Addiction affects billions of people worldwide, including men, women, and children. To this end, women are likely to engage in drug abuse just as much as men. Addiction is not gender-specific.
However, addiction affects women differently than it does men. Consequently, it is necessary to take different addiction treatment approaches for men and women.
How Gender Affects Addiction
The effects of addiction tend to be more profound for women than they are for men. This is caused by a range of biological and genetic differences between the two genders.
For example, estrogen (a hormone present in women’s bodies) amplifies the effects of cocaine and other stimulant drugs. Additionally, women’s bodies contain more fat compared to men, and fat is known to absorb and retain more alcohol – consequently, a woman’s blood alcohol concentration level is higher than a man’s.
Besides the physical effects of addiction, women are also affected disproportionately psychologically and socially. For example, women develop addiction faster than men owing to a range of psychological aspects – women also have a harder time overcoming addiction when compared to men.
Women struggling with addiction also face many social challenges. For example, society is more critical of a female addict than a male addict, which makes women addicts feel shunned. This only serves to push them further towards drug abuse, unfortunately. Additionally, women addicts are likely to have suffered physical and sexual abuse because of their vulnerability.
These are just some of the main examples of how gender differences affect addiction in women. They are also credible reasons for gender-specific addiction treatment.
Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment
A one-size-fits-all addiction treatment solution ignores the different needs of men and women – to the disadvantage of women addicts. However, a gender-specific approach takes these differences and other factors into account.
Here is an overview of some of the greatest benefits of gender-specific addiction treatment for women.
1. Saving Time on Gender Clarification
Facilitators in gender-mixed addiction rehabilitation centers are aware of the differences between men and women. To this end, therapists and counselors spend many hours explaining and clarifying these differences to their patients. Unfortunately, most of this time goes to waste.
Recovery from addiction is a life-long process, and the time spent in rehab is especially important for getting you started on healing. To this end, the time spent explaining and clarifying about gender differences would be better spent on the actual treatment program.
Women understand their bodies and their gender’s effects on their addiction problem (or they should, at the very least). They can relate with subjects such as pregnancy, whereas most men wouldn’t care about it because it doesn’t affect them. To this end, facilitators at the rehab will have an easier time explaining these factors – and their message will get better reception.
Additionally, the facilitators spend less time explaining these issues and more time helping the women overcome their addiction. This will help add consistency and stability to the treatment program, consequently helping the women addicts recover faster.
2. Fewer Distractions in the Road to Recovery
Rehab is necessary for addiction treatment, but many addicts have a negative attitude towards checking into rehab. Many patients would gladly check themselves out before recovery if they had the opportunity, sadly. They will also do anything to distract themselves – and flirtations with members of the opposite sex are more than welcome.
Addicts need every second of treatment to recover from their addictions. They need to focus their minds on the program, including their regular counseling sessions.
However, the addicts will have a difficult time focusing on treatment when they are always thinking about a cute guy in the recovery program. In fact, this can be a recipe for relapse, especially if the guys they have their sights on are not intent on recovery. However, this will not be a problem when working with a gender-specific addiction treatment program.
3. Patients are More Comfortable
Some of the biological and genetic differences between men and women are sensitive. To this end, some women may not be comfortable discussing them in the presence of men who cannot relate. In fact, many women addicts may not be comfortable just being in the presence of the opposite sex during the recovery process (which is a low point).
Being in rehab already feels difficult for many women addicts, and putting them in uncomfortable situations will only make things harder. This will distract them from the treatment program, and they may even rebel against the treatment out of frustration.
Gender-specific addiction treatment is designed to consider every factor affecting women. For example, everyone in the program can relate to the sensitive topics under discussion, and there is little fear of judgment. The patients are more comfortable, which increases their chances of successful recovery.
4. Patients Can Relate with Each Other
Addiction treatment takes many shapes and forms. For example, common addiction treatment options include medicine prescriptions, therapy sessions, and physical exercising. However, one of the most effective solutions is getting personal support from other people. Personal support is especially important and beneficial for women, as they may be more emotional (another significant difference from men).
Support is welcome from all available sources, including close friends and family members. However, support from fellow addicts is especially beneficial because they share similar experiences and interests.
Fortunately, gender-specific addiction treatment enables women addicts to get support on-demand from their fellow patients. What’s more, they don’t have to worry about distractions and judgment from addicts of the opposite sex. This will go a long way to help them get through the treatment program to overcome their addiction. They may also form meaningful, life-long relationships with their peers.
Addiction is a vice that can ruin your whole life. Fortunately, you can overcome your addictions through rehabilitation. Gender-specific addiction treatment is effective and comfortable. Covenant Hills offers the best gender-specific addiction treatment services in Orange County, CA. Visit our website or get in touch to learn more about how we can help.