Addiction is a scary and difficult thing to get through for anyone. However, it poses special challenges for women for many reasons that range from societal to mental and physiological. Postpartum women, in particular, may be at risk of depression, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction. At Blue Heron Recovery, we offer several specialized rehab programs, including a women’s addiction treatment program. This allows us to approach the process of recovery from an informed perspective that takes into account the unique challenges that a woman faces. If you have been looking for a women’s rehab in San Antonio, TX, read on to learn more about how our team at Blue Heron Recovery can help.
How Does Addiction Affect Women?
Anyone can become addicted to harmful substances, regardless of age, sex, or status. But it is worth noting that addiction can affect men and women in different ways.
For one thing, women who are tempted to abuse drugs, alcohol, or other substances often have unique reasons for doing so. These aren’t exclusive to women, but they do affect them at a higher rate than men.
If you are drawn to using harmful substances, you might not even understand why. But statistics show that women often use drugs or alcohol to cope with issues such as:
- Mental health disorders (including anxiety and depression)
- Past trauma and PTSD
- Chronic health conditions, especially severe pain related to hormonal changes
- Domestic violence
One of the most distinctive challenges, however, is the process of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. These present a particularly vulnerable time for many women—one that can be deadly when it comes to addiction.
Pregnancy and Parenthood: A Distinct Challenge
Ideally, pregnancy and becoming a parent would be the happiest time of your life. But there are countless ways that it can also become an extraordinarily anxiety-inducing experience.
From pregnancy complications to traumatic birth experiences, exhaustion, worrying about your baby, and finding yourself in a totally new stage of life, it all can sometimes feel like too much. Add in the hormonal changes and the feeling of isolation that many women experience after giving birth, and it’s not hard to see why many women fall into substance abuse during this time.
In fact, studies have shown that the first year after becoming a parent is the most dangerous time for women who have previously struggled with addiction. This may be for one or more of many reasons. Some women feel like they don’t have the same kind of resources they did when they were pregnant. Others feel isolated and lonely. Feelings of confusion and poor judgment brought on by exhaustion can make it easier than ever to fall back into drug or alcohol abuse.
This can be a particular challenge for single mothers who don’t have a strong support system. Taking care of a child is a full-time and demanding job. Many women become addicted to drugs or alcohol to cope with the struggle of supporting their children without any help.
However, you don’t have to be a single mother or be without support to struggle with addiction after becoming a parent. Even if you have help from a spouse, partner, or family member, entering into this new stage can become overwhelming. Mental health issues and substance addiction can affect anyone.
Postpartum Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction
On top of the rapid life changes that having a child brings on, postpartum depression can be another scary and isolating experience. During this time, women may feel hopeless, depressed, or alone. Postpartum anxiety is related and sometimes classified under the same name. Women might feel persistent, overwhelming anxiety about their children and worry constantly about their safety.
Both of these can cause severe emotional distress, which can lead some individuals to suicidal thoughts, outbursts of anger, or extreme depression. It is estimated that among the average population, about 15 percent of women suffer from some level of postpartum depression. Among certain demographics, it may be as high as 30 percent.
Postpartum depression significantly increases the risk of drug or alcohol abuse. Women with a history of addiction, meanwhile, are also more likely to develop postpartum depression. Most postpartum substance abuse is of alcohol, but marijuana, cocaine, and prescription opioids are also common.
Feeling sad or anxious isn’t the only reason that many new mothers fall into substance abuse. It can also be related to the erratic sleep cycle that comes with the territory of having a newborn. If you are extremely tired, it can be tempting to use drugs to give yourself a boost of energy while caring for your baby.
How Does a Women’s Rehab Program Work?
Women face unique challenges when it comes to addiction, especially when it is related to pregnancy, parenthood, and the postpartum period. That means that the professionals in rehab need to understand these issues and how to address them. In other words, rehab and therapy are never one-size-fits-all.
At Blue Heron Recovery, our women’s rehab is designed to help women in light of all the issues that women face—both in terms of addiction and in their personal lives.
We believe that using the right kind of treatment is essential to achieving long-term recovery. That is why we use a combination of individual and group therapies to give you ample support on your journey. We also make use of holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, and more.
Another advantage of joining our women’s rehab program is the knowledge that you are in an environment of support and encouragement. At Blue Heron Recovery, others around you know the kind of challenges you are facing, with all the unique stigmas and pressures that women endure. This kind of understanding adds another layer of solidarity and acceptance as you work toward healing through our program.
Getting Started With Blue Heron Recovery
Struggling with addiction, especially as a woman, can be a huge challenge. This can only increase if you find yourself abusing drugs or alcohol shortly after having a baby. At Blue Heron Recovery, we offer a uniquely curated environment for women who are facing addiction in light of issues such as postpartum depression.
Within our environment, you will have the support you need to get to the root of your addiction and start your road to recovery. To find out more about our women’s rehab program, contact us today at 210-588-0508.