Nobody ever intends to become an addict. In fact, many substance abusers continue to believe they’ll be able to stop their consumption behavior before they become fully addicted. However, the point of no return quickly comes and goes as substance abusers become full-blown addicts. Fortunately, addiction is a treatable illness with addicts having a number of recovery tools from which they can choose.
There are many twelve-step programs and support groups that have helped countless individuals overcome their addictions while others have achieved lasting sobriety after completing an addiction treatment program. Unfortunately, finding the right treatment program can be a very daunting task as there are several types of programming offered at countless facilities across the country. How does one narrow them down to the program at the facility that can best address certain recovery needs?
One of the many different types of treatment that are available is gender-specific programming, which is a form of treatment in which the programming is intended either for men or for women. There are a number of benefits that gender-specific programs can offer and several reasons why one might choose a gender-specific rehab over other types of recovery programs.
Being Able to Focus on Recovery
As human beings, we experience a number of instinctive urges or compulsions that can be difficult to ignore. For instance, we feel hunger when we require food, which is vital to our survival. However, there are certain situations in which these underlying biological imperatives might hinder more than help. Specifically, the physical or sexual attraction between men and women can be a major distraction during the recovery process. Some might incorrectly assume that this would only be a problem among adolescents and teens who are flooded with hormones, but attraction to others is something that people continue to experience throughout their entire lives. Sexuality is an integral part of our humanity and intricately woven into the fabric our daily lives whether we choose to turn urges into actions or not.
It’s also common for attraction to develop as a response to mere encouragement and support; in everyday life, these types of interactions would likely be perceived as flirtation and sexual interest, which makes it even more difficult to keep attraction from manifesting in mixed-gender recovery and support groups. Additionally, there are a number of substances known to diminish one’s sex drive, which means that individuals who have been addicted to those drugs for prolonged periods of time will likely experience the triumphant return of their libidos. Therefore, choosing a gender-specific rehab — for those who are heterosexual, of course — would be a great way of ensuring that physical attractions and sexual urges don’t complicate or even impede the recovery and healing processes.
More Comfortable Around One’s Own Gender
Gender is (usually) one of the easiest and most accessible determinants that has become thoroughly ingrained in our culture. When a person is born, he or she is raised according to his or her gender, which determines the colors and types of clothes the parents choose, the toys the child receives, and so on. Reaching school age, children tend to congregate among their own genders. This gender dichotomy remains prominent throughout life in many different ways. Therefore, the social rule of thumb is that the average person will gravitate toward the same gender for friendships and toward the opposite gender for sexual or romantic relationships. With same-sex friendships being non-sexual, this tends to make people much more comfortable than if they’re surrounded by people who, at least in other circumstances, might be considered candidates for romantic partners.
Better Able to Identify with Others
Similarly to the tendency for people to be more comfortable around the same gender because there’s no sexual or romantic pressure, gender is a characteristic through which people can usually relate to others much more easily. In other words, a male will tend to share perspectives with other males more than he would with other females. And with substance abuse and addictive behavior having some gender differences — such as the tendency for men to become addicted more slowly while women escalate their dosage more quickly and, therefore, become addicted more quickly — gender-based rehab could present an advantage in terms of clients being able to relate to one another.
Stronger Support & Camaraderie
Although many would say that imposing boundaries according to gender are a detriment rather than an asset, there are some instances in which gender specificity can be advantageous. As mentioned above, same-sex interactions tend to lack the stress that makes interactions between individuals of opposing genders more difficult. In short, it’s simply easier to associate and relate to one’s own gender since it doesn’t involve trying to portray oneself as being sexually attractive and a strong romantic candidate. Therefore, friendly bonds tend to form more readily among gender-specific groups, which can be seen in the tendency for clients to form quick friendships with others in their gender-based addiction treatment programs.
Effective Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
According to the available evidence, many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from a co-occurring, or comorbid, psychological disorder. Specifically, people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs are twice as likely to suffer from a mental or emotional disorder than individuals who don’t have a substance abuse problem. When a patient in an addiction treatment program is found to have a comorbid disorder in addition to addiction, he or she requires dual-diagnosis support or treatment. Dual-diagnosis treatment refers to the treatment of two afflictions simultaneous due to the belief that both conditions are related in some way and to some degree, making it difficult to overcome one affliction without addressing the other. In a gender-specific rehab, dual-diagnosis support would be more effective as it would take into consideration some of the gender-specific issues that people face and that might have contributed to the development of alcohol or drug addiction.
Let Drug Treatment Center Finder Help You Achieve Sobriety
There’s not a particular addiction treatment program that’s optimal for everyone. The process of finding the right addiction treatment program for one’s particular needs is very personal, requiring each addict to be appropriately informed and self-aware. At Drug Treatment Center Finder, we believe that every addict deserves the chance to live life free from influence of alcohol and drugs, which is why we offer our services to anyone in need. Call us at 1-855-619-8070 so one of our recovery specialists can find the right program at a high-quality facility for you or your loved one. A life of health, happiness, and lasting sobriety is just one phone call away.