Category Archives: Women’s Program

How to Break the Cycle of Enablement

This entry was posted in Women's Program on by .

Addiction is a serious problem for many families. According to statistics from 2012, more than 23 million people needed treatment for a substance abuse problem that year. However, only 2.5 million received treatment, and 19.5 million said that they didn’t need professional help. These numbers suggest that not only is addiction a major issue but also that many people are in denial.

When Enabling and Denial Delay Treatment

There are many reasons why addicts are in denial about an addiction, and one we want to talk about today is enabling. Enabling is when someone accepts the negative behavior and allows it to continue with few problems.

Let’s look at an example.

Mark and Cathy have a 19-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is addicted to prescription painkillers and has dropped out of college. She doesn’t work, doesn’t pay rent and has few responsibilities at home. Cathy doesn’t want her daughter out on the streets, so she feels that she’s “saving” her by allowing her to live in the home rent free.

Mark tends to give in to his daughter because he doesn’t want to fight with her. Work is stressful, so he leaves Elizabeth to do what she wants during the day. If she asks for money, he gives it to her. If she doesn’t want to go to a family function, he doesn’t argue.

Mark and Cathy recognize that Elizabeth has a problem, and they are concerned. But they also feel that she’s young and will grow out of her behaviors. In the meantime, they feel that they are keeping her safe.

The above situation is an example of enablement. Though Mark and Cathy love their daughter, they’re allowing the addiction to continue without any problems. With the cushiony life they’ve provided her, Elizabeth is going to have few reasons to quit.

Tips for Breaking the Cycle of Enabling

Enabling comes in many forms, so if you’re not sure what qualifies, talk to an addiction specialist or counselor. It’s important to identify your behaviors so that you can find healthier ways of supporting sobriety.

Let’s explore how to best break the cycle of enabling and help your loved one to heal in a meaningful way.

  • Refrain from cleaning up messes: When your loved one creates messes because they are drunk or high, don’t rush to their aide. Addicts need to understand how the addiction affects them and others. If you clean up their messes, they can’t realize this.
  • Avoid trading in sobriety for convenience: If you look at the short-term only, it might seem easier to ride the wave. Yet each time you help the addict, think about how they are furthering their addiction and what the long-term situation could look like: legal problems, jail time, family conflict, etc.
  • Go ahead with your plans: If you have something arranged and your loved one can’t make it, go ahead with your activities. Show the addict that their choices aren’t going to stop you from living.
  • Put health and safety first: When possible, do not allow the addict to put you or others in danger. This means not getting in the car with them after they’ve been drinking.
  • Establish boundaries: Work with a counselor to set healthy boundaries that you feel comfortable with. Your loved one needs expectations, otherwise they will likely walk all over you.
  • Set repercussions you can keep: If the addict doesn’t obey your rules, there needs to be consequences. Again, it’s helpful to work with a counselor to help you choose these rules, their effects and how you will handle them.

The cycle of enabling can be broken. It’s not easy, which is why it’s recommended to meet with a professional who can help you develop the confidence and direction needed.

5 Ways to Reduce Self-Destructive Behavior

Self-destruction lives in all of us. Strong, well-adjusted people are best able to handle it, but those who struggle with insecurity or are genuinely unhappy are more likely to engage in self-destructive behavior. Not only can this lead to difficulties in relationships and jobs but also drugs and alcohol.

The River Source is a holistic treatment center that has a women’s only addiction recovery program. In our program, we address self-destructive behavior and what women can do to practice more healthy behaviors. We recommend the following five tips.

1. Choose Friends Who Lift You Up

You may not be able to choose your family, coworkers or neighbors, but you can choose your friends. So choose them wisely. Your friends contribute greatly to your happiness and the way you feel about yourself.

2. Streamline Your Life

There are hard ways of doing things and easy ways of doing things. Avoid choosing the difficult path. This may be conscious or subconscious, but there’s no reason to suffer from pain with each situation that arises. This might mean having to say no to people or turning down invitations.

