The factors involved in substance abuse are complex. Trauma, peer pressure, stress and anxiety, genetics, and even poverty can play a role. Believe it or not, your gender also comes into play — which prompts a good question: What is gender-specific treatment?
Many rehab facilities maintain addiction treatment programs allowing clients who desire it separate treatment for men and women. It’s a recognition that men and women experience substance abuse quite differently.
This doesn’t mean that men and women don’t benefit from integrated treatment programs. But every individual’s needs are a little different, and sometimes it’s just more effective for men and women to relate to their gender peers. This is why a men’s rehab treatment center and a women’s rehab treatment center can be essential to treatment and recovery.
What is Gender-Specific Treatment?
Until fairly recently, the focus in substance abuse treatment leaned toward men. In part that was due to usage patterns as well as societal factors. Men statistically abused substances at a higher rate and also controlled resources for treatment.
That focus shifted, as researchers began to understand that the experience of substance abuse was different for women than it was for men. As such, they needed treatment therapy programs attuned to those unique challenges.
So what is gender-specific treatment? Gender-specific treatment involves rehab programs that segregate men with men and women with women. In addition to focusing on the unique needs of each group, these programs provide a supportive, understanding environment.
Typically male-only or female-only treatment programs are offered as options along with programs that include both men and women. Working with your care team, you determine the best approach.
Substance Abuse and Women
Physiological differences account for some of the reasons why gender-specific treatment is an important option. These play a role in answering the question, “what is gender-specific treatment?” For instance, women often have smaller organs and hormonal differences, which can lead to higher blood-alcohol levels, according to researchers.
Overall, women tend to reach more severe levels of substance abuse faster than men. They also “find it harder to quit, and are more susceptible to relapse,” according to Harvard University.
Overall, about a third of the admissions to substance abuse treatment programs in the United States consists of women. The largest age group of women enrolled in treatment were between the ages of 25 and 34.
Substance Abuse and Men
Men chart their own experience through substance abuse, as they are statistically almost twice as likely than women to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some of the key comparisons by substance, all according to Harvard:
- Alcohol: More than 20 percent of men struggle with an alcohol-use disorder, compared to about 7 to 12 percent of women.
- Stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine: Men and women are equally likely to become abusers.
- Opioids: women are more likely than men to get in trouble with prescription opioids.
- Marijuana: About three times as many men than women report smoking marijuana daily.
- Tobacco: While more men than women smoke, women are more likely to face severe health problems.
You can see why asking the question “what is gender-specific treatment?” is a good one. These comparisons and contrasts are vital in staking out the best treatment plan possible.
The Right Kind of Help at Fresh Start Recovery Center
Men and women together face their types of difficulties when it comes to substance abuse. Given that fact, you may be wondering: what is gender-specific treatment, and how does it work? Let Fresh Start Recovery lead the way. We offer both a men’s rehab treatment center and a women’s rehab treatment center to address the unique challenges that each gender faces in recovery. Fresh Start’s staff utilizes the latest in accredited evidence-based addiction medicine techniques, focusing on your holistic needs as an individual. We’ll take you from assessment to detox to counseling and aftercare, no matter what you need. Don’t hesitate another minute, as the future can be so much brighter. Contact Fresh Start Recovery Center today at 833.625.0398 for an initial confidential consultation.