Top 5 Dangers to Women’s Recovery

worried woman looking out window into nature as she contemplates the dangers to women in recovery

Top 5 Dangers to Women’s Recovery


Being a woman in recovery is not easy. There are many challenges that can get anyone off track from their goals of sobriety and healthy living. Learning what to look for and how to approach each situation can mean relapse or success in sobriety.

Bad Romance

Getting into a romantic relationship can be great, but for women in recovery, it can spell trouble. It takes their focus away from their treatment and recovery. If the relationship goes bad, the emotional distress becomes overwhelming and puts the woman at risk of a relapse. That’s why it’s recommended that women don’t get into relationships early in their recovery, to avoid the emotional rollercoaster that might trigger them to use again.

Replacing One Addiction with Another

This goes hand in hand with jumping into an unhealthy relationship. Replacing alcohol and drugs with sex and love puts a woman at risk for relapse. According to sex addiction author Robert Weiss, LCSW,  women in recovery who don’t completely address their underlying emotional issues tend to replace one addiction with another. It’s common for women to have low self-worth and self-esteem at the beginning of their recovery and seek attention and affirmation from romantic relationships.

Undiagnosed Mental Illness

Having a dual diagnosis (mental health and substance use disorder at the same time) is common. However, many people don’t know they have a mental illness and don’t receive complete treatment. If a woman doesn’t treat the mental illness and the addiction at the same time, then she is at risk of relapsing as her mental illness aggravates her substance use.

The “Superwoman” Complex

Women have a lot on their plates. Maintaining a household, taking care of children and a husband and their career is a lot to juggle. When they complete treatment at an addiction rehab, they might feel pressure to fall back into their routines. The expectations of being a good wife, mother and career woman can make them take on too much. If they don’t receive support or do not accept help, they are at risk of falling back into a stressful life and relapse.

Poor Coping Skills

In addiction rehab, women learn healthy coping skills. They use those skills when they feel an emotion that will trigger their substance abuse. Instead of turning to alcohol and drugs, they replace it with a healthier action. However, researchers at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) found that women seem to lack confidence during difficult situations. This low confidence leads to poor coping skills.

Success in Recovery

Although there are pitfalls on the road to recovery, women have strengths that help them reduce their risk of relapse. According to RIA researchers, women have a slight edge over men when it comes to relapse. Women who receive addiction treatment are successful in recovery. Stepping Stone Center offers quality addiction treatment. Learn the skills you need to have a successful and long-lasting recovery and call admissions at 866-957-4960.