Seven Factors that Impact the Retention Rate of Addiction Treatment for Women

Many drug and alcohol recovery programs monitor the habits of people who come in and out of their programs.  One of the things that they look into are the factors that impact the quantity of treatment a person receives or their retention rate.  This retention rate says a lot about the demographic that the information is gathered from.  According to recent research, there are a number of factors that indicate how long patients in recovery will commit to a program that offers addiction treatment for women.  While there is no indication that these factors come with hard and fast rules about how long a woman will stay in treatment, they can be good indicators.

Socioeconomic Status

Women who come from environments where drug use is the norm and violence goes unchecked are less likely to complete recovery programs.  If a program is completed, these women are less likely to continue to stay clean after their treatment as well.  The retention of women who come from high poverty level and low education level backgrounds have a much lower retention rate and a much higher relapse rate.  Aftercare seems to be essential to keeping these women clean and sober.


Women who graduated from high school are more likely to complete a recovery program than women who did not finish high school.  The education factor can be highly subjective.  Not graduating from high school can be an indication of socioeconomic status which is mentioned above as a factor unto itself.


If a woman has the support of her partner, the rest of her family, and her friends, she is more likely to stay in a recovery program for a longer amount of time.  Some studies have indicated that including the patient’s partner in treatment can help the patient feel more involved in her treatment and want to make more of an effort to stay longer.  Family therapy can also have the same effect.

Gender of Treatment Center Staff

Women show a much greater preference for having a staff comprised of mostly women.  There has been little study in the field of substance abuse into whether the gender of the staff effects the retention of the patients.  Studies have indicated that recovery patients largely prefer female counselors and that women with children or pregnant women in recovery prefer to have female staff members around.  Not enough study has been done in this area to put a number on the retention rates, but it does seem to be a factor that could require some study.


Retention rates for women in recovery who are pregnant tend to be rather low.  Pregnancy can significantly impact treatment depending upon where a woman is in her pregnancy when she enters treatment.  Often, the birth of the baby will interrupt the flow of treatment and a woman will not come back to it as she has a newborn to deal with or she was unprepared for life away from the treatment program and has quickly slipped back into addiction.  Studies indicate that women who seek treatment in their first trimester have low retention rates, but if a women in late pregnancy can complete a program before she gives birth, she is likely to stay clean and sober for longer.

Referral or Involvement of the Law

Patients who have been referred by, or are involved with child protective services or the criminal justice system in any way are more likely to stay in addiction treatment for women for a longer period of time.  While there is much evidence that mandating a woman to seek recovery treatment is not particularly effective, overall, these women are more likely to stay in treatment for longer than their counterparts who entered voluntarily.

Therapy Type

Women in recovery have been shown to benefit more from supportive therapy methods rather than confrontational therapy methods.  Studies have indicated that women are more receptive to positive treatment methods that encourage empathy, warmth, and the ability to stay connected with their support network both outside of the program and inside of the program.  For women, generally, the relationship with the therapist or counselor should be one of compassion and mutual respect in order to keep the patient in the program.  If she feels threatened or the confrontational therapy method is too much, she is very likely to leave the program.

What to Expect in a Dual Diagnosis Halfway House

Once you have completed your formal rehab experience, you have a choice to make.  You can try to do it on your own and move on to living a life completely reintegrated into regular society, or you can go on to a halfway house.  If you have been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, it is a good idea to explore your halfway house options so that you make sure your mental health is in check as well as your addiction recovery before you go back to being completely on your own. Dual diagnosis halfway house living is designed to help you work toward being self-sufficient.  While every situation is going to be different, there are some universal things that you can expect from a sober living situation.

Abstinence from Substances of Abuse

Clearly, a halfway house is designed to be a sober living community.  It is possible that you have been prescribed some kind of medication for your mental illnesses by your doctors, but these are the only kinds of substances that you should be taking while you are in a halfway house.  It is likely that your medication will be controlled at least for a while.  Any of the kinds of illicit substances are forbidden and, if found, can cause you to be ejected from the halfway house.  You are expected to remain free from addiction as long as you remain in the halfway house.

Participation in Aftercare

In most halfway houses, particularly those for people who have been dually diagnosed, residents will be expected to participate in aftercare.  There are lots of kinds of aftercare.  Some halfway houses will require that you go to twelve step meetings between once a week and twice a day.  Others will require you to make and keep appointments with your therapist regularly to keep up on your mental health and to keep sight of your sobriety goals.  You may have regular house group therapy sessions that you are required to participate in as well.  The goal of a dual diagnosis halfway house is to help you adequately deal with both your former addiction and your mental illness.

