The use of substances by women in our society is a growing concern, as well as the few numbers of women accessing treatment for substance use disorders.
At BOSASNet we have observed that a lot of women enquire about our services, but it is mostly for the males in their lives and not for themselves.
This concerns us as we are aware that a lot of women report using substances during outreaches.
This article aims to address the challenges (barriers) that prevent women from accessing treatment.
Barriers facing women in accessing substance abuse treatment can be separated into three factors, those based on the woman’s attitudes; the society; and the treatment programs.
Women tend to see their substance use as a temporary means to relieve stress and other related challenges and usually believe it will go away without treatment.
This may lead to a delay in seeking treatment or result in no treatment being sought.
Women also report guilt and shame associated with their substance use as another barrier to accessing treatment.
As with men, lack of awareness of the significance or severity of their addiction and the lack of support from family may prevent women from disclosing their substance use.
This may in turn lead to the substance use disorder problem going undiagnosed and delay in opportunity for early treatment.
In short low self-motivation for treatment, denial of substance use disorder problems, and co-occurring disorders (substance use disorder and psychological problems) are also contributing factors.
Women have reported that the disapproval of substance use by friends, family, co-workers, and employers compound the societal stigma against women who use substances.
This seems to be worse with women who have children or are pregnant as they find it hard to get support from their families and society at large.
Lack of easy access of treatment programs adds to the barriers for women who have various chores to take of at their homes.
Child care is usually a big concern for mothers especially when considering their ability to care for their child overall and specifically as to who would mind the children while the mother is accessing treatment.
That is why it is important that the community and treatment programs work together to help address these issues.
BOSASNet program links women in need of substance use disorder treatment with other service providers such as Kagisano Women’s Shelter and Social Workers where there is a need to ensure comprehensive services as lack of such services can mean the difference between treatment failure and success.
If you are a woman struggling with substance abuse.
Kindly contact us on 3959119or 72659891, visit us on www.bosasnet.com, or check us out on Facebook for more information.