Why Should Gender Specific Rehab Be an Option?

August 3, 2015

Gender specific rehab facilities are recovery programs for males and females that revolve around the particular needs of that gender. These programs are the next step after detoxification, which will allow the patient to go into the program with a clear mind and will maximize the benefit of therapy. For some that are easily distracted by the opposite sex, gender specific rehab is a great option to think about when choosing a recovery program. In rehab and therapy, the less distraction that is in the surrounding area, the better chances of recovery will be available.

Why Gender Specific Rehab is Important

“Since 1994, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has put extra research time and money into the study of addiction gender specifically because they understand that the needs and problems of men and women differ from each other.” Each gender has proven to treat therapy for addiction differently. Living in a home with people that are the same sex as you can be beneficial when coping with therapy. When you are spending your time and money somewhere, you would want to obtain the maximum benefits from the treatment available.

Less Distraction & More Focus

Men and women tend to have the desire to impress the sex they are attracted to; it is built in our hormones. If all women are living in a house, there is less focus on what they are wearing and what they look like in order to impress the opposite sex. The same goes for men living together without women. Without the desire to try and impress the opposite sex, there is more room for attention and focusing on one’s self and less distraction on others.

Opening up with others is hard work and requires time and energy. For some, specifically males, it is even harder to express emotions and how one truly feels. For men to be in an environment where they are around other males that are in the same situation, it may be easier for them to deal with therapy and emotions such as anger, embarrassment, and self-esteem, instead of maybe with a co-ed therapy group.

Recognizing the Differences

According to the Journal of Substance Abuse, a study was done where they used treatment programs that were designed for males on women in correctional facilities. The results concluded that women were not meeting specific needs for treatment with these male designed programs. The women were linked with more problems with substance abuse. The study was done on people who were and weren’t incarcerated. The results were, “Women used drugs more frequently, used harder drugs, and used them for different reasons than men. Women also confronted more difficulties than men in areas linked to substance abuse such as educational background, childhood family environment, adult social environment, mental health, and physical health.” The conclusion was that men and women treat rehab differently.

Biological Differences

Female bodies are biologically different than males when it comes to appearance and the make of inside the body. Most females are able to get more intoxicated on drinking the same amount of alcohol than men, unless they are heavier drinkers. The reason behind this is that female bodies, in comparison to male bodies, cannot break down alcohol as quickly. Because women tend to be shorter and weigh less, they will also have higher blood alcohol content when drinking. This can also lead to a more rapid development of alcohol abuse among women.

Societal Differences

Because of the way society portrays gender, males and females grow up with different expectations, depending on their gender. Areas in life such as childhood and adult social environments and physical and mental health can predispose people, especially women (according to Journal of Substance Abuse), to higher chances of drug abuse.

Children and pregnancy can prevent women from going into treatment. There are programs with childcare available and programs that are available to specifically help pregnant women. If a woman is pregnant it is vital to the baby’s health that she seek treatment as soon as possible.

Differences in Active Addiction

The symptoms of addiction itself can vary between males and females. Each gender handles addiction and treatment differently. Females may be less likely to seek treatment because of the pressures of maintaining their family, professional appeal, lack of finances, as well as domestic problems (like violence and abuse).

This also may be the case for men. Certain ideals of masculinity and what it means to “be a man” dictate that males should act as self-sufficiently as possible. Throughout their addiction, thousands of men have forgone treatment in the mistaken belief that they must be independent, that is, they must help themselves without any aid from others.

Because women are at higher chances to develop alcohol addiction, there are mental health problems that follow addiction. Anxiety and depression are just some of the mental health problems that follow addiction. With more of these problems arising in females when they get addiction, there is a rate of a longer time for them to be in therapy.

Each of these differences between men and women make clear that it is a great idea for people to seek treatment in gender specific rehab. Without the distractions of the opposite sex, and in full recognition of the biological and societal differences, each addicted man and woman will have a better chance at recovering.

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