Friday, June 25, 2010

SISTERHOUSE: Special Issues in Treatment and Recovery

By Glenance Green

    Do you have a friend or family member that you would like to aid in recovery? More importantly, do you know the symptoms and signs of an addict? Many times, people may think that they do not need to seek assistance because they feel that their drug of choice is not detrimental to themselves or others. The fact of reality is that addiction is addiction. If one does not receive the necessary treatment for their disease, their entire life can spiral downward. Friends and family members can go years without ever knowing that their very own loved ones have a drug problem. Some of the paramount signs of addiction to drugs are; hiding and sneaking, dishonesty, theft, living up to a stigmatized standard of life, neglect of self, drug of choice concerns, and chronic pain.
    Did you know that both men and women alike between the ages of 18 and 25 have the highest rate of drug abusers and dependency? Yes, it’s true. Twenty-six percent of the male population and sixteen percent of female population between the ages of 18 and 25 are drug abusers. However, addiction is not a single dimension issue for women. Many women users share two things in common: a lack of healthy productive relationships and trauma in their past experiences. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, some major areas of focus in treatment are: the causes of addiction (especially gender-specific issues), low self-esteem, race/ethnicity/cultural issues, gender discrimination and harassment, and disability-related issues, eating disorders, parenting, etc.
    Many women speak of drugs in terms of their relationships. Their partners are commonly the individuals that introduce them to drugs and often become the stable suppliers. All of these issues are considered in treatment and recovery which is why many long-term recovery programs, such as SISTERHOUSE, focus on the relationship building aspect of recovery. The establishment of healthy relationships and making informed, positively-impacted decisions can change the entire course of one’s life.

To receive more information on SISTERHOUSE’s services for women and/or volunteer opportunities, please call 773/626-0525.

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