Support groups, especially those using the 12 steps, are loved by many and rejected by others. For substance abusers, a support group is an important part of an overall treatment program. The support group provides emotional and social connections with other people with similar experiences. Support groups give recovering addicts a place to go to shore up their sobriety. One of the most serious controversies surrounding traditional groups is the question "Are 12-step groups safe for women?" Do Support Groups Work for Women? Scientific evidence is mounting that for all addicts, 12-step support groups are effective components of recovery. They also give recovering addicts a safe and in many instances anonymous, place to share feelings, fears, and experiences that help them to get over the shame and embarrassment of addiction. Even one of the more controversial aspects of 12-step groups, the spiritual recognition of a higher power, is known to be a component that helps people in recovery. For both women and men, support groups are an important and effective part of ongoing substance abuse treatment. Are 12-Step Groups Safe For Women? Sexual Violence Complicates Matters There have been some reported instances of violence against women that originated in substance abuse support groups, particularly in 12-step programs. These were high-profile incidents that have included predatory actions by male participants, sexual harassment, and in the worst cases, rape and murder. It cannot be denied that predators have taken advantage of support groups to attack women, but the incidents are few and far between. Everyone is welcome in a 12-step meeting and no one who comes through the door has to give his or her name or divulge past actions, including crimes. This policy means that anyone can get help, for free, from a support group. It also means that criminals and predators can get in without being screened. Some of these predators have made use of 12-step meetings to find their next victims. Should Women Avoid 12-Step Groups? Does this open-door policy mean that women should avoid 12-step meetings? Some people would say yes, but most say no. Many women who have had positive experiences in support groups recommend them to fellow addicts. At the same time, they caution women to be careful and smart about attending meetings. For instance, it is important to stick by other women in meetings. Attending a group in which you are the only woman is not the smartest move. In fact, many women prefer to attend female-only meetings, which are readily available in most cities and regions. There are even alternative support group programs designed for women, which take the 12 steps and modify them to suit the needs of women. There are also non-12 step alternatives.\u00a0For women, support groups do pose some risks. Mitigate those risks by being smart and consider attending meetings for women only. Are 12-Step Groups Safe For Women? Therapy Is An Alternative For a safe alternative to 12-step groups, consider addiction treatment therapy! Lucida Treatment helps treat addiction through detox and therapy. Detox helps your body purge the substance from your system, and overcome your physical dependency on said substance. After detox, therapy tackles the psychological roots of addiction. At Lucida Treatment, we offer a wide variety of therapies professionally designed to help you get and stay sober. Therapies offered at Lucida Treatment's addiction treatment center include: \tCognitive Behavioral Therapy Program \tDialectical Behavior Therapy Program \tEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy Program \tFamily Therapy Program \tGestalt Therapy Program \tGroup Therapy Program \tIndividual Therapy Program \tPsychodrama Therapy Program \tTrauma Therapy Program If you want to get sober, Lucida Treatment can help! Contact us online or call us today at to overcome addiction for good!