What Are Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Programs? by Rehab Recovery Centers

Gender-specific addiction treatment programs refer to drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs that are designed to treat men and women separately. This is because men and women often use drugs differently and face different challenges related to substance abuse and addiction.

According to research, there are fundamental cultural and biological differences between men and women in relation to addiction and substance use. These differences exist in the form of dependency, choice of substance, and how the brain responds to drug or alcohol abuse. Additionally, studies have shown that men and women have varying reasons or causes of addiction, as well as motivators for relapse.

Gender-specific rehab programs keep these differences in mind to ensure they provide the best level of care to their patients. In other words, gender-specific programs are sensitive to men’s-only or women’s-only issues, as well as address the unique needs of either sex in a comfortable and supportive environment.

How Does Addiction Affect Genders Differently?

Men and women experience addiction and substance abuse in different manners. So much so, that gender is an important factor of consideration when identifying patterns of substance abuse, including prevalence rates and substances of choice. For example, men are more inclined to abuse marijuana and alcohol. On the other hand, women are more likely to report the abuse of prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

To begin with, men and women also vary regarding the reasoning they began abusing substances, Typically, men report beginning to abuse substances to achieve perceived benefits of a given substance. For example, men may use drugs for better concentration, increased social skills, and even to improve their sex drives or performance in bed.

Women, on the other hand, usually begin abusing drugs or alcohol after experiencing trauma or while navigating abusive relationships. In other words, women often abuse substances to cope with painful emotions and self-medicate instances of victimization and abuse. Additionally, the majority of women suffering from addiction have a family history of substance abuse and may begin using substances because their partner does.

Another important difference to note is that women usually begin abusing substances at lower doses than men. However, their drug abuse often escalates at a faster rate than men. While women typically enter treatment for addiction before men, they also are more likely to suffer from co-occurring disorders. Lastly, men and women may have extremely different feelings in regards to attending drug and alcohol treatment. All of these differences contribute to the different needs of men and women in treatment for addiction. As a result, gender-specific addiction treatment programs are vital in addressing the specific issues related to men or women and helping to maintain long-term sobriety after completing treatment.

Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Programs

Similar to the differences between men and women in the way they experience addiction, the two genders often have varying expectations and goals in relation to treatment and recovery.

Gender-specific rehab programs offer an array of benefits for their patients, including:

  • Specialized and specific treatment for the unique physiological, emotional, and relational issues of a certain gender
  • Increased comfort due to the encouragement of bonding and trust among same-sex clients
  • Less sexual tension and distractions between male and female patients (for heterosexual clients)
  • Gender-sensitive therapy, including group therapy, that promotes open communication about social, societal, and cultural pressures that may result in addiction or substance abuse

Men-Specific Addiction Treatment

Men have their own unique needs when it comes to addiction and substance abuse treatment. While this may come from male cultural roles and stereotypes, this is done to promote comfortability, support, and lessen the stereotypes placed upon men in society. Men often feel ashamed to enter into treatment out of fear of being judged for appearing “weak”.

Gender-specific rehab programs help to lessen these fears by allowing male clients to feel more accepted. Additionally, men often have a difficult time expressing their emotions. Therefore, certain therapies may be more beneficial for men than women, as they work to help men become comfortable with their emotions and learn how to express them in a healthy manner.

Male sexual abuse is another serious topic that must be addressed with extreme sensitivity and care. Oftentimes, men feel more inclined to open up about sexual abuse when they are in a single-gender setting. Men specific treatment programs offer an understanding environment for men to build friendships and develop support networks for lasting recovery.

Women-Specific Substance Abuse Treatment

Women, just like men, have their own separate issues when it comes to substance abuse and addiction treatment. In a single-gender setting, women are better able to communicate about women-specific issues such as motherhood, abortion, workplace dynamics, sexual assault, relationships, and family life. Additionally, women who have addictions stemming from unresolved trauma will particularly benefit from a women-specific addiction treatment program. To explain, women who have experienced physical, verbal, or sexual abuse from men may not feel safe discussing these events in a group therapy session that contains male patients or therapists.

In gender-specific addiction treatment, women are able to receive unconditional love, comfort, and support while recovering from their addiction, mental health issues, or trauma. Additionally, women are able to empower one another while building a strong support system in gender-specific treatment that provides them with the life skills needed to lead a successful life in sobriety.

Find Gender-Specific Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Today

Addiction affects each individual differently, especially when comparing men and women. By tailoring to the needs of the male or female sex, gender-specific programs provide men and women with the right tools and support needed to overcome addiction. If you or a loved one would benefit from gender-specific drug and alcohol rehab, contact Rehab Recovery Centers today. To find a gender-specific rehab in your state, visit our website.

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