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Gender-Specific Treatment 101: What You Need To Know

Gender-specific treatment plays a vital role in addiction recovery. Though addiction isn’t selective in which gender it affects, there are some differences in how men and women experience it. In addition, co-ed therapy can often lead to distraction between men and women. This doesn’t happen in all cases, but every person should be able to focus on their journey during recovery.  Whatever the reason, impediments must be addressed to create a successful rehabilitative environment. Here is what you need to know about gender-specific recovery treatment and how it helps individual men and women trying to live a sober life. 

How Does Addiction Affect the Genders?

The way that drugs affect men and women isn’t carbon across the board—different drugs affect men and women in different ways.  For example, national data shows that men tend to abuse marijuana and alcohol more, while women have a higher rate of abusing prescription drugs. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though.  The reason for substance abuse also differs depending on gender. For men, the leading motivator in picking up a drug habit comes from the perceived benefits they hope to gain. This may include better concentration, increased sociability, and enhanced libido.  Men may also drink or abuse drugs more frequently if they’re going through personal issues that they don’t feel like they can share without seeming weaker to their friends, colleagues, and family. Women may resort to substance abuse if they feel trapped in a current relationship that is doing excessive harm to their mental and physical well-being. On the other hand, women may begin to abuse drugs or alcohol due to traumatic experiences, such as dealing with an abusive relationship. Women may turn to alcohol or drugs as a method of self-medication, hoping to escape their emotions brought on by abuse.  Another factor to consider is the frequency at which each gender uses substances. Women tend to abuse at lower doses than men, though their usage may escalate more quickly into addiction. While they may seek treatment sooner than men, they are more prone to develop and present co-occurring psychological distress. Men are less likely to seek treatment, especially on their own, due to the fear of how others may perceive them.  This makes it more common for men to use substances for a more extended period, which unfortunately mutates into a lifetime of abuse and dependency.

The Benefits of Gender-Specific Treatment 

Men and women may need to approach recovery differently, which is why gender-specific treatment is a pivotal option for putting a recovery plan into place. Gender-focused rehabilitation can bring several benefits such as:
  • Fewer distractions.
  • More comfortable and effective treatment. 
  • Peer support.
  • Avoid gender-specific arguments.
This form of therapy is also designed to help patients in the following areas of their personal lives:
  • Stress management.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Anger management.
  • Move past trauma.
  • Create a positive outlook for rehab.
  • Form positive relationships with peers. 
It’s astonishing how many of these symptoms develop during addiction and how many fade after long periods of sobriety— this is why addressing the issue of addiction is so crucial and why gender-specific treatment is an invaluable process during recovery. 

Gender-Specific Treatment Allows for Fewer Distractions

In some cases, co-ed treatment leads to distractions, impeding the rehabilitation process. These distractions result from emotional, mental, or physical tension between men and women. For example, two patients may become attracted to each other and be afraid to open up about their experiences, fearing that one person will judge the other. Gender-specific rehabilitation takes away that tension and distraction and allows patients to feel more comfortable during their recovery and retain efficacy. 

More comfortable and Effective Treatment 

It’s difficult for someone to open up about their experiences if they feel uncomfortable. During recovery, men and women may not feel like opening up in front of one another, which is a recipe for ineffective therapy. If it gets to this point, a patient may choose to abandon treatment altogether, leading to a relapse.  Providing separate rehab for men and women creates a sense of comfort and confidence. It helps patients taking part in the rehabilitation process develop connections that they may not be able to make with members of the opposite sex. 

Support from Peers

You can have peers of any gender, but we’re talking about here more on similar experiences. There are specific issues that only women may experience, and others more prominent in men. It’s essential for men and women to participate in gender-specific treatment to relate to one another much more easily.  This all goes back to the comfort aspect resulting from gender-specific therapy. Men are more prone to open up with other men and women with other women; it’s a natural part of human interaction. 

Avoid Gender-Specific Arguments

Tensions flare when one side doesn’t feel like they’re being heard, and this can be especially dangerous during rehab. Sensitive issues regarding gender can spark debate amongst patients, extinguishing the purpose of therapy— men and women may end up talking more about these gender-related issues than they do about their addiction experiences. Gender-specific rehab allows both sides to discuss their issues without arguments. 

Start Your Recovery Journey with Ardu Recovery Center 

If you feel that gender-specific treatment is the best way to tackle addiction, Ardu is the recovery center for you. Located in Provo, Utah, our state-of-the-art facility offers men’s and women’s rehab programs for patients who need to connect with peers of the same sex for a more comfortable and productive treatment process.  Our addiction specialists will provide you with the best abuse treatment and care, and you’ll work with a network of peers to share in your experiences and create a supportive environment that can foster a positive attitude toward recovery. Give us a call today at 801-512-0086 to get your life back on track and begin your journey toward a healthier mind, body, and soul.