Drug Rehab for Women: How to tell her, it’s okay to go

The reason there are more men’s only drug rehab centre’s versus drug rehab for women is not because women are less addicted but rather, women are less likely to accept they need a residential drug treatment program. Denial in women, these days, seems to be worse.

This was not always the case. Not so long ago, men were not so quick to accept drug rehab. Ego and identity played a big role in their denial. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation meant asking for help and for many men, asking for help equaled weakness. That seems to have changed in recent years. Recently, the drug rehabilitation process for men has become much more accepted and become a rite of passage, if you will.

Drug rehab for women: how to tell her, it’s okay to go was written to help women through their inner struggle with going to drug rehab.

For women, drug rehab is not about weakness for asking for help but rather loss of identity, for many.

Women today can be super mom’s, strong daughter’s, stellar athletes, or alpha business women.

We certainly live in a world today, where the butterfly is still emerging from the cocoon of oppression, and we are not butterflies yet. We are still fighting to free ourselves from the cocoon and the process isn’t always pretty.

In any power struggle, there is a push and pull and in recent years, in womankind’s attempt to pull power, it has put us in a position of defense. Protecting that which we have pulled.

But in order to drop those defenses, which is the only way to heal from drug and alcohol abuse, we must feel safe, and that’s what drug rehab for women is all about – feeling safe, which leads me to…

5 Ways to Help a Women Come to Terms with Drug Rehab

  1. Don’t tell her to go to drug rehab. Amy Winehouse was right, God rest her soul. Somewhere along the lines, someone told Amy to go to rehab and we all know how that turned out. When you tell a women to go to rehab she will go directly on the defence because the definition of drug rehab for her means more pain than staying in active addiction.
  2. Connect with her emotionally. The best way to do that is to come from a place of how her actions are hurting you. She cannot argue with how her addiction is causing you pain. It’s one of the most effective ways to drop her defences and connect with her authentic self.
  3. Show her the drug rehab photo gallery. Pictures really do say a thousand words. Most women have a preconceived notion of what drug rehab for women may look like. Maybe the’ve seen too many episodes of Orange is the New Black, and this is what drug rehab for women looks like. No words will ever convey the pictures of the treatment centre. Show her and see her defences drop.
  4. Never call her an alcoholic. If you want to see sparks fly, call a women an alcoholic or drug addict. You need to soften her up and avoid the defence reaction. Instead, simply ask her; If she feels she has an unhealthy relationship with drugs or alcohol. You’ll see the wheels turn, and if she does, more often than not, you’ll get a yes. Now you have something to work with.
  5. Tell her it’s women’s only drug rehab. In many cases, even the thought of a co-ed environment can send a women into a super defence stance. The goal is for her to feel safe. Studies show that women considering drug rehab are 87% more likely to attend addiction treatment when a women’s only drug rehab is available versus a co-ed centre.

The best addiction rehab centre’s are the one’s that provide a safe environment where the client can relate with the other clients. Now, co-ed treatment centre’s will argue that a women’s only drug rehab is a bubble, that’s it’s unrealistic and that women will have to interact with men, eventually, in recovery, in the real world and I agree, however generally speaking it takes a women 30 days to settle in and if your drug and alcohol treatment program is set for 60 days, that doesn’t allow much time to roll up your sleeves and get to work and if she is in an environment she doesn’t feel safe in or is distracted by the other gender, it’s very easy to burn through 60 days without feeling recovered.

To be a woman today, means many things, but as they say, every great breakthrough in life is preceded by a breakdown, so in order to be that butterfly who finally breaks  free, one must accept that the cocoon exists.

Norma Jean Petters

Norma Petterson
Executive Director
West Coast Wellness Centre for Women