By Glenance Green
Did you know that individuals whom feel that others will provide appropriate assistance to meet their needs are less stressful and more likely to succeed? According to a research study endorsed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Office of Research on Women's Health, women who use drugs and have more social support may resort to substance abuse less often than women with less social support because they may feel less need to turn to drugs in response to stressful life events. Women users with strong emotional and social support systems tend to be more responsive and take an active role in initiating the first steps toward recovery and following through thereafter.
According to the social network theory, social networks are some very important sources of social support. Social networks for individuals seeking recovery can be family, friends, church members, and Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA) support groups. For women in recovery, social networks can provide the social, emotional, and material resources they need to address the myriad concerns that confront them, especially in the early stages of recovery (Becker & Gatz, 2005). Women in recovery generally have less social support than women who are or have not been chemically dependent.
Research has found that ethnicity, age, and drug of choice has little effect on women’s social networks, however, once those networks are developed they tend to be influential, long-term, and ethnically similar. These networks can be either positive or negative depending on the goal and purpose of the social connection. Positive networks can create emotional and social support on women in recovery and the bonds developed from these relationships can be long-standing and extremely beneficial for drug treatment program completion.
To receive more information on SISTERHOUSE’s services for women and/or volunteer opportunities, please call 773/626-0525.