Staying Busy With Work and Other Responsibilities

In some halfway houses, it may not be a requirement that you work, but it is a good idea either way.  While you are in a halfway house, you should and may be required to work, volunteer, or further your education in some way.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to start working your way back into the world.  Take some time while you are near the end of your formal rehab or when you first go to the halfway house to think about what you want to do with the rest of your life.  When you have figured out what you want to do or have an idea about what you might like to do, talk to your therapist about it and make a plan for making it happen.  Your program might be able to offer you some assistance with getting a job or finding a volunteer opportunity that will further your goals and help get you where you want to be.  Asking your program for help could be a boost especially if your mental illness limits your abilities in some ways.


A halfway house is not a free ride.  You will be required to share in the household duties such as cooking and cleaning.  You will always be responsible for keeping your personal space and your personal belongings clean and tidy.  You will be expected to clean up after yourself as well.  Some halfway houses will have a rotating list of household chores to be done each week.  There will always be something for you to do to be responsible for the smooth function of the home.

Be Accountable

At least in the beginning, you will likely need to sign in and out of the house and give facility staff an account of your whereabouts.  You will be expected to go where you say you are going and return when you are expected to return.  If you cannot be accounted for, your facility will likely put out the alert and someone will come looking for you.  They want to be sure that you are safe and that you are not having a problem related to your addiction or your mental illness.  If you are found to be fine and simply late, there will likely be some consequences related to your continued stay in the halfway house.

All of Your Questions about Dual Diagnosis Answered

Dual diagnosis is a term that is tossed around in the mental illness and substance addiction community quite a lot. You may have come across it in passing and wondered what it is all about.  Today, we will clear up some of the mystery for you and answer some of the questions you have regarding dual diagnosis.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

As far as addiction and mental illness are concerned, dual diagnosis is a relatively new innovation.  Until the 90s, people who showed symptoms of both drug addiction and mental illness were treated for these two things separately.  This kind of thinking usually came down to the person in question not receiving proper treatment for his or her mental illness until the addiction was under control.  As we know now, many addictions the result of someone who is experiencing a mental illness trying to self-medicate.  Often, patients would get the help they needed for the addiction but not for the mental illness which would lead them back to addiction.  It was this pattern that lead doctors and researchers to dual diagnosis treatment where patients who show symptoms of an addiction and an underlying mental disorder are treated for both at the same time.

How Does Dual Diagnosis Treatment Work

Treatment for dual diagnosis takes the most useful and most successful parts of substance abuse treatment and mental illness treatment and combines them to treat a patient with both problems.  The conditions should be treated in tandem by one counselor or set of counselors who are trained in dealing with co-occurring disorders.  The difficulty with this is that very few counselors are trained in co-occurring disorders.  According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, only about 12 percent of the people in the US who suffer from dual diagnosis actually receive treatment for both disorders.  About 4 million American people are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders.

How Can I Tell if Someone I Know Should Get Help for a Dual Diagnosis

Chances are that you might suspect the person in question of having either an addiction or a mental illness.  There is no really good way for the layperson to tell if someone needs help for co-occurring disorders.  Some of the symptoms of someone being an addict are things like suddenly abandoning friends and family for a new group, uncharacteristically reckless behavior, defensiveness when asked questions about where he or she is going or what he or she is doing, lying, and stealing.

Mental illness symptoms are much more difficult to group because they are very different depending upon the type of mental illness experienced.  Some mental illnesses come with hallucinations or delusions.  Some mental illnesses like depression are characterized by overwhelming sadness and despair.  They may have complex rituals and exacting standards when it comes to cleanliness.  Many people with mental illnesses have dramatic swings in moods and energy levels.  Dual diagnosis can only really be sorted out when the person experiencing the co-occurring disorders starts to get professional help

What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Recovery Success?

The best thing that you can do after receiving your dual diagnosis is make sure you are in a treatment program that will treat both your mental health and your addiction.  Your dual diagnosis treatment team will know that sometimes antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antianxiety medications are the answer.  They will provide you with treatment strategies that build your confidence and your self-esteem as well as address the reasons for your addiction and the symptoms of your mental illness.  Some effective dual diagnosis therapies involve the families of the sufferers.  Often, friends and families of the sufferer take part in therapy sessions and education to help the patient and to help themselves heal from this difficult dual diagnosis.

Is There Anything Else to Know About Dual Diagnosis?

