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. In fact, at some of these facilities, you will feel like you are staying at a resort.

No matter what type of treatment program you’re looking for, we can help. Contact one of our drug treatment helpline representatives today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? .

Therapies and Activities

Treatment will include a number of different services that are targeted to address all aspects of addiction. Every facility uses a somewhat different approach and philosophy to treating addiction, and may include some combination of the following services:

  • Individual counseling: Engaging in one-on-one counseling can give you a deeper understanding of yourself and why you experience alcohol or drug cravings. By tapping into the underlying reasons for your addiction, you will be better equipped to handle urges to use.
  • Group counseling: In groups, you can find support from people who are dealing with similar issues as you, as well as provide support to others. Your facilitator may lead discussions on addiction education, codependency, trauma, relapse, and healthy relationships.
  • Family therapy: Family relationships are one of the key factors in your long-term success in recovery. Your family has likely felt the effects of your substance use, and in therapy they can learn how to stop enabling and will be given strategies on how to adjust to your new sobriety. In addition, if you have unhealthy relationships with a spouse or other family members, you can work through them.
  • Peer activities: During treatment, you may be rewarded with activities outside of the women’s addiction treatment center. You might enjoy a day at the park or beach, or visit a local tourist attraction. Getting out of the treatment center can feel refreshing and may further inspire you to keep meeting your treatment goals.
  • Nutritional counseling: When you are in a cycle of abusing substances, you may forget how to take care of your nutritional needs. During treatment, you can talk with a nutritionist or nutrition coach, who can give you tips on how to buy healthy groceries and prepare meals. If you have a family or you are expecting, nutritional counseling can be extremely beneficial in preparing you for a transition out of treatment.
  • Holistic treatments: Activities such as yoga and meditation have gained widespread recognition as strategies to address stress and anxiety – which can fuel addiction. Practicing yoga and/or meditation can help slow down your mind so that you can focus on the present.
  • Aftercare planning: Research shows that women have higher relapse rates than men. 4 During your program, you will meet with a member of your care team to create an aftercare plan – including a roadmap that will help you work through what possible scenarios you may encounter outside of treatment and how you will deal with triggers or urges to use.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication is prescribed to help stabilize you, manage withdrawal, and treat any other concurrent mental or medical health issues. For pregnant or nursing mothers, many medications are contraindicated and will not be prescribed. In these instances, behavioral treatment approaches such as therapy will be extremely important in your treatment plan.

Women’s Addiction Facts and Statistics

Until the 1990s, most of addiction research focused only on men. Now, women are enrolled in more studies, and there is more information about how addiction affects men and women differently – both from a biological and a social perspective.

Below are some statistics that highlight some of the unique characteristics of substance abuse among women: 4,5,6

  • Women develop addictions to alcohol faster than men.
  • Sex hormones can make a woman more sensitive to a drug’s effects compared to a man. Women may also experience more issues with their heart and blood vessels than their male counterparts after using substances.
  • Women develop medical and social consequences from substance use faster than men. For example, they develop medical complications from alcohol such as liver damage or brain atrophy more rapidly than men.
  • Women are more likely than men to report nonmedical use of prescription drugs.
  • Alcohol is the most commonly reported primary substance of abuse for women in treatment, followed by heroin, marijuana, and prescription pain relievers.
  • Women may have more drug cravings and be more likely to relapse after treatment.

If you are looking for a recovery center for women, give us a call today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? . A member of our support team is available 24/7 to take your call. All calls are 100% confidential and free.


  1. Greenfield, S. F., Back, S. E., Lawson, K., & Brady, K. T. (2010). Substance abuse in women. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 33(2), 339-355.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). What are the unique needs of women with substance use disorders?
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2008). What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families.
  4. Harvard Medical School. (2010). Addiction in Women.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (April 3, 2014). The TEDS Report: Gender Differences in Primary Substance of Abuse across Age Groups. Rockville, MD.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). DrugFacts: Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use.
  7. American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2014). Intimate Partner Violence and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse/Addiction.
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use.