There are many sober living homes and addiction treatment centers available across the country. Many of them are for both men and women and there is no separation among genders, except in their housing. However, the addiction treatment field is recognizing the many differences between men and women. These differences are not only in their needs while in recovery, but also in the ways they come to addiction and the reasons why they turn to substance use in the first place. For instance, men and women:
- Get addicted differently.
- For different reasons.
- Progress differently in the addiction cycle.
- Recover differently.
- Relapse differently.
- Men tend to use more alcohol and illicit drugs versus prescription psychoactive drugs.
- Women tend to get introduced to drugs through significant relationships.
it’s important to know that there are many factors that contribute to whether a male, no matter what age, becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol. For instance, factors include the presence of addiction in the home of origin, the level of co-dependency, the freedom to express feelings in the family of origin, as well as physiological, psychological, and physical factors.
Another factor for men is the presence of mental illness. Many men throughout the world don’t recognize they have depression, for instance, and they very rarely seek help. They are frequently reluctant to talk about their feelings. Instead, it’s easier to escape to alcohol. Drinking can become a self-medication that helps men feel better and lose the heaviness they may be feeling inside. However, over time, if the self medication that alcohol or drugs provide develops into an addiction, both the depression and the addiction will need to be treated. Achieving sobriety means treating the mental illness as well as the addiction which only masks the deeper problem.
Another factor for some men in the development of addiction is using drugs to feel better, stronger, more confident. Of course, this is common among both genders. However, men tend to feel society’s pressure to withhold their feelings, present themselves as strong and confident, even when they are not. This can be difficult if within there are issues of low self-esteem, powerlessness, and a lack of confidence. Men who turn to drugs to feel better might finally face those uncomfortable feelings of powerlessness and low self esteem when addiction treatment begins.
However, fortunately, there are sober living homes as well as addiction treatment centers that specifically tend to the needs of men, including the treatment of mental illness along with the addiction. The many factors that contributed to a man’s addiction is addressed and opportunities for healing are provided. For instance, many men benefit greatly from the social network that naturally form in addiction treatment centers which house men only. They can feel safe to discuss the experiences they’ve faced and concentrate on their sobriety. Men can build relationships with other men who are struggling with the same life concerns. Having an environment in which men do not need worry about social approval or the impression they are making on others can facilitate focusing on what’s important during recovery.
Research shows that men who reside at a sober living home in a structured environment after treatment have a greater chance of staying sober. Men who continue to remain in a structured environment after detoxification and residential treatment for at least 30 to 60 days will be more likely to transition back into society without relapse.
As the field of drug counseling improves year after year and with the significant amount of research on addiction today, more and more studies reveal that men and women experience addiction and recovery differently. Both genders are driven to drink or use drugs for different reasons and both turn to sober living treatment at different times in their addiction. Many men participating in gender-specific addiction treatment often deeply appreciate the way in which their recovery began – with custom attention to their unique needs, wounds, and goals.
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