Women and Addiction, Women and Recovery
It is well known that addiction to alcohol and other drugs affects women differently than men. Women’s bodies are more prone to the toxic impacts of alcohol which can result in related liver disease, heart complications, and alcohol-related brain damage. All of these can occur with lesser consumption and a shorter drinking history as compared with those of men.
It is also known that women in active addiction experience more shame and reduced self-esteem in comparison with men and often have higher rates of depression and anxiety. They are more prone to psychological damage resulting from trauma and abuse, which can make it more difficult to stop drinking or using and seek help.
Research has shown that nearly 50% of young alcoholic women attempt suicide.
There are other reasons why women are less likely to seek help for their addiction. Seen typically in the role of nurturer and caregiver, there is an increased fear of being labeled a “bad parent” and there is often greater denial and much less family support.
Women who overcome these barriers and seek help have different needs and face different challenges during their treatment experience. They often present with more addiction-related co-occurring disorders and have a greater need to focus on trauma. Women are relational and tend to prioritize relationships as a means to growth and development which is critical to their successful recovery.
Gender specific programming and separate residential housing, like that offered at Ashley, helps women find a path to healing in a safe, caring and dignified environment. Topical lectures, nutrition, and fitness programs and meetings with a female spiritual counselor help women heal body, mind, and spirit.
The new Mae Abraham Women’s Center at Ashley is under development as well – a dedicated space for women that will help provide an atmosphere of awakening, encouraging them to connect with others and get the most from their treatment experience. For more information on the Women’s Center, click here (link).
The good news? Women CAN and DO find joy in their recovery!
“My life in recovery is so much more than I ever dreamed it could be,” said Jen, an Ashley alum who graduated last November. “The women I’ve met, the experiences I’m having – amazing!”
For more information and resources, check out some additional links:
More than 230 guests turned out for Ashley’s Greater New York Leadership Council’s Dinner at the Yale Club in New York City on April 20th!
Honoring former Ashley Board Member, Malcolm A. “Mac” Borg, and featuring keynote speaker, Executive Chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, James L. Dolan, the event was widely praised by all attendees for the beautiful venue, great food and an inspirational and entertaining program.
Mr. Dolan, owner of the NBA’s Knicks and NHL’s Rangers, is a person in long-term recovery. He spoke with passion and humor about the challenges he faced and overcame and the wonderful life in recovery he now enjoys.
Mark your calendars for next year’s event – April 19th, 2018!
Only a limited number of seats remain for the annual Mae Abraham Legacy Luncheon, May 17, 2017 at the beautiful Baltimore Four Seasons Hotel!
This event, now in its 10th year, is special for several reasons: First, it is a wonderful celebration of women living lives in joyful recovery! We’ll get an early start celebrating Ashley co-Founder, Mae Abraham’s 90th birthday coming in July! And even more exciting, the Luncheon will mark the launch of a campaign to raise funds for the new Women’s Center at Ashley!
Women face different challenges during their treatment experience, and the Women’s Center will help meet many of those needs. Housed within the female-only, residential Noble Hall, the Center will be an oasis of safety where women can convene, relax and explore an array of activities which support their recovery.
The Center will provide an atmosphere of awakening helping to foster relationships, as relationships are critical to the emotional development of women and play a significant role in their recovery.
The availability of a dedicated space for women will encourage them to continue treatment and help them feel cared for and connected with others. It will allow them to express compassion, creativity, warmth, support, authenticity, humility and sensitivity. The Women’s Center will truly be the HEART of women’s treatment at Ashley!
This year, we are thrilled to honor Rebecca J. Flood, CEO of New Directions for Women in Costa Mesa, CA; a world-renowned private drug and alcohol treatment center exclusively for women. Becky has been providing care and specialized treatment for nearly four decades, helping countless women find their own path to healing. LUNCHEON INFORMATION, TICKETS, & SPONSORSHIPS
The new Mae Abraham Women’s Center at Ashley is a project long in the making. The original concept was born from a collaborative discussion between the Ashley clinical staff and the Ashley Women in Recovery Leadership Council more than 3 years ago.
Council Chair, Carol O’Hara recalls those conversations:
“We wanted to help create a sacred space, a healing place, where women could convene, feel safe and find joy and inspiration as they begin their recovery journey,” Carol said recently. “A center for women can help open a door for women to understand that they are not alone.”
Expected to open in the spring of 2018, the Women’s Center project would not have been possible without the efforts of the Leadership Council.
“Their passion and commitment have helped drive this project from conception to design,” said Martha Meehan-Cohen, Director of Development and Alumni Services at Ashley. “And their help and support creating the campaign to raise the necessary funds has been crucial. We could not be more grateful!”
When asked about her philanthropic support of Ashley, Carol responded: “Ashley gave me my life back. Giving to Ashley is a way to say ‘thank you’ and to help provide other women in need an opportunity to change and to grow.”