According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more men in substance abuse treatment than women. This may sound surprising considering women are more likely to visit the doctor and seek treatment for conditions like anxiety or depression. So why is this the case? Are there fewer female addicts, or are women more likely to avoid treatment than their male counterparts?
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Women face barriers to getting help that men don’t. That’s not to say that men don’t have their own share of hurdles, but women tend to have specific sociocultural and socioeconomic barriers that men don’t have as often. Let’s take a look at three common reasons why some women avoid treatment.
1. Sociocultural Factors
Society stigmatizes female addicts, particularly mothers and pregnant women. Many communities fail to provide the support that is needed for these women, and even some treatment centers won’t accept pregnant women. It’s almost like these women fall into a different category that no one wants to touch, whereas male addicts are more similar.
Women are also afraid of getting disapproval from friends, family and coworkers, and many lack support from their significant other or family.
2. Socioeconomic Factors
Women who have substance abuse disorders are less likely than men to have insurance or a full-time job. This means that their options for treatment are more limited, and it takes time to get public funding.
Simply getting to a treatment center can also be a problem. A female addict may not have a driver’s license or money for public transportation. She may also have no one to take care of her children.
3. Pregnancy and Fear of Losing Children
Ideally, a female addict will have a loving, supportive family at home with people to care for her children. But this is not always the case. Addicted women often have no one to leave their children with and fear losing them to Child Protective Services. These women believe that their children are best off with them rather than the state or a family member.
Women-Only Treatment Offered at The River Source
Female addicts need a supportive community and treatment options. The River Source offers a women-only program that provides holistic treatment specifically to female patients. We offer family and children support and a pregnant woman’s track. Our prices are affordable, and we accept most insurance carriers. Financial aid is also available to those who qualify. Call us to learn more about our women-specific treatment options.