Should You Go to a Gender Specific Treatment Program to Become Sober?

In California addiction treatment options are plentiful, but you may be wondering what type of treatment program you should choose. One of the most pressing questions is whether you should choose a gender-specific treatment program, or one that offers a co-ed environment. Gender-specific treatment programs can help address various issues that may differ greatly between the sexes.

Different Reasons

Many women may feel as though they are expected to become Wonder Woman and effortlessly balance all the different demands of work, home and family. This can result in intensely stressful situations that lead her to begin abusing Xanax, Ativan or Valium to combat anxiety. Feeling constantly tired and overwhelmed may lead to abuse of methamphetamines or prescription stimulants like Adderall.

For male addicts, addiction often begins as a way to relieve stress after a long day at work. Prescription drugs and alcohol are very commonly abused by men. What begins as a single drink after a hard day may morph into a much larger problem of drinking to excess every day.

Different Consequences

For female addicts, the consequences of addiction can be very different than those faced by her male counterpart. A female addict may face the loss of her partner or children, and her health may suffer greatly. For male addicts, the consequences of addiction may be loss of employment, run-ins with law enforcement and isolation from family, friends and co-workers.

Different Barriers

Women may face financial barriers to treatment or have a hard time dealing with family obligations. They may feel like a failure for not “keeping it together” and avoiding addiction. For men, there may be a lack of recognition of the problem, or a feeling that having some drinks after a long day is something they’ve earned. For both sexes, there may be a reticence to seek help.

Different Motivations

The reasons for seeking treatment may break down along gender lines. Women may seek treatment as part of a social service program or due to the involvement of child protection agencies in their family lives. For men, seeking treatment is typically the result of family or employer demands, or it may be court-ordered.

Different Treatment

These differences don’t end once treatment begins. Women are more likely to respond to the “softer” side of rehabilitation and treatment. Meditation, daily goal-setting, art therapy and group therapy that allows the processing of the emotions associated with substance abuse are much more effective for female addicts. Male addicts typically respond better to anger management programs and physical activity.

Different Outcomes

While men are more likely to suffer a relapse if they don’t have a significant relationship with a partner, women are more likely to suffer a relapse if they’re in a relationship. Choosing the right treatment program is about more than just gender, but gender can play a very large role in your reasons for becoming addicted in the first place. For this reason and the many others outlined here, gender-specific treatment programs may be more advantageous than co-ed programs.