How Gender Specific Treatment is Beneficial for Women

Overcoming drug and alcohol addiction is tough for anyone, but modern research is indicating that women are less likely than men to undergo treatment. This is because of a multitude of factors, including the fact that women often do not have easy access to treatment. Furthermore, many addiction treatment programs have not been updated in years, and they stem from methods that were primarily geared towards male clientele at one point in time. In reality, women and men tend to experience addiction differently in the first place.

Fortunately, an increasing amount of treatment programs (like those at Newport Beach Recovery) are starting to both recognize the problem and address it. While all people may benefit from gender-specific treatment, women, in particular, may experience higher success rates and greater life improvement in general.

It’s natural to have questions. But if you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, there’s no better time than now to find a treatment program that works. Here’s how gender-specific addiction treatment can be beneficial for women.

How Do Women Experience Addiction Differently?

To fully understand how gender-specific treatment works, it is important to realize the ways in which a person may experience addiction based on their gender. While on the surface it may not seem that gender plays much of a role in addiction, the truth is quite the contrary. In addition to many women not having easy access to addiction treatment, women also tend to be more hesitant to seek treatment in the first place. Because of women’s average lower body weight and naturally higher proportions of fatty tissue, women also tend to become addicted faster to substances and experience more severe effects.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women also tend to relapse more often than men even after seeking treatment.

What Do the Statistics Say?

National data consistently demonstrates that gender plays an important role in addiction and recovery. In fact, a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently showed that fewer women overall use substances, but they are more likely to use certain ones than men are. Specifically, far higher percentages of women than men tend to use opioids, prescription pain relievers, methamphetamine/amphetamine, heroin, cocaine, etc. than their male counterparts (who stick more to alcohol and marijuana).

It may also be because of these differences that women tend to relapse more often and experience more intense cravings. Though the studies here can be a little conflicting at times, the general consensus about women having a more difficult time staying sober remains the same.

Likewise, a study from shows that women use smaller amounts of substances for shorter periods of time before becoming addicted. Around 19.5 million U.S. women over the age of 18 use illicit substances in a single year alone. The same study also cited data from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) that shows pregnant women who use drugs or alcohol are two to three times more likely to miscarry or deliver a stillborn baby. Meanwhile, those that are born to mothers who used substances during pregnancy are at a far higher risk of a wide variety of medical disorders.

What Exactly is Gender-Specific Treatment?

It’s crucial for successful addiction treatment programs to take into account the fact that drugs and alcohol tend to affect women more severely. And because women are at a higher risk of relapse, any program that is geared towards them must have a strong focus on preventing relapse. Gender-specific treatment goes far beyond the initial stages of detoxification and incorporates various physical and mental therapy methods to help with this.

More specifically, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism stipulates that a gender-specific treatment program (for any substance, not just alcohol) must meet the following criteria:

  • They seek to improve/provide care for women who seek help with their mental health
  • They refer women to specialized treatment for their specific addiction
  • They are aware of and identify certain groups of women who may benefit the most from gender-specific intervention and treatment
  • They take certain female-specific risk factors into account

How is the Right Gender-Specific Treatment Program Found?

Overcoming any kind of substance addiction is challenging regardless of gender. And just like men, women should carefully consider their treatment options before just jumping into the first program they find. That said, it is important to ask questions early on about what to expect while in treatment and how successful the program has been for others. And as far as gender-specific addiction treatment goes, it may be worthwhile to ask how many other women have been treated as well as how many women are on staff.

But it’s crucial not to wait. To learn more about gender-specific treatment, contact the experienced and caring professionals at Newport Beach Recovery today.

The Benefits of a Female-Only Rehab Center

Nearly 20 million Americans, ages 12 and older, struggle with substance abuse, and an estimated 8.5 million of that number (nearly half) also have a mental health disorder. Statistically, women are different when it comes to substance abuse. A woman can take a lower dose of a drug over a shorter time period and become addicted, compared to a man. Their physical and psychological reaction can also be different, with more cravings and a higher likelihood of relapse. But, women are also more sensitive and can be adversely affected by drugs much sooner and at a more serious level in relation to effects to the heart. It’s probably not surprising, then, that women are more likely to suffer from overdose and end up in the emergency room. Approximately 5.2% of women have a substance abuse problem.

What is Women’s Only Rehab? A Brief History

The idea of a Women’s Only Rehab center is not new to addiction treatment. The push toward a better understanding of how substance abuse affects women can be linked to the women’s rights movement in the 1970s, but there was also a drive to recognize how the care for women with substance abuse problems might be different. It’s tied with the drive to understand what social differences and how employment, family, and health are treated differently (with inequality).

