Addiction doesn’t discriminate among men and women. While both genders can be affected equally, men and women actually benefit from different and separate treatment approaches. Since recovery programs can be more effective when done with only one gender, men can see real benefits when a treatment program is tailored to them.
Where Does Addiction Begin?
Men can develop an addiction for completely different reasons than women do. Often, men begin taking substances because of the perceived benefits they hope to gain. These include increasing work hours, having a good time or even improving their sex lives. Men are more likely to use drugs or alcohol:
- Earlier in life
- To improve work performance
- To self-medicate for post-traumatic stress disorder
- To help with chronic pain
Men have been found to be more likely than women to use drugs in general. Because of this, the need for men’s only treatment and women’s only treatment is becoming more evident and popular.
Gender-Specific Treatment Benefits
Having a treatment program tailored specifically to each gender is highly beneficial as men and women have different reasons for becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, and even different ways of responding to therapy. While woman are successful in programs created for them, men often need to address other types of issues like anger management, father/son relationships, and emotional distance. They often enter treatment later than women, which can affect the type of recovery therapy needed.
A gender-specific program does not guarantee a 100 percent success rate, but it does offer significant advantages. The benefits to men’s only addiction treatment include:
1. Being comfortable. Men can be more relaxed and comfortable with only other men. This can help them develop a sense of trust and bond with their fellow counterparts. A good level of comfort can help men discuss:
- Their feelings
- Their relationship with a spouse or family members
2. Less judgment. Men can feel less judged with only other men in the group. Without women present, it is easier to discuss moments when they have been aggressive after using addictive substances.
3. No expectations to be tough or strong. Society puts high expectations on men to keep their emotions to themselves. In a treatment program only for men, this expectation is removed and the focus can be on getting better.
4. Better communication. This is stronger when patients only have to share with the same gender.
5. Discuss common experiences. A gender-specific treatment for substance abuse will allow them to concentrate on the unique experiences that affect men.
6. Less time spent discussing other gender issues. This allows men to focus solely on their own issues and not have to spend time listening to things that are unique to women.
7. Bonding is stronger in same sex groups. Men tend to feel more connected to each other when it is a gender-specific environment.
8. Fewer distractions. This allows for more focus and concentration and also reduces the possibility of romantic distractions.
9. Higher success. Gender-specific programs show a better success rate than mixed gender treatments.
Asking for Help as a Man
We live in a society where men are strong and are not supposed to need any help. Because of these social rules, men do not want to admit they need support, but need to know it’s okay to ask for help. When it’s time to reach out, remember the more specialized a treatment program is, the better the results will be. Contact Footprints today to learn more about our individualized holistic approach and our treatment program just for men.
Men Only Drug Rehab. www.drugrehab.org. (Accessed Oct 8, 2018).