Heroin Addiction Treatment For Women
Women face barriers to treatment for heroin substance use. These can include social pressures and judgment, lack of childcare, prenatal medical needs, and more. Many heroin addiction treatment centers accommodate the specific needs of women in order to address this.
Many of the treatment services available to women at addiction centers around the country are gender-neutral.
These services can include, but are not limited to:
However, many women in treatment for heroin addiction have needs that specifically apply to women, such as treatment for those who are pregnant and parenting young children.
Below, we’ll discuss more of the services available for women, and how women can find the best heroin addiction treatment program.
What Types Of Barriers Do Women Face In Long-Term Recovery?
Women can face many barriers to treatment that other people do not. Societal pressures, increased burdens of childcare, and a lack of understanding can all play key roles in this.
Lack Of Understanding
There is a general lack of understanding of how addiction tends to manifest in women.
For example, there are often different reasons cited for why women started using substances than men.
Reasons for substance abuse in women can range from attempts to control weight to self-treatment for chronic physical or mental health conditions.
Many people, including health care professionals, can miss signs of addiction in women because they may not look the same as the patterns of substance use in men.
Societal Pressures And Judgment
Judgment and lack of support from peers, friends, family members, and other loved ones can be another barrier.
There is often shame directed at women who engage in substance use to cope with stress and trauma, and the idea of going to treatment may not be supported.
This pressure can discourage women from seeking much-needed treatment, continuing the cycle of abuse.
Issues Of Childcare And Economic Stability
Many women with substance abuse disorders are also primary caretakers and breadwinners in their homes. This is especially true for single mothers.
Leaving their children may not always be an option, especially because not all addiction treatment facilities provide childcare services.
Additionally, taking a pay cut from losing out on income while in treatment may mean that some women may struggle to provide for their children as single mothers.
This is why it’s so important to provide services geared toward women. With services such as childcare, employment assistance, nursing care for pregnant women, and more, these supports can provide a way to treatment.
Treatment Services For Women Recovering From Heroin Addiction
Heroin treatment facilities that provide services to women understand these barriers, and will often offer treatment options to address the needs of the women in their care.
Housing is often a vital part of inpatient or residential heroin addiction treatment, as the stability it offers makes it much easier to be fully immersed in treatment.
According to some studies, women tend to need housing during substance abuse treatment more often than men.
For many women, gender-specific housing can offer a feeling of comfort and safety that is not accessible in gender-neutral housing.
These homes may also provide a safe space for their children and infants while they receive treatment. An outpatient program for addiction recovery may not provide this space.
Addiction centers will often have separate wings, buildings, or entire campuses dedicated to the housing needs of women.
Gender-Specific Therapy: Dual Diagnosis And Trauma-Informed Care
Many people who experience substance use disorder also have a co-occurring physical or mental illness.
Oftentimes, substance abuse may start as a way to cope with and self-medicate these disorders.
This can be the case with heroin abuse, as some who use this drug started by abusing prescription medications for chronic pain management.
For many women, finding treatment for their substance use is an important opportunity to treat a dual diagnosis: physical illness, mental illness, unresolved trauma that’s contributed to addiction, and more.
Heroin Addiction Treatment For Pregnant Women
People in need of heroin substance abuse treatment while they are pregnant or nursing often have different medical needs than people who are not pregnant.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often the preferred treatment for pregnant women who are opioid-dependent instead of medically supervised detox, which can be harmful to the fetus.
This is because substance dependency can pass from the parent to the child via the bloodstream during pregnancy, or via breast milk while nursing.
Methadone and buprenorphine medications are typically recommended to women who are pregnant.
Inform your doctor of this situation, and special medical provisions will be made to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved during treatment.
Heroin Addiction Treatment For Parenting Mothers
Childcare options are important to all parents. But for women who are in addiction treatment, it can be difficult to find. This difficulty may come from cost, scheduling conflicts, and more.
Many treatment facilities understand these difficulties and offer childcare onsite. This can be in the form of daycare or schooling, or even housing designed for both the parent and child.
Women’s Heroin Addiction Treatment At Spring Hill Recovery Center
If you or a loved one is in need of women’s heroin addiction treatment in New England, consider recovering at Spring Hill Recovery Center.
With top-rated, evidence-based care and a customized treatment plan for every person, our dedicated staff is prepared to help you on your journey toward sobriety.
We look forward to serving you and your family. Call our helpline today to get started.
- National Institute of Health (NIH) | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — What are the unique needs of women with substance use disorders? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/what-are-unique-needs-women-substance-use-disorders
- National Institute of Health (NIH) | National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) — 7 Substance Abuse Treatment for Women https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83257/
- National Institute of Health (NIH) | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Substance Use in Women DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/substance-use-in-women
- National Institute of Health (NIH) | National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) — Gender and Use of Substance Abuse Treatment Services https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470905/
- PubMed — Gender differences in the impact of comprehensive services in substance abuse treatment https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15610830/