Men’s Needs vs. Women’s Needs When It Comes to Addiction
Although rates of addiction tend to generally be higher for men than women, there are a number of other statistics that illustrate the differences in men’s and women’s treatment needs when in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. For instance, women who suffer from major depression are seven times more likely to also suffer from alcoholism than women who do not suffer from major depression. In fact, symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even borderline personality disorder tend to be significantly common among women also suffering from substance abuse disorders than those who aren’t, which reflects the high instance of comorbidity—suffering from one disorder such as addiction as well as another co-occurring affliction—among women in treatment.
However, research also tends to show that women tend to experience shorter periods of active addiction before seeking treatment, but are also prone to higher rates of relapse and repeat rehabilitation. On the other hand, men suffer from alcohol and drug dependency at higher rates and tend to be more reluctant to seek treatment. Being between two and three times more likely to abuse a chemical substance than women, men also tend to more frequently be users of more than one drug at the same time, or poly-drug users.
Many women who suffer at the hands of a substance abuse disorder have also been diagnosed with an additional mental health concern. For this reason, it is essential that women are placed in recovery programs that focus on dual diagnosis treatment and the interaction between substance abuse and mental health. it is crucial that both disorders are treated simultaneously, improving the likelihood of long-term success in recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women are more likely to suffer from mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Because women tend to be more vulnerable to sexual abuse, domestic violence and numerous other forms of trauma, the most effective therapeutic group sessions discuss gender-specific issues and related topics openly and in-depth.
Some of the female-specific topics that we cover in our intensive therapeutic group sessions include:
- The impact of divorce and other marital issues on the development of and continuation of substance abuse disorders
- The grief that goes hand-in-hand with the loss of a child or a romantic partner
- The pressures that go hand-in-hand with societal expectations of women, and the stressors involved in raising a family
- Body image issues, including disordered eating patterns like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder
- Past sexual, physical or emotional trauma, and the development of post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance abuse among pregnant women
For more information on our female specific program of addiction recovery, feel free to reach out at any point in time. While addiction is far from a one-size-fits-all disease, women can often relate to members of the same sex when it comes to a variety of the recovery-related challenges they face on a daily basis.
While it is true that more men than women seek treatment on an annual basis, the cultural expectations that our society places on men makes it more difficult for them to admit that help is necessary. In most households, the males are expected to be self-sufficient and invulnerable while simultaneously supporting their loved ones. For this reason, they may have a difficult time identifying areas that require improvement and admitting that they need help when it comes to overcoming substance abuse disorders. It is generally far more difficult for men to openly discuss their feelings and emotions as they relate to substance abuse and dependency. Being in group therapy sessions with other like-minded men facilitates the understanding that all humans are fallible to the insidious disease of addiction, and that gender-related expectations serve as a barrier to recovery and nothing more. Our men’s rehab program focuses on a variety of male specific challenges that men are liable to face during early recovery.
The topics that our specific treatment programs cover include:
- Societal expectations relating to men and masculinity, and overcoming gender stereotypes and biases
- Effectively processing emotions and reacting appropriately rather than reacting with anger
- Tuning in to feelings and emotions
- An openness to receiving advice and support from members of the same sex
- Developing and maintaining close friendships with members of the same sex
- Understanding that participation in addiction treatment is more a sign of courage and strength than it is a sign of weakness
Our male-specific treatment program is geared towards providing men of all ages with comprehensive and highly individualized care. For more information give us a call today.