The Women’s Comprehensive Guide to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Addiction Treatment

by | Feb 6, 2023

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

At Impact Outpatient Program, we provide a variety of services that cover various strands of addiction treatment, including alcohol treatment and drug rehab facilities. Mental health and substance abuse can be known as co-occurring disorder and requires a dual diagnosis. 

As one in five women have a mental health problem like anxiety and depression, there can be a number of unique risk factors, and although the numbers of women experiencing a co-occurring disorder are much lower than men, it is vital to address people on an individual level.

How is Mental Health and Substance Abuse Linked?

Many people use drugs and alcohol in conjunction with a mental health disorder. Alcohol treatment and drug rehab centers understand the link between the two, primarily because drugs or alcohol can help individuals to mask symptoms of mental illness. However, it’s important to note that drugs and alcohol can also exacerbate mental health symptoms. 

Many drugs can make it more likely for you to experience mental health problems, which can make it harder to treat, which results in a dual diagnosis. When it comes to mental health and substance abuse, many addiction treatment centers focus on the individual.

How Are Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues Different in Women?

In relation to mental health, women are known to struggle with anxiety and depression more so than men. With a 2010 study showcasing that 26.2% of women have a co-occurring anxiety disorder and struggle with an addiction simultaneously, and an estimated 29.7% of women with an addiction have a co-occurring mood disorder, it is critical to treat women on an individual level. 

There are differences in mental health between both genders, one such example being the difference in how young adults articulate their symptoms. For example, male adolescent boys are more likely to have anger issues or commit suicide and tend to be more externally-directed symptoms. 

Women are more likely to manifest inward-directed symptoms, and not “act out” in the same way as men would, which can lead to silent diseases, such as eating disorders, self-harm, and depression. There can be a number of reasons for this including:

  • Different hormonal changes, most notably during the menstrual cycle. The combination of hormonal factors and psychosocial behavior can contribute to an increased risk of depression, especially in prenatal and postnatal women. There can also be a level of psychological anguish, specifically as a result of reproductive issues like infertility and hysterectomy. 
  • Roles of women, for example being parents or carers, can lead to a high degree of stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. 
  • Experiencing various abuse, such as sexual and physical abuse, which have a long-term impact on mental health and the associated trauma or symptoms relating to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Research has shown that women who engage in addiction treatment have a higher rate of sexual and physical abuse, ranging from between 55% to 99% of women in a treatment program

How is Mental Health and Substance Abuse Addiction Treated?

There are a number of treatments addiction treatment centers provide. We offer a comprehensive selection of services to treat drug or alcohol addictions with co-occurring mental health problems. These include the following:

Intensive Outpatient Methods

We provide an Intensive outpatient treatment program, which is recommended for people who have completed their inpatient addiction treatment. It is also a viable solution for people whose addictions are considered mild and moderate by a licensed professional. Intensive outpatient programs cover a number of different therapeutic approaches to help someone meet their recovery goals, and these include some of the following: 

  • Motivational interviewing is a communication style that focuses on collaboration, with the purpose to motivate an individual’s commitment to a goal and is done by exploring the individual’s reasons for wanting to change. 
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), is a talking therapy that helps people change their thinking patterns and behaviors in relation to mental health concerns, or have a healthier reaction to triggers that may impact their mental health, especially in relation to alcohol or drugs. 
  • Psychodynamic treatments can help people to gain greater insight into their innermost thoughts and emotions, therefore, working to resolve their mental health problems. 

As part of our drug rehab and alcohol treatment methods, these intensive outpatient programs aim to provide more flexibility in relation to our inpatient programs and will require an individual to have regular testing, and is a very successful complementary program for those who have gone through the inpatient process.


The topic of Telemedicine has been under the spotlight more in recent years because of COVID-19. Telemedicine is a treatment that can be conducted online or via phone. Telemedicine can accomplish a number of outcomes, which include the following: 

  • Therapy appointments. 
  • Assessments to determine the appropriate level of care. 
  • Appointments with case managers to access external support, for example, in the community. 

Drug and alcohol treatment services can utilize telehealth in some of the following ways:

  • Recovery support. 
  • Computerized assessments. 
  • Support group meetings via the internet or telephone instead of face-to-face. 
  • Therapy via counseling and person-centered approaches. 

Telemedicine is in its infancy, but has already provided some of the following practical benefits for patients: 

  • Reduced costs, for example, in relation to commuting. 
  • Convenience, making it easier for people to attend sessions wherever they are. 
  • Flexibility, which allows people to schedule appointments around their lives. 
  • Greater availability, which can help people who live rurally.

Multiple Pathways Treatment

When it comes to the topic of addiction treatment, we realize that there is no one-size-fits-all method. Mental health and substance abuse are two sides to the same coin for many, and addiction can impact so many parts of a person’s life. 

This is why we provide treatment that focuses on every aspect of the individual. Our multiple pathways treatment approach includes some of the following methods: 

  • Medication. Any medication administered during the process of addiction treatment to drugs or alcohol will depend on the individual. If someone is identified to have a co-occurring disorder, medication may be administered. 
  • Psychiatry. Psychotherapy practices can cover a number of treatments, such as medication, detoxification, and behavioral therapies, such as talking therapy. 
  • 12-step recovery. The 12-step program that first appeared in Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939 is a commonly used practice that covers a wide range of mental health and substance abuse disorders, most notably Gamblers Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. 
  • Support groups. In addition to 12-step programs, there can be a variety of support groups to encourage sobriety within a supportive environment, allowing people to reflect on their experiences with the group, and providing insight or solutions for the individual in question. 
  • Behavioral therapies. Techniques such as contingency management, motivational interviewing, and CBT can help people to reduce the likelihood of a relapse, for example, by minimizing or avoiding stressful situations. These approaches can also help an individual to understand the reasons for their addiction. 

At the Impact Outpatient Program, we provide a variety of multiple pathway treatments focusing on the holistic aspects of helping the individual with a combination of practices that prioritizes their individual needs relating to their co-occurring disorder.

Let Us Help You

The topic of mental health and addiction in women can result in a different experience from men entirely. The differences play a vital role in how addiction develops within women. 

While there are major differences between men and women, for example, men abuse more drugs more prominently, there are a number of challenges relating to female addiction, for example, depressants, stimulants, and alcohol are more commonly abused by women, which demands a holistic approach to the treatment. 

Problems are also exacerbated when women are pregnant or are experiencing emotional trauma. As research has shown women use marijuana more while pregnant, this can pose a significant risk to the baby and the mother, which brings an extra set of concerns, especially if the baby needs to undergo any withdrawal from the substance the mother is using. 

Naturally, anybody being admitted for treatment can find themselves struggling in this environment. At Impact Outpatient Program, we provide a one-of-a-kind outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center that offers a path to lasting, sustainable recovery. 

There is a different set of stigmas in women, which can result in internalized pressures. We are proud to provide a gender-specific treatment program for women which offers a holistic approach to the topic of mental health and substance abuse.

As women have a higher rate of entering addiction treatment than men, this can result in a better outcome, resulting in a longer-lasting recovery. As women are more likely to engage in talking therapies and practices like CBT or support groups, this can mean a better outcome for the individual in the long run. 

If you or a loved one is concerned about a mental health or substance abuse disorder, we are here to provide a safe, supportive, and solutions-based environment. You can get in contact with us today, and we will get to work on helping you.

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