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Do Women Need Different Rehabs in Orange County?

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If you’re fortunate enough never to have encountered addiction in your life before, the idea of gender-specific rehab — in particular, dedicated womens-only rehab — is something you probably haven’t considered.

Is it really necessary, or can you or your loved one go to one of the many general rehabs in Orange County?

The answer is that, while general rehab programs do produce results for women as well as men, a womens-only rehab tends to be much more effective. Yes, provided a general purpose program meets the unique needs of the client, they may be able to be recover there — and some of the general programs do offer womens-oriented therapies and treatments.

Unfortunately, it’s our experience and opinion that this is rarely enough. In some cases (especially where trauma or abuse are present in the client’s history) a general rehab can actually make the situation worse.

It’s a fact that women suffer more than men when going through alcoholism or addiction. Their bodies are more heavily affected and damage occurs more quickly. Fortunately, when women get the treatment and therapy they

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need, their relapse rates are actually lower than those of men.

Both men and women require some of the same therapies.

Both men and women need 12 steps groups, both genders can do well attending group therapy sessions and of course men and women alike benefit from spending individual time with their therapist. Yet women need far more than this.

Compared with men, women often take a very different path on the dark road through an addiction. Their unique personal histories present a unique challenge and lead them to have unique needs which, unless met, will keep them from making a full recovery.


Consider the question of sexual abuse. Research has shown that almost half of women who enter into treatment for addiction will have experienced sexual assault or violence at some point in their lives.

Often this happens while they were chemically dependent and it may even have been a catalyst that resulted in their substance use disorder. If a woman has been through sexual assault, then she needs trauma therapy — such as New Directions for Women provides as part of our program — in order to work through her lingering issues. Unless the rehab program is familiar with the unique issues of sexual abuse then there isn’t much hope of her making a complete recovery.

No, the scars left by trauma will not heal within the 30-90 days of an inpatient rehab stay.

Still, therapy to unearth the issues and start her down the path to healing make it possible for her to move past the assault and ensure it doesn’t interfere with her recovery.


Sadly, women who go into rehab have twice the chance of carrying STDs as do their male counterparts. If there any unresolved and lingering health challenges while she’s trying to recover, that will hinder recovery. A supportive womens-only environment helps her acknowledge and then deal with health challenges like STDs that would often otherwise provoke relapses if left untouched.


Perhaps most important for many of our women — and for us — is the question of children. As a womens-only rehab we are very familiar with the issue of children and family, and family-oriented therapies are a core part of our program.

Nobody can recover until they’re able to forgive themselves for their past, and among Orange County rehab we pride ourselves on a broad and powerful approach to family reconciliation therapy that helps our women do just that.

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