Research is teaching us some very interesting things about women addiction treatment.
As a result, some gender specific treatments are emerging reflecting the diffences between male and female needs.
For example, the following information from Joseph Califano's book, "Women under the Influence", finds that at similar or lower levels of use, women develop more rapidly than men alcohol-related diseases like cirrhosis and hypertension, brain damage from alcohol abuse and Ecstasy, lung cancer and respiratory diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis from smoking.
"Women are likelier to develop depression, anxiety and eating disorders which are closely linked to smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. Women who use sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and hypnotics are almost twice as likely as men to become addicted to such drugs."
"Because their bodies contain less water and more fatty tissue and because of decreased activity of the enzyme (ADH) that breaks down alcohol, one drink for a woman commonly has the impact of two drinks for a man."
"Moderate or heavy drinking increases the risk of breast cancer. Among alcohol abusers, older women suffer memory loss and mental deterioration after fewer years of drinking than older men."
"A single cigarette smoked by a woman has nearly the same carcinogenic effect as two smoked by a man. Girls exhibit symptoms of nicotine dependence more rapidly than boys. Among smokers, women develop more severe respiratory diseases than men. Smoking while using oral contraceptives increases the risk of heart disease. Smoking in early adolescence increases the risk of breast cancer."
Why Women Abuse Substances
"Girls and young women are likelier than boys and young men to abuse substances in order to lose weight, relieve stress or boredom, improve their mood, reduce sexual inhibitions, self-medicate depression, and increase confidence."
"Women in substance abuse treatment are more than five times likelier than men (69 percent vs. 12 percent) to have been sexually abused as children and girls and women are likelier than men to suffer eating disorders, both of which are major risk factors for substance abuse."
"Women are more likely than men to say their heavy drinking followed a crisis, such as miscarriage, divorce, unemployment or recent departure of a child from the home. Older women are likelier than older men to self-medicate with alcohol and prescription drugs in order to deal with loneliness, financial insecurity or loss of a spouse."
That is a boat load of information that reflects the need for a gender specific approach to addiction treatment.
How can we protect our daughters from sexual abuse and our wives from domestic violence?
So what are the treatment centers for women offering?
One in particular, the Orchid Treatment center focuses on building a treatment community and uses some interesting tools.
"With the epidemic surge in Meth use - as well as other drugs in women - The Orchid's original treatment modality is finding strong emotional inter-reliance - even co-dependency - among women has a high success rate in the treating addiction. The programs at The Orchid focus on the fact that women demonstrate unique psychosocial characteristics associated from substance abuse - extremely different then men. Addicted women have higher rates of mental health problems - including suicide - and social stigmas often keep women from receiving treatment. Just a few of The Orchid's highly successful programs include: intense color therapy in environment, cultivation of co-dependency, water wellness, awakening inner feminine wisdom to beat addiction, spirituality, breath work, exercise, and whole foods/nutrition therapy."
I remember early in my recovery, exploring tools like color therapy, and orthomolecular psychiatry as tools for myself.
I can certainly understand the need for developing a deep understanding of feminine wisdom, archetypal perhaps, as a tool for coming to a new kind of inner peace about life.
Exploring the deep masculine, and the alchemical union have been ongoing parts of my inner exploration.
However, I am surprised that there is no mention of the Peniston protocol and alpha-theta brainwave biofeedback training, which I am my partner, Jeremy Croyle, used successfully in the mid and late 1990's.
I am sure that alpha-theta training would increase the awareness of the deep feminine for women addiction treatment.
I am going to recommend that you use the emWave tool to enhance your stress reduction. Learning how to manage heart rate variability coherence has been an important tool for me.
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