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Health Resources for Women in Recovery

The disease of addiction is a serious health concern for women in this country, affecting more than 12 million women, and women in recovery face greater health risks than men as a consequence of years of neglect and abuse.1 Alcohol and other drug abuse can lead to an increased incidence of risky sexual behavior which can lead to STDs and other health concerns, as well as oral health deficiencies along with many other related health issues.  For women exciting treatment, recovering a healthy lifestyle is a very important step on their road to recovery.  The resources provided here are meant to help lead them to a life of wellness and improved health. 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Alcohol and drug abuse problems among women can lead to high risk sexual behavior. These women are likelier to have unprotected sexual intercourse at earlier ages and with many partners.  As a consequence women suffer more frequent and more serious complications from STDs than men.6 – a service of the Office on Women's Health (OWH) in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it works to improve the health and well-being of women and girls in the United States.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Common questions asked and answered about STD’s, including treatment guidelines and factsheets,

STD National Hot Line: 1-800-227-8922 (8:00 AM to 11:00 PM EST)

HIV/AIDS Testing and Support Resources

Women with problems of substance abuse are doubly prone to contracting HIV/AIDS due to high risk sexual behavior and sharing infected needles for intravenous drug use. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.7 The good news is that many women with HIV are living longer and stronger lives. With proper care and treatment, many women can continue to take care of themselves and others.

National HIV Testing Resources - a service of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides answers to questions such as who should get tested, what is involved in testing and how long does it take to get results.

Know HIV-AIDS - this helpful site provides information on finding a testing location near you, as well as other resources, including who should get tested and when.

Hepatitis C Resources and Support

Rates of HCV are high in women who use drugs, economically disadvantaged women, and women in prison. Sharing needles and engaging in high risk sexual behavior are the primary reasons for this.  Many women with hepatitis C face issues such as lack of access to quality health care, lack of health insurance, stigma, and discrimination.8 

American Liver Society - Provides facts and answers many questions about Hepatitis C and overall health of the liver.

HCV Advocate - Find a Hepatitis C support group in your area.

Hepatitis C Multicultural Outreach - The mission of Hepatitis C Multicultural Outreach is to serve the health needs of individuals, families and communities affected by the hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and STDS by assisting patients with screening, testing, education and to provide spiritual and ethical dimensions of actions and decisions in this field.

Smoking Cessation

Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death, directly responsible for 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in America each year.9  Studies have shown that nicotine addiction is more prevalent among women who have other alcohol and other substance abuse problems, despite the risk of lung cancer and emphysema. 

The American Cancer Society’s Guide to Quitting Smoking - To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you’re up against, what your options are, and where to go for help. You'll find this information here. - an online guide to quitting with many links to help you “stay quit”.

Oral Hygiene

The American Dental Association says that alcohol abuse and drug abuse is linked with a higher incidence of oral health maladies.10 According to a recent study from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, patients with alcohol and drug abuse problems show a greater incidence of tooth decay and other oral health problems.  For a woman on the road to recovery, oral health problems can present a barrier to fully embracing their regained life.  Fortunately, there are resources available to help restore a woman’s oral health. 

American Dental Association: Dental Reimbursement Plan - Direct Reimbursement is a self-funded dental benefits plan that reimburses patients according to dollars spent on dental care, not type of treatment received.

American Dental Association - Information on oral health with links to tips on choosing a dentist and oral health videos

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