3. Don’t Let Fear Consume You

People who are self-destructive often use failure as an excuse for not moving forward in life. But, it’s important not to let the fear of something stop you from going after what’s important to you. People don’t judge based on failure. It’s about how you respond to the situation that matters.

4. Accept Help From Others

It’s OK to request and accept help from others. It’s mutually rewarding for both people. You feel loved and valued, while the person feels needed and worthy. Self-destructive people tend to suffer in silence and refuse to ask for help because they look at it as a sense of pride. There are no benefits to doing this, aside from feeling alone and resentful.

5. Avoid Using Drugs and Alcohol

Using drugs and alcohol to cope with stressful situations is rarely a good idea. This may lead to dependence, and then you won’t know how to cope with stressful situations without drugs or alcohol. Also, substances will get in the way of your functioning and cloud your rational thought processes.

Ready to learn more about our women’s only treatment program? It’s built specifically for women and addresses the unique needs that female addicts often suffer with. Your call with The River Source is confidential.

What Activities Do Women Participate in During Treatment?

This entry was posted in Women's Program on by .

Agreeing to get help for a drug or alcohol addiction is a major step to sobriety. However, if a person is ready to seek treatment, fear of the unknown can still cloud their judgement. What will happen during recovery? What will the other patients be like? Will I have to talk about my past experiences?

Rehab is more than just talking. At The River Source, we realize that continuous counseling and 12-step groups can get tiring. That’s why we offer our female patients time to renew their spirit and get to know themselves again. We provide excellent food, fun activities and opportunities for fresh air and exercise.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of activities that you will get to participate in when seeking treatment at The RS.

Amazing Arizona Location

Our women’s-only treatment center didn’t just fall into the beautiful Arizona desert. We chose it! The sunny skies, breathtaking views and year-round warm weather make The RS an excellent place to be. Our female patients can enjoy fresh air and walks around our facility while supervised.

Yoga and Exercise

The River Source offers daily opportunities for fitness and exercise. We have something for everyone. Some patients prefer cardio while others prefer strength training. Our most popular exercise is yoga. It’s easy on the body and involves stretching and balancing. It’s also an excellent way to bring calm to your life and manage symptoms of fatigue, confusion, impulsivity and depression.

Meditation and Mindfulness

We encourage our female patients to practice meditation and mindfulness each day. We hope that you will continue to use these tools as you return home. Meditation is an excellent way to connect with yourself on a spiritual level, become more aware of your surroundings and manage anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture and Infrared Sauna

Our clinicians deliver relaxing acupuncture and infrared sauna sessions. These treatments are wonderful times to relax, reconnect with your inner self and cope with the emotions you might be dealing with. Some of our female patients enjoy acupuncture and infrared sauna treatments so much, they return to our naturopathic clinic for continued sessions!

Meals and R&R

The RS cooks up delicious meals that are healthy and nutritionally balanced. We hope to get our female patients on the track to eating right.

Aside from our quaint dining experience, we also leave our patients time for personal reflection. You can read a book, write in your journal or talk with others. Our facilities have outdoor areas with a yoga ramada, water fountain, volleyball court, outdoor fireplace and seating areas.

The River Source provides a structured environment for women recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. In addition to our many fun and renewing activities, we also deliver group counseling, individual counseling and 12-step meetings. Call us today to discover more about our unique approach to treating women.

Are Stay-at-Home-Moms at Risk for Alcoholism?

This entry was posted in Women's Program on by .

Drinking might be a growing problem for some stay-at-home moms (SAHMs). A quick search online will turn up plenty of blogs and articles – some serious, some not – about drinking as a SAHM. It’s difficult to tell who has a real problem with alcohol because the lines are blurred. There’s an obvious difference between a mom who has her girlfriends over for wine night once a week and a mom who is drinking daily.

