Gender-specific treatment for substance abuse addictions has been shown to be very beneficial for both men and women. Although everybody’s experience with addiction and journey to recovery is unique, there are some aspects that are more common among men than among women and vice versa. Here are a few reasons why providing gender-specific treatment is so important for recovering addicts.

Men and Women Abuse Substances for Different Reasons

More men begin to abuse substances for the perceived benefits from taking the substances. Usually, they hope to boost their performance at work, enhance their experience at parties or other social events, or improve their sex lives. Women, on the other hand, tend to begin abusing substances in an effort to escape trauma or extreme emotions. In other cases, they begin using because their partner is using.

While those generalizations are not always true, it is important to notice the trends in addiction relative to men and women in order to provide more relevant treatment. Knowing what motivated a person to begin abusing substances is an important step toward recovery, as it allows the addict to recognize and avoid potential triggers in the future.

Makes Addicts More Comfortable

When men and women who are recovering from a substance abuse addiction are surrounded by other people of their same gender, they tend to be more comfortable than when they are in a mixed-gender environment. Research has suggested that many women may only seek treatment from a women-only program.

When men are surrounded by other men, they are more comfortable discussing topics such as:

  • Their relationships with friends and family members
  • Their self-esteem
  • Their feelings, especially fear, embarrassment, shame, guilt, and sadness

When women are surrounded by other women, are more comfortable discussing topics such as:

  • Their self-esteem
  • Their body image
  • Their relationships with friends and family members

Eliminates Distractions

Recovery is a difficult process. It can be very difficult to overcome a substance abuse addiction and the first few weeks after entering into rehab are some of the most difficult. In the early stages of recovery, many addicts search for anything to distract themselves from their mental, emotional, and physical discomfort. In mixed-gender environments, they sometimes find a distraction in relationships with other residents. By separating men and women from each other, it significantly reduces the likelihood of that happening and encourages the residents to focus on themselves and their recovery journey.