Research has pushed rehab programs to include male-specific treatment as well as treatment specific to: women, teens, the elderly, and families in order to more accurately address each group’s experiences with addiction.
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Male-Specific Rehab Treatment Programs
Treatment facilities design rehab programs in order to deliver a specific type of care to a specific type of person. When treatment is tailored to your needs, it’s often much more effective. Studies run over the past 20 years demonstrate specific differences between men and women going through addiction treatment. On this basis, many programs now include female-specific and male-specific treatment.
Addiction is neither entirely biological nor entirely social. For someone with a different gender, a fight with addiction may impact them in different ways. Researchers emphasize that males and females display differences in the way that their brains form, which partially explains their different experiences.
What Is Male-Specific Treatment
This type of treatment is geared towards someone who was born male and currently presents as a man. It’s designed to address the issues most commonly faced by men in their experiences with addiction.
Addiction in Men
- Addiction occurs more frequently in men.
- Addiction kills more men than women.
- Men exhibit higher rates of antisocial personality disorder development when addicted.
- Men are more likely to misuse multiple drugs than women.
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Social Aspects of Male-Specific Treatment
Men’s programs also seek to address the complex social aspects of male addiction. Treatment plans are designed to help shift people’s views about their addiction and their treatment. Many men can feel like they’re weak or a failure by agreeing to enter rehab. This kind of attitude slows progress and can ultimately lead to program abandonment and relapse.
In the US, men are generally expected to be stoic, invulnerable, and self-sufficient. These kinds of expectations cause men in treatment to pull back from meaningful progress, which may seem like a mistrust of their counselors, but really stems from a desire to protect their image and standing. Male-specific treatment programs keep these dynamics in mind and help treat them individually
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Reasons for Seeking Male-Specific Treatment
Often, men are compelled to go into treatment for different reasons than women. The desire to appear strong and independent causes men to try and deal with their substance use issues alone. These attempts to “tough it out” allow an addiction to worsen until having serious health impacts. Frequently, these issues take the form of legal trouble Keeping in mind the reasons for a man’s journey into rehab is important for tailoring the experience to him.
In emotionally charged situations like rehab, men can form rivalries or dislike for one another. Programs that make a concerted effort to foster a sense of camaraderie between men rather than allow negative sentiments to form perform better in the long run. If run in a productive manor, research shows that these types of group therapy benefit men more than women because men tend to drink in groups more often.
Most rehab patients are men, which means that most rehab programs are suited to men in some ways. This accommodation of men in rehab often comes at the price of less effective treatment for women. That being said, men still encounter difficulties when pursuing treatment among mixed groups. Offering distinct, gender and sex-specific programs eliminates many of the shortcomings for both men and women in treatment.
Single vs Mixed Gender Group Therapy
While mixed gender therapy helps people overcome addiction, some research is showing that it may open people up to difficulties that could be avoided in single gender therapy. Issues with refusing to share in order to avoid embarrassment among a different gender could be avoided in a male specific treatment program. At the very least, it gives the participants a guarantee that they have something in common outside of the fact that they all need therapy.
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Are you looking for a treatment program for you or a loved one? There are free resources available to you. Compassionate treatment providers are ready to assist you take the first steps towards recovery. Don’t wait until it gets worse.