It has been repeatedly proven that those who undergo treatment at a gender specific facility have immensely increased odds of maintaining long-term sobriety. Up until the early 1990s, drug addiction and alcoholism were viewed as predominantly male disorders, and most addiction treatment programs were geared exclusively towards men. Women who struggled with addiction were often placed in the same facilities as their male counterparts, and did not have the opportunity to receive the gender-specific treatment they so desperately needed. As the relationship between gender and addiction becomes increasingly clear, more female and male-exclusive programs have been founded – today, numerous gender-exclusive facilities serve both men and women with a wide variety of addictive disorders.
Addiction is far from a one-size-fits-all disease, and attending a facility that specializes in the treatment of specific issues will inevitably lead to a more comprehensive and meaningful recovery. We at Next Chapter Treatment have developed a program of recovery geared exclusively towards men who have undergone some degree of trauma. We have assembled a team of qualified and experienced specialists, all of whom possess a thorough understanding of how substance abuse disorders and related issues affect the male population. It has been proven that men often begin using chemical substances for different reasons than women, and that the way chemical substances affect the male and female body differs drastically. We utilize this knowledge to help our male clients overcome all potential gender-related obstacles they may face, and set a solid foundation for fulfilled and long-term recovery.
5 Benefits of Male-Specific Addiction Treatment
Why is gender specific treatment consistently more effective? The following five reasons have been repeatedly confirmed.
- Men who are treated in all-male facilities are more likely to open up about sexual, physical, and emotional trauma.
Honesty is the foundation of addiction recovery. It is not uncommon for men to feel uncomfortable sharing honestly in a co-gendered group, especially when it comes to sharing details of sexual or physical trauma. In our society, men are expected to maintain a certain level of culturally accepted masculinity, outwardly displaying strength and inwardly stifling feelings of emotional distress, anger, and self-loathing. Male-exclusive facilities work to break through these detrimental gender roles, teaching men that expressing themselves is, in fact, much more accepted (and much more important) than they may have previously believed. Additionally, men will learn to develop honest relationships with one another, founded on trust, authenticity, and the ability to relate on a deep and personal level.
- All-male facilities allow men with love and sex addiction issues to heal in a non-threatening environment.
It is not uncommon for men who undergo significant emotional and mental trauma in childhood or early adolescence to develop issues surrounding intimacy, especially if their trauma relates to parental abuse, neglect, or severe familial dysfunction. Many of the men we work with at Next Chapter simultaneously suffer from chemical dependency and a sex or love addiction. In the absence of alcohol and drugs, interrelated addictive disorders are likely to crop up. Additionally, many individuals in early recovery will turn to the inevitable distraction of romantic relationships to shield them from intense and often uncomfortable self-betterment. Removing members of the opposite sex from the equation entirely will not only harshly reduce potential distractions, but it will allow men the opportunity to effectively work through underlying causes of sex and love addiction.
- Many addicted men struggle to form healthy relationships with members of the same sex.
It is not uncommon for addicts and alcoholics to begin using because they feel utterly and entirely alone. Many recovering addicts will share that their social anxieties only melted away when they drank to excess or used drugs heavily. Because of this, it is crucial that those in treatment develop a sense of community and companionship. However, it has been repeatedly proven that men and women who are in early recovery have an especially difficult time forming platonic bonds – more often than not, relationships turn sexual, and sex (as mentioned above) is utilized as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Additionally, many male addicts tend to lack healthy and supportive relationships and friendships with other males. Being placed together in an inpatient setting helps facilitate potentially lifelong friendships.
- All-male facilities provide men with gender-specific group sessions, geared towards issues that relate exclusively to men.
Men struggle with different issues than women when it comes to substance dependency. For example, women tend to suffer more from disordered eating patterns and psychological consequences of sexual abuse (such as rape), where men tend to struggle more with emotional intimacy issues and anger-related disorders. Male-exclusive treatment allows men to focus on issues that may not be adequately addressed in a co-ed facility. Clients attend intensive group and individual therapy sessions, focusing on core issues and learning the essential life skills that will allow them an opportunity to maintain long-term, fulfilled sobriety.
- Addiction manifests differently in men and women.
The more the inner-workings of addiction are studied, the more apparent it becomes that men and women are affected by the disease in profoundly different ways. Because of this, mixed gender facilities make treating each gender adequately a near impossibility. For example, the estrogen that is present in the female body tends to awaken pleasure receptors within the brain, meaning that women generally experience much more positive feelings when abusing drugs or alcohol. Women tend to get addicted to chemical substances far more rapidly than men, and social repercussions of continued use tend to be far more severe. For this reason, relapse rates amongst women have been shown to be consistently higher. In a gender-specific setting, therapists and doctors will be well-equipped to treat the gender they specialize in treating with the necessary therapeutic methods and medications (when needed).
If you are looking into an extended-stay treatment facility, make sure you carefully consider your gender-specific options. We at Next Chapter have extensive experience in treating men who struggle with substance dependency disorders and a multitude of additional trauma-related issues. For more information on our gender-specific program of recovery, please feel free to contact us today.