Do Women Relapse for Different Reasons? | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Do Women Relapse for Different Reasons?

Addiction expert David Sack outlines the main challenges that female addicts face, but says they're still less likely to relapse than males.

Image: 

Dr. David Sack, expert on addiction...and
women? Photo via

By Sarah Beller

05/17/12

| Share

An article over at PsychCentral by David Sack, MD—an eminent addiction psychiatrist and CEO of some well-known addiction treatment programs like LA's Promisesstates that women face a different set of challenges from men when it comes to staying in recovery. But is recovery really much different for women than it is for men? Here are Dr. Sack's "Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse":

1) Getting into Romantic Relationships Too Soon

Sack claims women are more likely than men to relapse as a result of romantic ups-and-downs: "until their new coping mechanisms are securely in place, it is not unusual for relapse to follow every time a relationship goes wrong."

2) Unrecognized Love, Relationship or Sex Addiction

Women are allegedly more apt to “transfer” their addiction to the realm of relationships, substituting in a sex or love addiction when they give up drugs. For women especially, says Sack, "the challenge of being alone, feeling worthless or unloved when not in a relationship, or needing the attention of prospective partners to boost self-esteem can all point to a deeper issue of sex and relationship addiction."

3) Undiagnosed Psychiatric Disorders

Undiagnosed psychiatric disorders may pose more of a threat to women, because negative feelings and depressed mood commonly cause them to relapse, whereas men are apparently more likely to “relapse as a result of positive emotional states.”

4) Stigma and Lack of Support

Women are likely to have greater care-giving responsibilities than men, and may therefore feel more pressure to return home to their families after rehab. Jumping back into old roles and routines may make it hard to stay sober.

5) Inadequate Coping Skills

Women, claims Dr. Sack, demonstrate “poorer coping skills” than men. In the absence of drugs and alcohol, he feels women may have special difficulty finding new, healthy ways to manage stress. 

Despite these potential threats to their recovery, Sack says that women's strengths include being more likely to engage in group counseling and "more willing to admit a problem" and subsequently, women are less likely to relapse overall than men, he claims.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv