Addressing Stigma in Addiction Treatment for Women

Millions of women struggle with drug addiction each year. Not only can addiction be debilitating, but the path to seeking addiction treatment can be difficult due to the stigma surrounding addiction. Unfortunately, the stigma in addiction treatment for women can oftentimes hinder many women struggling with drug addiction from seeking help to safely and effectively achieve sobriety. In this article, you’ll learn about factors contributing to the stigma in women’s treatment.

At Hammocks on the Edisto, we are a leading women’s drug rehab in South Carolina that’s helped many women effectively on their recovery journey. We understand that no two recovery journeys are ever the same. That’s why we offer a wide range of different treatment programs so you can receive the best care for your unique recovery needs. Contact us today to learn more about how you can break free of addiction once and for all. 

4 Factors that Increase Stigma in Women’s Treatment

Women experience several different factors that increase their stigma to seek professional treatment due to judgment and ridicule based on their gender. Without question, any individual seeking professional addiction treatment may initially feel scared they may be judged, especially if others around them do not know about their addiction. However, below are 4 top factors why women face increased stigma for seeking addiction treatment. 

  1. Motherhood Impacts Seeking Treatment

Unfortunately, many mothers struggling with addiction experience increased stigma in women’s behavioral healthcare. This is because many mothers believe that seeking addiction treatment, or mental health treatment, will make them appear like they are “bad” mothers for struggling with substance use or mental health disorders and having to leave their children to recover.  

Plus, single mothers, or mothers who do not have as many childcare resources or trusted loved ones to watch over their children while seeking treatment may also experience more difficulty seeking treatment . This is because they may not have a reliable adult in their life that can safely watch over their child while they are getting the critical help they need to get healthier and clean for themselves and their family. 

  1. The “Perfection” Stereotype

Many women also experience heavy societal pressure to be “perfect”. Therefore, many women may struggle with addiction in silence and not seek treatment for fear of breaking this “perfection” stereotype. Many women may feel like as soon as they seek treatment and people in their life find out that they have been struggling with addiction, this will break their identity of being the ideal woman. When, in actuality, struggling with drug addiction in silence is only damaging your health, happiness, and relationships in the process.

  1. Women May Face More Judgment Than Men

While there’s no denying that regardless of gender, seeking treatment for both men and women is a big step to your recovery journey that takes courage, women oftentimes face increased judgment than men for seeking treatment.

This may be due to a variety of reasons; however, primarily when society thinks of addiction, they may wrongfully assume more men than women struggle with addiction. Therefore, there may be increased judgment when individuals witness a woman struggling with addiction and seeking addiction treatment. 

  1. Media Portrayal of Addiction

Last but not least, the media portrayal of addiction can also impact the stigma in addiction treatment for women. This is because typically (although not always the case) TV shows and other media platforms will depict a man struggling with addiction, not a woman. Again as discussed in the last point, people have this image in their mind that more men struggle with addiction, which wrongfully may make some people judge women struggling with addiction as it does not fit their skewed mindset.

Your Road to Recovery Is Waiting  

Now you know more about the different factors that increase stigma in addiction treatment for women. Whether you’re a mother concerned about how you’ll be perceived if you seek addiction treatment, or you are afraid other people in your life will judge you for finding out about your addiction, you should never feel afraid or ashamed to ask for help.

Our team at Hammocks on the Edisto is here to help you every step of the way to overcome your addiction and lead a healthier, happier life. With a range of high-quality treatment programs for women, we offer a comprehensive range of treatment options to best support you on your road to recovery. 
Ready to start your recovery journey? Contact us today!

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