Alcohol abuse is a problem that impacts many individuals throughout Iowa. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, almost 53 percent of Iowa residents drink alcohol and about 27.5 percent admit to binge drinking. Since SAMHSA reports that women are more likely to see the negative psychological and physiological effects of alcohol when compared to men, it is important to seek a treatment program that is appropriate for the needs of a woman. While there are treatment programs that are designed for men and women, it can help to focus on gender-specific treatment programs when there are mental health disorders, traumatic experiences or a pregnancy that may complicate a treatment plan.
Why Women Drink Alcohol
The reasons that women drink alcohol can differ significantly from the reasons that men drink and it may not always be easy for women to discuss in a treatment program that is not gender-specific. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that mental health disorders can complicate a treatment plan because it can be difficult to determine if a symptom is related to addiction or a disorder.
Some key reasons that may contribute to the addiction in women include:
- Traumatic experiences, like sexual or physical abuse
- Mental health disorders, such as bi-polar disorder or depression
- Pregnancy and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy
- Post-partum depression
- Physical effects associated with alcohol
When women drink alcohol, they are more likely to develop health concerns when compared to men. SAMHSA explains that alcohol has a greater physiological effect on women than it has on men. The way that women metabolize alcohol is different and the possible damages to the heart, liver or brain can be more significant. When alcohol abuse is complicated by a mental health disorder or post-partum depression, it can make the symptoms of the disorder more dramatic. SAMHSA also reports that women are more likely to die from alcohol-related complications, including suicide, when compared to men.
Treatment Solutions in Iowa
Although the treatment options that are available in Iowa are not always gender-specific, there are options that can help women recover from alcohol abuse and start working on healthier goals. In some of the treatment programs, it may be necessary to go through a detoxification program before entering the treatment facility.
Bridges of Iowa, Inc. offers a women’s treatment program that was opened in 2013 and focuses on the specific problems that women may face when trying to recover from alcohol abuse. Since the program specifically explores the impact of trauma on the development of an addiction, it can be helpful when women are using alcohol or other substances in relation to a traumatic experience.
Although the Mercy First Step Recovery Center is not a gender-specific program, it is an options that can help women who are abusing alcohol. The treatment program is part of a medical facility, so it does offer a medically supervised detoxification program. It also provides residential treatments and out-patient programs that can help women recover from alcohol abuse. For women who are pregnant, the medical setting can be beneficial to ensure that appropriate prenatal services are available.
Teen Challenge of the Midlands is a long-term residential program that is designed for the needs of individuals who are trying to recover from addiction. Although the program offer services to men and women, the treatments are gender-specific and women are given treatment in the women’s program. It offers services for 12 months and focuses on ensuring that the risk of relapsing is limited.
The reasons that women may use and abuse alcohol can be complicated, but a new perspective on the situation can make it easier to focus on recovering. Women can reach their recovery goals with an appropriate treatment program. Contact AlcoholTreatment.net today to learn more about the addiction treatment programs that are available for women in Iowa.