The U.S. opioid epidemic is affecting more women than men. And while medical science has evolved since the 1880s, when women became dependent on laudanum tinctures prescribed by their doctors, opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment remains mostly gender-neutral. However, some rehab facilities do offer women’s opiate addiction treatment programs.
Gender-specific rehab programs could make a huge difference in the fight against the opioid epidemic. If you’re searching for a women’s opiate addiction treatment program in New Harmony, Utah, reach out to Painted Desert Recovery today. Call 844.540.0357 or contact our team online.
What Are the Side Effects of Opiate Use?
First of all: What’s the difference between opiates and opioids? Opiates like morphine and heroin are chemical compounds extracted or refined from the fibers and sap of the poppy plant. Opioids—examples of which are hydrocodone (Vicodin) or oxycodone (Oxycontin or Percocet)—are human-made chemical compounds that are not directly derived from plant matter. However, most people today use this term to refer to both opioids and opiates.
Opioids are powerful drugs for controlling short-term pain. However, long-term use can be dangerous, as it causes severe health consequences. Opioid dependency can affect the following parts of the body:
- Brain — Decreased respiration can cause brain damage.
- Digestive system — Bloatedness, nausea, and vomiting are typical effects of opioid use, as well as constipation.
- Liver — Opioid use can cause liver damage, especially if used with acetaminophen.
- Lungs — Sedation can cause breathing to slow down.
Opiate use in women can come with gender-specific complications. Not only are women more likely to develop an OUD, but untreated OUD during pregnancy can have devastating health consequences for the baby. Fluctuating levels of opioids in the mother may expose the fetus to repeated withdrawal periods, which can harm placenta function. Other risks include fetal convulsions, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), preterm labor and birth, and stunted growth.
NAS occurs when a newborn becomes dependent on opioids or other drugs used by the mother during pregnancy. The baby experiences withdrawal symptoms that can include diarrhea, difficulty feeding, fever, irritability, seizures, and even tremors.
Why Is Opiate Use in Women More Common?
It may be because women are more likely to receive opioid prescription medications for pain, and women are also more likely to quickly develop a chemical dependency on these medications. It may also be because women are more prone to carrying unresolved trauma and experiencing mental and emotional distress and are therefore more likely to self-medicate using opioids.
However, there’s often a period when it’s easy to address the problem of opioid addiction in women who are struggling with it. Pregnancy is a timely opportunity, as overcoming addiction can improve not only the mother’s future but also the baby’s.
When Should You Consider a Women’s Opiate Addiction Treatment Program?
Now that you know the effects of opiate use on the body and how women are both more likely to develop OUD and experience more significant unwanted health outcomes because of it, you may be considering a women’s opiate addiction treatment program. If you or someone you care about is displaying signs of OUD, this is the ideal next step. Professional help is essential in overcoming opioid addiction.
Women do not always need gender-specific addiction treatment programs, but sometimes it’s the only way a female client can feel safe, secure, and supported by rehab professionals. Gender-specific rehab facilities are also free from the distractions of a co-ed environment. Many women’s addiction treatment programs are also trauma-informed, which can aid in the healing of some clients.
Ready To Learn More About Painted Desert Recovery’s Women’s Opiate Addiction Treatment Program?
If you’re looking for a women’s opiate addiction treatment program in New Harmony, Utah, contact Painted Desert Recovery today. Reach out to our team online or call 844.540.0357.