There are lots of things to know about dual diagnosis, but one of the most recent studies available claims that one of the best things that a patient with a co-occurring disorder can do to help his or her treatment along is to be active in the treatment.  Patients should participate and give feedback about their treatment rather than taking the passive approach.  This is your life and your disorders.  You will know what your body and mind are happy with and are not happy with.  Follow the advice of your treatment team, but still be active in your treatment. It can make all the difference.

The Two Most Common Anxiety Disorders

When you’re too anxious, it’s a problem. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses Americans suffer, and they can make it hard to get through day-to-day life. The constant stress can even cause physical problems over time. The two most common anxiety disorders are specific phobias and social anxiety disorder. Other common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

To some extent, anxiety is normal. Everyone gets a little anxious in reaction to stress and difficult life events. Anxiety can even be helpful – it can help you recognize a dangerous situation and give you the adrenaline boost necessary to react accordingly. When you’re facing a stressful situation or a big decision, a little anxiety can give you the extra mental boost you need to make the best choices.

Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders

More than 18 percent of American adults have an anxiety disorder, and more than 22 percent of those cases – a total of 4.1 percent of the entire adult population – have symptoms that are classified as “severe.” Women are more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder some time during their life; the average age of onset for anxiety disorders is 11 years old.

Most Common Anxiety Disorders

Specific phobias, like claustrophobia or arachnophobia, are the most common anxiety disorders. They affect 19 million Americans, or 8.7 percent of the population. Most people develop phobias during childhood; the average age of onset is seven. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from a phobia.

Common phobias include fear of spiders, snakes, heights, closed spaces, storms, needles, public speaking, flying, germs and illness or death. Phobia treatment includes exposure therapy, relaxation techniques and changing negative thoughts or beliefs related to your fear.

Social anxiety disorder, which is also sometimes called social phobia, is another of the most common anxiety disorders. It affects 15 million Americans, or 6.8 percent of the population. The average age of onset of social anxiety disorder is 13, and it affects both women and men at equal rates. Thirty-six percent of people who suffer from social anxiety disorder struggle with their symptoms for more than 10 years before seeking help.

People with social anxiety disorder fear that others are watching or judging them. The disorder can make it hard to attend social events, go to work, attend school or otherwise live a normal life. People with this anxiety disorder have trouble making and keeping friends, forming romantic attachments, getting jobs, finishing school or even performing the tasks of daily living. Treatment for social phobia involves challenging negative thoughts in therapy, learning breathing exercises and confronting your fears.

Less Common Anxiety Disorders

Other anxiety disorders occur less frequently, but are no less debilitating for the people who suffer from them. Post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, affects 7.7 million Americans, or 3.5 percent of the population. It can involve flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive memories of traumatic events – anyone who has experienced a natural disaster, terrorist attack, the sudden death of a loved one, sexual or violent assault, war, an accident, or any other life-threatening event is at risk of developing PTSD. Sixty-seven percent of people who have experienced mass violence develop PTSD; 45.9 percent of women and 65 percent of men who are raped develop PTSD.

Women develop PTSD twice as often as men, and children can develop it too. It can cause relationship problems, since it leaves sufferers unable to trust or share intimacy, communicate, or solve problems. The way that loved ones react to a trauma survivor’s PTSD symptoms can affect his or her condition, making the symptoms worse or helping to alleviate them.

Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is another of the more common anxiety disorders. It affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population, with women more than twice as likely as men to develop symptoms. GAD is characterized by excessive worry about ordinary things, for no reason. They may worry about their health, money, work, family or other things, when there is no obvious cause for concern. Symptoms can be so severe that they affect a person’s ability to function normally.

Panic disorder affects 6 million Americans, or 2.7 percent of the population. It is characterized by panic attacks and is often accompanied by major depression or agoraphobia. The least common anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, affects 2.2 million Americans, or one percent of the population. It is characterized by intrusive, disturbing, unwanted thoughts, and compulsive behaviors, including counting, checking, and cleaning behaviors. These behaviors can take up so much of the sufferer’s time that he or she might have little to no time left for normal routines and functioning.

You don’t have to continue struggling with anxiety. Call our Delray Beach psychiatrist today at 888-415-0708 and learn how we can help you overcome anxiety.

DEA Skeptical That Flesh-Eating Drug Krokodil Is in U.S., News Article Says

In spite of reports that emerged last month that the flesh-eating drug krokodil is being used in the U.S., federal law enforcement officials remain skeptical, says a recent news article3 by Fox News.

Krokodil is an incredibly toxic drug made with codeine, butane, gasoline and industrial chemicals. It is injected as a substitute for heroin. It causes severe tissue damage, leaving skin green and scaly in appearance and causing festering sores, blood poisoning, gangrene, and destruction of the jawbones and teeth.

