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The relationship between men and women has always been complex, especially regarding inherent differences and aptitudes. Although our culture has largely embraced equal opportunities for both sexes in the workplace and the home, this approach ignores some significant differences that continue to define us. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, you cannot simply ignore your current needs based on sociopolitical equity; you need help without any compromises, and you need it now.
Although every individual’s addiction journey is personal, there are certain statistical realities as to why men are almost twice as likely to develop substance use disorders. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, our holistic addiction treatment program considers the unique issues that male clients face so they can provide fully integrated care. Contact our team at 833.551.2304 for more information about our gender-specific therapy programs.
In American society, men are more likely to develop chronic substance use problems than women. This may be partly due to the emotional detachment expected of men in the face of adversity and a historical expectation that men work out their own problems without the aid of doctors or therapists. To complicate matters, men also appear more prone to peer pressure and a social expectation to engage in recreational substance use, so they are more likely to participate in substance use in a group setting, even a socially sanctioned one such as a bar, club, or celebratory event.
Therefore, men are doubly hit, more vulnerable to problems while not feeling allowed to obtain help. The world has falsely conditioned them to think of outside treatment as a sign of weakness. They are paralyzed by fear of judgment and that they are failing their loved ones, their colleagues, and the workplace by discussing their substance use, much less the underlying problems which created them.
Actual physical reactions to certain substances are also largely gender-dependent. Men are more likely to develop problems with:
They are more likely to be injured due to substance use and are more likely to die of an overdose. In addition, an expanding body of research supports that men and women respond differently to various therapeutic interventions. For example, because more men engage in binge drinking, they often experience more intense withdrawal symptoms while in recovery. They may also respond to pharmaceutical interventions differently.
For recovery to be successful, it is critical to establish an atmosphere of safety, which may appear different for women and men. Men are socialized to be less emotionally expressive and to view any show of weakness as an invitation for shame and ridicule. In a men-only setting, they can feel more comfortable discussing their problems and fears without fear or judgment.
In addition, therapy methods that work well for women may not translate to success with men. For example, traditional group therapy may not work as well for men, who are socialized to avoid any appearance of weakness. Different methods can be used in a men’s-only setting, such as adventure therapy, which has been shown to be successful in helping men recover from substance use disorders.
Some of the benefits of entering a residential program specifically with the needs of men in mind include:
The more customized your treatment, the better you can unearth the underlying causes of substance use. We don’t believe that any individual is beyond help and that every client can heal when allowed to recover fully, which for many includes gender-based care. Contact our staff at 833.551.2304 to learn how men’s rehab at Gulf Breeze Recovery can help you break the cycle for good.