Category Archives: Women’s Program

Pros and Cons to Co-Ed Addiction Treatment Programs

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Nowadays, there’s more to think about than outpatient vs inpatient and in-state vs out-of-state treatment. With our nation’s need for drug recovery programs, there are more options than ever before. One aspect that you will need to consider is whether a gender-specific or co-ed treatment center is best for you or a loved one. There is no “right” answer. It all depends on what you are comfortable with and what will help you achieve your recovery goals.

Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages to co-ed addiction treatment programs. Co-ed rehabilitation centers are most common in the United States. By being informed, you can make the best decision!

Pros to Choosing Co-Ed Drug Rehabilitation

  • Diverse group of people. Addictions can sometimes occur because of the opposite sex. Living alongside the other gender, engaging in group therapy, etc. allows people to become more comfortable with each other.
  • Preparation for the real world. Obviously, society is not one gender. Younger people who are battling addiction while growing into adults may benefit from co-ed counseling sessions.  This will help them prepare for future interactions.  
  • Develop healthy connections. In a co-ed setting, patients can interact with the opposite sex in a healthy manner. This can help them establish better connections when they are released from treatment.
  • Debunk common misconceptions. It’s common for one gender to have strong opinions about the other, but this is usually based on stereotypes and misconceptions. A co-ed treatment program can put these rumors to rest.

Cons to Choosing Co-Ed Treatment

  • More distraction. It’s common for patients to be distracted from their recoveries in a co-ed drug rehab program. Not only can this distraction interfere with a healthy recovery but also prevent patients from opening up.
  • Greater insecurities and pressures. Some people have had negative experiences with the opposite sex. These individuals might not feel safe or at ease in recovery. This is especially true for women who have lived with abusive men or have a history of trauma.
  • Romantic relationships. Attractions don’t turn off in drug rehab, which means that romantic relationships can form. The staff does discourage these types of relationships, but that doesn’t mean they are always effective.
  • Higher risk for relapse. Let’s say a female patient falls in love with a male patient. This could put them more at risk for relapse because they are focusing on each other and not their recovers.

There is nothing wrong with co-ed programs, but they are not the best fit for everyone. The River Source offers both co-ed and women’s-only addiction treatment programs. Let us help you find the right option for you or a loved one. Call us today!

5 Myths about Women and Addiction


Addiction affects men and women somewhat differently. Women process emotions differently than men and are biologically more susceptible to certain mental disorders. For example, women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression. It’s also possible that trauma, family history and loss play a larger role in substance abuse for females than males.

We still have a lot to learn about the relationship between gender and addiction. For now, here are five myths and their truths.

Myth #1. Women are not as likely to get addicted as men.

This used to be true, but it is not anymore. The gender gap is closing. Sadly, women are one of the fastest growing groups of drug users in the United States. Though white males are more likely to use illegal substances at a younger age, both genders are just as likely to continue using once exposed. Roughly 4.5 million women suffer from a substance abuse disorder, 3.5 million abuse prescription drugs and 3.1 million regularly use illicit drugs.

Myth #2. Women use drugs for the same reasons as men.

Men and women do not share the same brain chemistry. Females process feelings and emotions differently, which is partly why they are more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. Women are also at a higher risk for certain trauma such as sexual assault.

There are other issues to acknowledge as well. Girls tend to have unique social pressures and are more likely to suffer from pain disorders. They also go through hormonal changes. Psychological stress is a motivator for drug use in women, so it’s important to recognize the underlying reasons that may be contributing to the problem.

Myth #3. Women are more likely to admit they need help.

Women face a number of unique barriers that may prevent them from getting help. These include:

  • Family responsibilities

  • Financial limitations

  • Transportation issues

  • Feelings of shame and embarrassment

  • Anxiety or depressive disorders

Treatment centers like The River Source offer women’s-only rehab programs that are often a better option for female drug addicts. Patients tend to feel more comfortable in this setting where they can share their sensitive feelings without distraction.

Myth #4. Substance abuse is the same in males and females.

Addiction has similar symptoms. That said, it does not affect men and women in the same way. Research shows that women tend to get addicted faster than men, even though men typically experiment with larger quantities of drugs for longer periods of time. Once a female patient is in rehab, she is more likely to have psychological, social and behavioral problems as well.  

Myth #5. Women are just as likely as men to relapse.

Female recovering addicts do very well in recovery and are less likely to relapse than men. It’s believed that women greatly benefit from therapy. However, when they do relapse, it’s for different reasons than men. Males tend to relapse to positive experiences, whereas women relapse to negative experiences.

Female-only treatment programs are effective at helping women get clean and work through their internal struggles in a safe and supportive environment. To learn more about The River Source’s rehab centers for women, call us today.

How to Break the Cycle of Enablement

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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?

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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?

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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!