Cascade Center for Women Overview
Cascade Center for Women is a gender-responsive residential treatment program that was designed specifically for the need of women suffering with substance use disorder (SUD), co-occurring mental health issues, and eating disorders. Treatment is guided by a specialized clinical team experienced in addressing the unique treatment needs of women. Using a variety of treatment modalities that include, but are not, limited to Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Psychodrama Therapy Groups, EMDR (including protocols for addiction), Somatic Experiencing interventions, and others, the Cascade team is able to address the underlying issues of each woman client in a highly individualized manner.
Why Gender-Responsive Women’s-Only Treatment Works
Our gender-responsive addiction treatment program in Cascade, CO has many advantages for women. Women typically respond to substances differently than men. For example, they may have increased cravings and may be more likely to relapse after treatment. Important physical and psychological differences between the sexes need to be reflected in addiction treatment.
There are biological differences that play a role in developing a substance use disorder. According to the Harvard Medical School, women “…tend to progress more quickly from using an addictive substance to dependence (a phenomenon known as telescoping). Women also develop medical or social consequences of addiction faster than men, often finding it harder to quit using addictive substances, and are more susceptible to relapse.”
Another important factor in treating addiction is the impact of traumatic life events. While trauma is frequently an important factor in men’s addiction, women are far more likely to have been exposed to childhood and adult trauma, especially sexual assault, and to have experienced interpersonal conflicts.
When interviewing crack-addicted mothers for her book Unbroken Brain, addiction expert Maia Szalavitz learned that “their childhoods were a litany of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, death, violence, disease, poverty, bullying, and just loss after loss after loss. The stories are not the exception, they are the rule.”
Since sexual assaults are predominantly perpetrated by men against women, many female clients find it difficult to process their trauma and work on their recovery in the presence of men. Women are also more likely to feel unworthy of help — often because of sexual abuse — and consequently don’t believe they deserve treatment.
Our staff of clinicians is deeply experienced in women’s addiction and mental health issues and is committed to the concept of gender-specific treatment. We believe that when sexual distractions are removed from treatment, women are then able to better focus on the hard work of recovery and are given a better chance for long-term sobriety.