Guardian IOP – Addiction Treatment
Gender Specific Program

When it comes to alcohol and drug dependency, addiction doesn’t discriminate. People from all across the demographic spectrum can and have succumbed to chemical dependency no matter their age, gender, race or ethnicity, sexual preferences, religious affinities, socioeconomic background, heritage, and so on. Additionally, there’s not a one-size-fits-all medication or treatment that will yield optimal results for everyone suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs.

The addiction treatment programs offered at Guardian IOP consist of a number of different treatments with which individuals can personalize their recovery to ensure that the treatments received address their specific and individual needs. With the breadth of treatments options available we fulfill the need to accommodate the incredibly variable needs of those who require treatment for addiction, which is why we offer numerous outpatient programming options available for individuals that meet certain demographic criteria and, therefore, have very particular needs.

The Importance of Gender-Specific Treatment

Up until fairly recently, men and women who struggled with the disease of addiction were placed in the same treatment programs and forced to participate in all of the same group sessions. It has since been discovered that addiction presents differently in men and women, and the distinctive experiences of each gender contribute significantly to the development and persistence of substance abuse and dependency. Men and women experience a unique set of challenges when it comes to addiction recovery, and it has been found that each gender typically has varying experiences while active in addiction. For this reason, gender-specific treatment is extremely important. At Guardian IOP we offer female-specific and male-specific treatment options so that each of our clients gets the most possible out of his or her addiction recovery experience.

There are numerous benefits to gender-specific treatment, including the ability to focus on gender-specific issues and challenges, the elimination of unnecessary distractions that can occur between members of the opposite sex and an increased level of comfortability in discussing personal experiences openly and honestly in a group setting. Over the course of our intensive outpatient program, clients undergo individual and group therapy sessions while actively developing the relapse prevention and life skills necessary to maintain sobriety for years to come. Clients learn how to effectively communicate with one another, offering peer support and forging meaningful and healthy relationships that often last for years after the treatment experience has come to a close.

Why is Gender-Specific Programming Needed When Treating Substance Abuse?

Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to health care. When a woman goes to the doctor for routine care, she will have more specific and different needs than her male counterpart. In the case of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, the case is much the same in that men and especially women will have particular needs that may not be addressed by addiction treatment programs that aren’t gender-specific.

There is growing research seeking to identify underlying mechanisms and causes for many neurological disorders, of which addiction is widely considered. According to experts in the field, the circumstances, events, and thought processes that contribute or lead to the development of a substance abuse disorder are different for women than for men, which is why gender-specific programming is crucial in order for individuals to receive the individualized care they need to recovery from physical dependency. Moreover, the path to addiction tends to be different for women than for men, which illustrates the need for treatments that address these differences; women have shown to begin abusing substances at much lower doses than men, but women increase or escalate dosage much more rapidly than men.

Additionally, women have shown greater rates of relapse than men after an initial period of sobriety, after inpatient treatment. In short, due to the difference in how addiction and relapse occurs in women versus men, there’s a need to incorporate treatments that will address the respective histories, experiences, and risks faced by men and women.

Our Gender-Specific IOP Program

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance use disorders generally progress very differently for women than they do for men. Women tend to become physically and psychologically dependent on substances more quickly than their male counterparts, and they often enter substance abuse treatment with additional underlying issues, such as eating disorders or other mental health concerns. However, there are more men than women currently in treatment for a substance abuse disorder. This is partially because of the traditional “matriarch” role that women often feel obligated to fulfill. Women often believe that they cannot leave their families for any extended period of time, even when it comes to seeking the professional addiction treatment they so desperately need.

On the other hand, men face a unique set of challenges when it comes to openly seeking professional substance abuse treatment. Many men feel as if they should be able to handle their own affairs on their own, without assistance. The social construct of masculinity and the related set of behaviors, attributes and roles associated with masculinity can prevent men from seeking the help they need. Many men grow up believing that asking for help is a sign of weakness, therefore they avoid seeking treatment and work to hide the fact (from themselves and from their families and peers) that they cannot overcome addiction on their own. These unique, gender-specific challenges (in addition to many others) contribute to the need for gender-specific treatment programs during every single phase of the long-term addiction recovery process.

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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.

Women’s Rehab

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.

Men’s Rehab

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.

How Guardian Intensive Outpatient Gender-Specific Programming Works

Due to the specific needs that many women suffering from chemical dependency tend to have, Guardian IOP offers gender-specific programming in order to optimize treatment for every individual in recovery. For both men and women, this means same-sex peer group sessions in which to have a safe, accepting, supporting environment where individuals can discuss or address progress or problems that they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing in a mixed group. Moreover, our gender-specific programming considers the particular needs of men and women in recovery. For example, female patients will benefit from receiving dual-diagnosis support and learning relapse prevention skills.

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Guardian IOP – A Continuation of Clinical Care

At Guardian IOP our gender-specific group therapy sessions typically take place five times a week for several hours every day. Our intensive outpatient program is part of a long-term curriculum of clinical care, however, we understand that the progression of addiction treatment might not look the same for everyone. In most cases, we recommend that men or women participate in our IOP program once they have completed medically monitored detox and residential addiction treatment. However, if an individual is suffering from a more mild substance abuse disorder and is simply looking for additional support as they navigate their newfound sobriety, our IOP program might be an ideal fit. In order to find out whether or not our program is best suited for you and your specific needs and requirements, simply give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and answering any additional questions you might have.

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    Discover Recovery from Drugs & Alcohol Addiction at Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program

    Guardian Intensive Outpatient anticipates the diverse, individualized needs of those in recovery by offering a variety of treatments and programming that make recovery possible for all rather than a select few. If you or someone you love is suffering from chemical dependency and would like to learn about our gender-specific programming and other offerings, call Guardian IOP today. We have a team of experienced Treatment Advisors available to help match those in need with the programming that will deliver them to lives of health, sobriety, and fulfillment.

    To learn more about any of our Addiction Therapy services reach out to us today, speak to one of our Treatment Advisors available 24/7 at (855) 517-1871