A drug treatment specialist in Joliet, Ill. has come forward to say that he has personally treated four krokodil users, the news article said.

DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden told Fox News that the DEA has seen no evidence of the drug’s appearance in the United States. The DEA is not investigating any reports of krokodil’s use in America, according to the Fox news article.

Three patients were treated for krokodil use in early October at the Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, according to the hospital’s director of addiction services, Dr. Abhin Singla. The news article quoted Dr. Singla as saying, “If you want to kill yourself, this is the way to do it.”

A fourth potential krokodil user has been identified at Dr. Singla’s hospital, the news article said. The original three patients were local women, younger than 25, who suffered severe gangrene of the legs from using the drug. None would tell officials where they obtained the drug.

The drug, three times stronger than heroin and just one-third the cost, loses its effect after just a few hours. Invented in 1932, the drug’s effects are similar to heroin, and it is used as a heroin substitute in parts of Germany and Russia where heroin is hard to find. In spite of attempts by Russian government to curb the spread of the drug, it can now be found throughout Europe, the Fox news article reported.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with opiate dependence, get help before it’s too late. Call us today at 1-888-415-0708 to find out how.

A Well-Rounded Approach with Anorexia Treatment Delray Beach Programs

Anorexia treatment Delray Beach clinics are staffed by trained specialists who understand the psychological and emotional issues at play behind an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa. We can provide the medical and psychological support you need to overcome this debilitating disorder and return to a normal way of life. The medical complications and side effects of anorexia can be severe. They include:

  • Mitral valve prolapse, arrhythmia, heart failure and other serious heart problems;

  • Anemia;

  • Lowered testosterone in men;

  • Cessation of menstruation or amenorrhea in women;

  • Bloating, nausea, constipation and other gastrointestinal difficulties;

  • Low blood potassium, sodium, or chloride, as well as other electrolyte imbalances;

  • Bone loss;

  • Kidney failure;

  • Death.

That’s right – anorexia can kill you. Too many promising men and women starve themselves to death whilst in the grip of this eating disorder; at anorexia treatment Delray Beach clinics, we save lives.

If you’re suffering from severe anorexia side effects or complications, you may need to be hospitalized before you can begin an outpatient anorexia treatment Delray Beach program. Hospitalization will put you in the care of doctors and nurses who can bring you back to a healthy, stable weight so that you’re not in medical danger during your anorexia treatment Delray Beach program. Unlearning your unhealthy attitudes about eating and food, developing healthy nutritional habits, and growing your self-esteem under the care of anorexia treatment Delray Beach specialists can take months, so expect your anorexia treatment Delray Beach program to last a long time.

Once you’re out of the hospital, your anorexia treatment Delray Beach program will focus on a combination of individual, group and perhaps family therapy to focus on correcting the psychological and emotional issues at the core of your unhealthy relationship to food. You’ll learn new coping techniques and begin to deal with your emotions in positive, helpful ways. A nutritionist will work with you to help you understand what healthy eating looks like. If a psychiatrist determines that you need medication, it will be provided for you as part of your program.

Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Anxiety is a physiological response to a stressful or potentially dangerous situation. In its normal state, anxiety is an important human coping mechanism. When anxiety becomes excessive, irrational, or inappropriate, interfering with the normal functioning of a person’s life, it is considered an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder treatment is utilized to counter anxiety and its effects, ultimately curing it. There are many symptoms associated with anxiety disorder. Symptoms may include muscle tension, twitchiness, an inability to relax, autonomic hyperactivity , an upset stomach, and headaches.

The person may also experience apprehensive expectations or an anticipation that something terrible is going to occur, but they don’t know what it is. Our care provided for anxiety disorder treatment treats symptoms such as these to make the healing process easier, and medication may be prescribed. Anxiety disorders are believed to have a genetic basis, as the disorders run in families. Brain chemistry, including abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, also plays an important role in anxiety disorders. A crucial part of anxiety disorder treatment includes support from your family and friends, as is the same with recovering from a drug addiction. However persons with anxiety disorders may have problems relating to family or loved ones, thus lacking an effective social support structure that is important to help with their recovery.

The strength of the social network of a person with an anxiety disorder, especially family and loved ones, is an important factor of and eventual determinate in success. Other types of anxiety disorder treatment utilize either individual therapy, or group therapy, sometimes incorporating both. You can see how anxiety is unhealthy, and why you should call or email us if you do suffer from it. The Delray Model is your source for freedom.