Gender-Specific Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs
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Addiction and substance abuse affect both men and women, but research has shown that gender-specific treatment results in greater success rates. Although gender stereotypes can often keep individuals from getting the treatment they need, it’s important to realize that men and women experience addiction differently. Therefore, males and females will benefit from different approaches to treatment.
What Is Gender-Specific Treatment?
Prior to the 1970s, substance abuse treatment was much more generic than it is now. Alcohol and drug rehab programs were not designed to address the significant differences of substance abuse in men and women. Since then, rehab centers have developed better treatment approaches that address the unique needs of each gender specifically.
Nova is a drug and alcohol rehab center that provides gender-specific substance abuse programming in all aspects of treatment, including group therapy, educational lectures, 12-step programs, and more.
Why Does Nova Provide Gender-Specific Treatment?
There are three major reasons why we provide gender-specific drug and alcohol rehab and believe it is the most effective programming for men and women who are suffering from addiction and substance abuse disorders.
- Men and women use drugs and alcohol differently.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), women in treatment programs are more likely than their male counterparts to have experienced sexual and physical abuse and they tend to develop drug dependence much more quickly than men. Additionally, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), men are more likely than women to use almost all types of illicit drugs.
- Men and women have unique responses to drugs and alcohol.
Male and female responses to substance abuse vary greatly on a social, physical, and psychological level. First of all, men and women’s bodies are biologically different, therefore they process drugs and alcohol in different ways. Second, there are differing social stigmas and stereotypes surrounding the idea of men using alcohol and drugs and women doing the same. Women also face a severe stigma that may discourage them from admitting they have a substance abuse problem or are seeking treatment. Additionally, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reported that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from co-existing mood disorders such as depression, which affects treatment outcomes.
- Men and women face different obstacles while in treatment.
Not only do men and women relapse for different reasons, but they also face different types of pressure from family, co-workers, friends, and employers while enrolled in a treatment program. Women are also more likely to deal with the advanced complications of alcohol and drug use during pregnancy as well as have more run-ins with the child welfare system while in treatment or while seeking it.
In taking these factors into consideration, we also acknowledge that all men and all women aren’t the same either. Every individual is vastly different and will experience addiction and life in a unique way. For this reason, we provide fluid, individualized treatment plans to meet your needs personally. We offer gender-specific drug and alcohol rehab programs because it provides you with the best opportunity for success.
Benefits of Gender-Specific Treatment
There are fewer distractions – While it’s natural for two people of the opposite sex to feel an attraction to each other during treatment, it can seriously derail any progress that is made. Additionally, any time at a rehab center should be spent focusing on bettering yourself instead of thinking about someone else.
Clients feel more comfortable sharing – Sharing strong emotions, memories, or thoughts can be difficult, especially in a group setting. Many clients feel more comfortable sharing at a drug and alcohol rehab center that is gender-specific because they’re in an environment where they feel safe and accepted. This also eliminates the need to meet any expectations that you feel members of the opposite sex may have.
Treatment is more relatable – Clients of the same sex will have more similar life experiences and will be better able to relate with one another. This improves the community atmosphere, creates a stronger bond between individuals, and encourages more open communication.
Time is more appropriately spent on gender issues – Whereas a group of men in drug rehab will likely want to talk about issues they face as males in recovery, women will want to discuss topics that relate to their gender as well. With gender-specific treatment, less time is spent covering gender issues that don’t apply to half of the population involved. This leaves more time to explore applicable issues that play a significant role in recovery.
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