Women Are Less Likely To Seek Addiction Treatment
Statistically, men are more likely to engage in substance abuse and become addicted, but the number of female addicts and alcoholics is on the rise. Unfortunately, women are far less likely to seek treatment if and when they do become addicted. There are numerous factors that may explain why women are less likely to seek addiction treatment.
Women Are Less Likely To Seek Addiction Treatment: History
It wasn’t until the 1980’s that practitioners and researchers began to call attention to how little was known about providing care to women with substance abuse problems. Research typically focused on men, and treatment programs were ill-equipped to help women. In response, government organizations began to support research and treatment for women, and a number of practitioners followed suit. Over this same time period, many treatment centers began to pay more attention to women in their programs.
Today, many treatment centers offer gender specific services or at least gender sensitive services. Many treatment programs serve women only, target pregnant women or young girls, or offer parenting services for women and children. These treatment centers also offer specialized services for women who’ve been victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Women Are Less Likely To Seek Addiction Treatment: Gender differences in substance abuse
There are many gender differences regarding substance abuse besides the fact that women are less likely to seek addiction treatment. Women typically consume less alcohol then men when they drink, drink less frequently, and are less likely to develop alcohol-related problems. Women are also less likely than men to use drugs and develop drug related problems.
However, when women do develop drug or alcohol problems, they tend to develop them faster than men do. For example, although women tend to be older than men when they begin drinking heavily, their alcohol-related problems tend to progress more quickly. Alcohol related problems can include physical problems, interpersonal difficulties, and poor impulse control.
Women Are Less Likely To Seek Addiction Treatment: Barriers to treatment
Women are more likely to encounter barriers that prevent them from seeking or following through with treatment. For example, women are more likely to face economic barriers to going to treatment, are more likely to have family responsibilities that prevent them from regularly attending sessions, and women are more likely to report feeling shame or embarrassment because they are in substance abuse treatment. Lack of information about treatment options is another barrier that makes women less likely to seek attention treatment.
Women Are Less Likely To Seek Addiction Treatment: Stigma
Various factors contribute to women being less likely to seek addiction treatment, but one of the most influential may be stigma. There is a stigma attached to women who drink and use drugs that is not experienced by most men. Many women do not even seek treatment because they feel alone and they feel like they will be too harshly judged. For this reason, women are less likely to seek addiction treatment in substance abuse treatment facilities. They turn instead to mental health and primary care settings, which can lead to poorer outcomes.
If your loved one is in need of Addiction Treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.