Women and Substance Abuse: Finding The Right Program for You

As cases of addiction continue to increase, a growing number of women are seeking substance abuse treatment. However, choosing the right substance abuse treatment programs involves several factors, and personalized treatments must address how women experience this severe disease.

Clinical Research and Behavioral Statistics

Before the 1990s, researchers primarily conducted clinical studies on substance abuse and generated behavioral statistics using male participants. Although researchers have since included women in such studies, the data on women and substance abuse remains slim. However, researchers agree that there is strong evidence that women experience substance abuse much differently than men, and although men are statistically more likely to develop an addiction than women, the gap is continually closing.


Several in-depth studies regarding women and substance abuse were conducted in 2016, including research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which found that 15.8 million adult women in the US had used illegal drugs in 2015. This number represented nearly 13% of adult women, and researchers estimate this number has risen significantly in recent years. In 2016, researchers also found that prescription opioid overdoses claimed the lives of 19 women per day, increasing the rate of opioid-induced deaths by 596% since 1999.

Research has also unearthed differences in how women consume and react to substances. According to the Addiction Center, women suffering from heroin abuse tend to be younger than males suffering from heroin abuse, while also being more likely to utilize smaller doses over a shorter period of time. Researchers found that women were less likely to participate in drug usage involving injections. Regarding recovery, they found that women were at a higher risk for substance abuse side effects but had a higher success rate in completing rehabilitation programs for stimulants, including meth.

While research involving women and substance abuse has become more common over the past several years, it is important to continue clinical research in this field. This ensures that health care providers and rehabilitation facilities have the information they need to properly treat women suffering from this disease. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, the next step is finding the right rehabilitation program.

What to Look for in a Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program

When searching for the right rehabilitation program for you, there are several important factors to consider. In general, these include evaluating a program’s values, treatment methods, inpatient and outpatient options, and amenities.

Goals and Values

Before choosing a substance abuse treatment program, you’ll want to consider your personal goals and values. Rehabilitation programs are more likely to end in success if your goals and the program’s goals align. A significant part of understanding your recovery goals will be determining which behaviours and underlying mental and physical health conditions you would like to address and treat.

Treatment Method

Each rehabilitation facility may have different approaches to treatment, including various specialities, methods, and therapies. Before entering a treatment program, you’ll want to research different methodologies and consider what will work best for you. With the help of treatment professionals, you and your family can determine the right path to meet your recovery goals.

Inpatient vs Outpatient

Rehabilitation programs tend to break up into two categories: inpatient and outpatient. Rehabilitation facilities require patients to stay for inpatient programs, which are associated with a higher success rate. However, outpatient programs, where the patient receives treatment but is able to return home each day, may be more convenient for some individuals. Again, the decision between an inpatient and outpatient program should be based on your individual needs and goals.


Treatment programs for substance abuse can vary greatly in terms of amenities, which may have a significant impact on the experience and success of your recovery. For this reason, it is important to determine which amenities are more important to you and locate a program that will suit your needs.

Take The First Step Towards Recovery Today!

At Sobriety Centers of New Hampshire, we are dedicated to helping women achieve their recovery goals. Substance abuse is a deadly disease, but we are here to help and bring hope. If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step towards recovery, please reach out to us today!