Gender responsive treatment for women is based on the distinctive characteristics of the female physiology, women’s roles, socialization and relative status within the larger culture. Gender-responsive treatment recognizes:
- Trauma impacts the lives of women addicted to substances. Women turn to substances to numb the pain of trauma resultant from sexual abuse, sexual assault, physical and/or emotional abuse. The substance abuse is a symptom of the psychological consequences of dealing with trauma;
- That many women are mothers and they need to learn to live a substance-free lifestyle within that context. Children under the age of 10 can live with their mothers while they are in residential treatment, enabling them to work on their relationships together. Across our programs, children received comprehensive services to address the negative effects of maternal substance abuse;
- The power of relationships as the central theme in the development and health of the female ego and the unique life experiences of women as a result of their status in society;
- The way people are socialized, values the important role women play in the maintenance of relationships, and shifts the goals to obtain an outcome that is comfortable, natural and ego enhancing to women;
- That women with substance use disorders tend to have many more risk factors than their male counterparts, thus the program integrates and coordinates the many services women need to address these issues;
- That the culture of gender defines each person more than any other characteristic. Meta House has learned through experience to integrate the gender influences and cultural issues of women into a blend of successful treatment services for women;
- That substance use treatment does not take place in a vacuum. Struggles with parenting, employment, substance abuse and mental health are intricately woven together and dependent upon each other for success.