With the lines blurred and alcohol being socially acceptable, it’s not difficult for SAHMs to seek out other moms who enjoy drinking. These moms might arrange afternoon playdates with happy hour or reach for a cocktail to get them through the afternoon hours. Of course, a few drinks here and there doesn’t mean a mother is an alcoholic. But for those who might be predisposed to addiction, it’s easy to run into problems.

What are Some of the Reasons for the Increased Drinking?

Some studies have found that stay-at-home moms tend to be more depressed than moms who have full- or part-time employment. Moms who work outside the home, regardless of the hours, are generally happier and healthier. This is partly due to the fact that moms who stay home are more isolated, bored and stressed out.

Moms who are the least happy staying home seem to be most at risk for developing an alcohol problem. These moms may begin drinking to deal with the stress and isolation they are feeling. Some even admit that they believe they are “better” mothers when they drink because they are happier and more patient. Of course, this is all a mirage, as drinking has a negative impact on mothers and their children.

When Alcohol Use Crosses the Line

If you or someone you know is a SAHM with an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it’s time to get help. Stress, boredom and feelings of being “stuck” sometimes come naturally with the role of a stay-at-home mother, but there are many healthy, constructive ways to work through them.

Libraries, park districts and YMCAs are just a few of the options for moms to connect with their peers during the day. There are also local playgroups and online communities that offer support for moms.

Serious alcohol problems need to be addressed, preferably by a women-only treatment center such as The River Source. These programs are excellent opportunities for women to empower other women and address female-specific issues such as being in the role of a stay-at-home mother. If you would like to learn more about our women-only treatment program, call us today and let’s talk!

3 Common Reasons Why Women Avoid Treatment

This entry was posted in Women's Program on by .

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?

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/AdrianaHerbut 

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.

7 Facts About Substance Abuse in Women

This entry was posted in Women's Program on by .

Researchers continue to learn how gender differences affect the cycle of addiction and the treatment that is rendered in response. What works for men doesn’t necessarily work for women, and vice versa.

The River Source offers a women’s-only treatment program that addresses the needs of female addicts. While addiction affects men and women equally, we are always amazed to see how different the journeys can be. Women tend to face unique barriers to treatment such as the stigma of being an addict and also having families to care for.

Let’s take a look at seven interesting facts about the patterns of substance abuse in women. All data has been collected from the following article from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

1. The Gender Gap is Narrowing

Traditionally, more addicts have been men than women, but the gender gap is getting smaller across all ethnicities and ages. This reminds us that addiction can affect anyone – there are no boundaries.

2. Relationships Affect Abuse and High-Risk Behavior

Women are more likely to be offered or given drugs from a boyfriend than a friend or family member. Marriage, on the other hand, is a protective factor. Also, high-risk behavior is dependent on the relationship.

3. Women Progress Faster to Addiction

In many cases, women progress to dependency faster than men. A variety of factors contribute to this, but the biggest is that many women who abuse drugs and alcohol also suffer from PTSD or other mental disorders.

4. Biology Makes a Difference

Aside from the fact that women’s bodies are generally smaller than men’s and contain more fat than water, there are also hormones to consider. Studies have shown that a woman’s menstrual cycle can affect how she reacts to alcohol and stimulants.

5. Females Tend to Drink in Response to Stress

The motives for using alcohol are often different for men and women. Women are more likely to drink because of stress or negative emotions rather than to conform to a group or create positive emotions.

6. Pregnant Women Most Commonly Seek Care For Methamphetamine Use

One study pointed out that the number of pregnant women seeking care for methamphetamine abuse rose to 24% in 2006. In 1994, the numbers were at just 8%.

7. Women Are More Likely to Use Prescription Opioids Than Men

Two large studies indicated that women are more likely to engage in the non-medical use of prescription drugs than men, particularly for younger women, ages 12 to 17.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, we encourage you to call The River Source and learn more about our women’s-only treatment program. Your call is confidential, and we can help determine if this female-focused approach is the right fit. At the very least, it’s somewhere to start.