Trauma and other stressors can also contribute to panic attacks, depression, and anxiety. One-in-four women are also affected by domestic violence and abuse, which also puts them at a higher risk of turning to alcohol or drugs for coping. Fear and pain are at the core of the substance abuse experience of many women. The idea behind Women’s only (or gender-sensitive) addiction treatment centers around the considerations of the experience of women is different both from a substance abuse point of view, but also in the process of rehab, addiction treatment and their road to recovery.

How is Treatment Different?

Addiction treatment includes many of the same components, but women’s only treatment may focus more heavily on some elements. The goal is to help women work through substance abuse, mental health conditions, as well as other treatment needs. It’s typically a multidisciplinary approach, with a focus on one-and-one support and counseling, mental health treatment, and behavior therapy to address those lifestyle habits and emotional concerns, as well as long-term aftercare support. Women’s only treatment can also incorporate naltrexone to ease cravings, as well as detox, therapy, and social support.

What Additional Considerations Do Women Face?

Women face additional obstacles both in the home and in society, which may make them less likely to seek addiction treatment and rehab. Women tend to be the primary care-giver, so they may feel like they can’t take time off to recover. Women are also more likely to have experienced traumatic events that affected them deeply. Among women who are experiencing substance abuse issues, they also deal with anxiety, depression, cravings, and eating disorders. Addiction treatment will affect women differently, but it can take a lot more for a woman to seek help.

Find a Woman’s Only Rehab Center: Newport Beach Recovery

The good news is that you’re not alone. There are women’s only programs to meet your specific treatment needs. At Newport Beach Recovery, we’re here to offer targeted addiction treatment and care in Costa Mesa, CA.  We’re a gender-specific treatment center, so you can find the care and support you need to face your unique challenges. You can break free from addiction in a relaxing and healing setting with an ocean view.

Why to Travel to Southern California for Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is a nuanced and complicated topic. There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding on the treatment program you are going to commit to. One of the things to consider is whether or not to travel. Travel can help the recovery process in several different ways and traveling to Southern California can be one of the best destinations for people starting or continuing their recovery. Here are five reasons why you should consider traveling for your treatment.

A Change of Scenery

One of the biggest reason to travel to Southern California for treatment is a change of scenery. Addiction isn’t just an isolated phenomenon. It can often be linked to specific places, groups of people, and settings. Staying in recovery long enough to be effective is listed as one of the key factors in success. Sometimes that means a change of scenery. Recovery is a hard process and it can get even harder if you are still in the same area that you struggle with addiction in the first place. Leaving behind that old scene might mean getting away from some of the social pressures that moved you towards addiction in the first place.

 A Fresh Start

As we already mentioned, traveling is a great way to kick of your addiction treatment. Another reason for this is getting a fresh start. Sometimes part of what we need is to break out in some place new. An environment where people aren’t familiar with the old you can be a great place to start, or continue, to heal. Traveling to Southern California for treatment can go a long way to helping you get to a good place in your sobriety. This fresh start isn’t about running away from your problems, but knowing that part of recovery is moving away from your old life and starting something new, sometimes in a new place.

Getting Away from Family

This one might sound a little backward a first. Family is a huge part of recovery and a large motivator for people to stick with their program is getting right with their families. However, there are times in our recoveries were being around family isn’t the best choice for anyone involved. You might decide that you’re early on in your recovery and still need to get right with yourself first. Another reason could be that you’re ready to get back on your feet and striking out on your own is a great way to prove to yourself that you’ve got the strength to do it!


For many of us treatment isn’t the most glamorous part of our lives. The added pressure of having family, friends, and coworkers being close to us makes this even more difficult. Traveling to the coastal regions of California can be a great way to get some privacy while you are recovering. Privacy isn’t just about saving yourself from being embarrassed, but being able to focus on your treatment without worrying about any of the social pressures that come with staying in one place for your treatment. Getting to a new location for treatment gives you the clarity you need to get the help you need. The scenery in California isn’t bad either—speaking of!

You Get to Live in Southern California

Addiction treatment isn’t a day spa, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer through it. In fact, being in a location like SoCal where the weather is uniformly warm and sunny just helps you focus on your recovery all the more. No missing appointments because you got snowed in, after all! Recovery can be an intense process and being in a relaxing and peaceful location, like a stone’s throw from a California beach, can help keep you focussed on getting towards sobriety.  Come join us at Newport Beach Recovery Center in Southern California for the best treatment. Contact us today.