The Numbers Tell the Story
Pennsylvania may be one the nation’s oldest and proudest states, but the state’s alcohol issues offer less to be proud about — and those issues impact its women as well as its men. More than half (55.6 percent) of all Pennsylvania women aged 18 to 44 report that they use alcohol, and 20.7 percent of those alcohol users report binge drinking within the previous month. 304,000 Pennsylvania women aged 12 or older received treatment for alcohol dependence within the past year, while a whopping 676,000 who needed treatment did not receive it.
How Alcohol Affects Women’s Health
If you are a woman dependent on alcohol, you may face the physical consequences more quickly and intensely than a man would. That’s because the female body is relatively small and contains less water, meaning that there is less fluid to dilute incoming alcohol. The resulting assault on body tissues makes you especially prone to pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis/hepatitis, cardiomyopathy, and other potentially fatal chronic diseases. Additionally, your risk for breast cancer will be higher than that of a female non-drinker.
Pregnant women and new moms should making dealing with alcohol dependency a top priority. Women who drink while pregnant risk giving their babies Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is characterized by brain damage and other serious defects. Alcohol is also a factor in postpartum depression, and vice versa. It has been recognized as a potential trigger for this depressive disorder, alongside genetic predisposition, pre-existing mood disorders, hormonal imbalances and stress. But any form of depression, including postpartum depression, could also spur self-medication via alcohol, which in turn can lead to a dependency. (An estimated one-third of all people with major depression also have an alcohol dependency.) This spiral of alcohol use can become amplified as the pressures of new motherhood cause depressed women to medicate themselves further.
The Need for Women-only Treatment
While women can and do receive treatment for alcohol dependency in “co-ed” programs that care for both genders simultaneously, there are several good reasons that you might prefer to enroll on a women-only recovery treatment program in Pennsylvania. Alcohol dependence can create some surprisingly gender-specific problems. The special biological and emotional challenges faced by women, including the postpartum depression and pressures of motherhood mentioned above, can often benefit from specialists in the treatment of women’s disorders. Some topics, including feelings of low self-esteem, poor body image, or depression and anger from perceived gender inequality, are also best addressed in a supportive, women-only environment.
Pennsylvania Options for Women Only
Fortunately, Pennsylvania boasts women-only recovery treatment programs in several cities. The outstanding majority of them (40) reside in Philadelphia. If you live in this city you may want to look into Achievement Through Counseling and Trt ACT I, which specializes in inpatient care and treatment for severe alcohol dependency and withdrawal. If you need to battle your dependency alongside other mental issues, Fairmount Behavioral Health System offers treatment for schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and alcohol-related PTSD. Treatment Trends Inc Halfway home of LeHigh Valley in Allentown specializes in long-term treatment featuring 6-month and 12-month stays, while Pennsylvania Counseling Services Gettysburg Psychiatric offers a mix of women-only alcohol recovery, mental health care, treatment for other other forms of substance dependency.
Put Your Alcohol Dependence Behind You
You have the power to rescue yourself from the dangers, challenges, and agonies of alcohol dependency — but only if you get the compassionate, professional help you need. Start now by learning more about your many options. Contact AlcoholTreatment.net for resources and assistance that could dramatically change your life for the better!