sober living treatment at Oceanside, gender-responsive recovery for women

Top Five Most Successful Substance Use Treatment Factors for Women

Substance use disorder is a disease. While it affects every individual in different ways, it does share certain common features between individuals of the same gender. Women with substance use disorder in San Diego county have historically had difficulty finding programs designed to meet their specific needs, with treatment centers in the greater San Diego area frequently neglecting gender-responsive concerns. As this tendency has begun to shift towards a broader recognition of the merits of self-determined recovery programs, certain treatment modalities have emerged as being more effective for female substance users.

Here are the top five most effective gender-responsive treatment modalities, to date.

Exclusively Gender-Responsive Programming

For women in particular, substance use recovery programs are more effective when group elements include clients who are exclusively female. This applies to all levels of care, including inpatient, transitional living, and intensive outpatient programs. In a sober living environment, such as that offered by West Coast Recovery Centers at Oceanside, women also benefit from a residential environment that caters exclusively to women.

Providing A Safe and Supportive Environment

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Most studies performed to date have concluded that, while it is beneficial, an all-women environment is not enough to improve the odds of long-term recovery. Other factors include the atmosphere present at a recovery facility. Women raised in western society usually respond more favorably to a supportive environment built on a sense of community, caregiver empathy, and a feeling of personal safety. A female user who does not feel safe and secure in her environment is less likely to recover from substance use, regardless of other factors.

Maintaining Supportive and Professional Therapeutic Relationships


Female users frequently enter rehab services with a lower sense of self-esteem and self-worth than what has been observed in men recovering from otherwise similar conditions. Substance use treatment for women must rely heavily on the early development of a strong bond of trust between caregivers, clinical and support staff, and the client. This is important for male clients as well, but is crucial for women’s gender-responsive therapy to have any effect.

Offering Strong Case Management Services

Women entering long-term treatment programs for substance abuse have frequently demonstrated greater concern regarding help with the logistics of care: food, housing and transportation concerns need to be attended to, and the solutions for each area must be clearly understood. Without that sense of support, a woman undergoing substance use treatment may be too preoccupied with a stressful level of personal responsibility to focus on her own recovery. For self-determined recovery to work, that focus is crucial.

A Focus on Self-Empowerment and Personal Expression


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Techniques which have proven most effective in providing successful treatment and relapse prevention for female clients are almost entirely based on personal empowerment, a focus on inner strength, and self-expression. These include programs such as art and music therapy, which may provide a previously unconsidered outlet for self-expression (while fostering a well-deserved sense of accomplishment). Treatments based on the direct promotion of a self-empowering perspective have also been shown to have significant positive impact on the immediate effectiveness of women’s substance use treatment.

Substance use disorder is a complicated and persistent condition, but help is available. WCRC offers an environment of 24/7 as-needed support, in a facility staffed by individuals experienced at providing gender-responsive care for women. Available treatment modalities at Oceanside involve the cooperation of world-renowned experts in addiction recovery, in both their planning and their implementation. For more information, give West Coast RC a call today at 855-927-2687, and speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable professional who can provide you with the answers you need.


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