Though less than 20% of active military are women, those numbers are on the rise, and women are no longer excluded from any military position or activity, including combat. The fact is, there is still resistance to service women among many. For that and other reasons, women face all the stresses that men do within the military, but also a number of other challenges, including gender-based discrimination and military sexual trauma. There are proven benefits of women’s addiction treatment in the general population, and those benefits very much apply to women veterans as well. A women’s rehab program for veterans is a safe and recommended place to begin recovery if you are a woman who has served her country and dealing with a substance use disorder (SUD).
UpArmor Recovery offers high-quality, evidence-based care for veterans, including gender-specific rehab. To learn more about the benefits of a women’s rehab program for veterans, reach out to us at 855.211.5537 or by submitting our online form. One of our professional staff will speak to you compassionately about your journey with addiction and offer you information about the resources available to you at UpArmor Recovery.
Women Veterans and Trauma
Men and women experience similar symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks, hyperarousal, night terrors, numbing, and avoidance. But women veterans are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, have trouble feeling emotions, and avoid reminders of trauma, whereas men tend more toward anger and loss of control.
Women veterans are likelier to develop PTSD than men. Some of the reasons for that are listed below:
- Women are much more likely to experience sexual assault
- Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other traumatic events
- Women tend to self-blame for the trauma they experience more than men
Just like men, not all women who experience trauma will develop PTSD, but they are more likely to if they:
- Have pre-existing anxiety, depression, or another mental health condition
- Experienced a life-threatening trauma
- Experienced ongoing or repeated trauma
- Were sexually assaulted
- Sustained lasting injury from a sexual assault
- Did not have access to social support
- Did not reveal the assault due to fear of professional repercussions
- Reported the assault and experienced discrimination and professional consequences as a result
When a woman veteran with a history of trauma returns home after discharge from the military, the challenges of re-entry into civilian life can be overwhelming. It is not uncommon for them to turn to substances to help them cope, which can quickly lead to the development of an SUD.
Benefits of a Women’s Rehab Program for Veterans
Women veterans benefit from a women-only addiction treatment program for a number of reasons. Some of the most significant are:
- Commonality – Women who have served in the military are subject to gender-related bias, harassment, and assault. Men in the military do not face these specific issues as often. Being in a rehab group that is made up of others who know exactly what the experience was like for you as a woman can sustain and uplift you as you undergo treatment.
- Security – It is important that an outpatient rehab program provides a feeling of security for all clients of any gender. Women are more likely to feel at ease in a women’s rehab program. Feeling secure is the only way healing can begin because recovery requires honesty, vulnerability, and transparency.
- Therapy that understands – The experiences of military personnel are unique, the experiences of women are unique, and to be in a rehab setting where the therapists and addiction specialists understand the experience of a woman in the military is critical to being able to deliver compassionate and targeted individualized treatment.
- A unique culture – One of the benefits of women’s addiction treatment is that you are surrounded by other women. Women are brought up and socialized to be more aware of and sensitive to relationships and more able to provide compassion and empathy, nurturing, and support. Women are open to offering and receiving that kind of nurturing care, which will amplify the benefits of all the treatments and skills development they experience in rehab.
If you are a woman veteran seeking to begin recovery and regain your health, a women’s rehab program can empower you to address your addiction with confidence and optimism.
Women’s Rehab Program for Veterans at UpArmor Recovery
At UpArmor Recovery, you will experience the benefits of a women’s rehab program for veterans as you receive leading-edge evidence-based therapies provided by expert and caring professionals who work to understand your specific challenges.