Gender Specific Rehab Programs: Are they Beneficial?
Addiction affects both men and women. That doesn’t necessarily mean that both genders benefit from the same treatment approach. As men and women have some inherent differences, their experiences of substance abuse and treatment can differ.
Gender specific treatment programs can offer advantages for addicts since they recognize and address these differences and are tailored to be sensitive to the needs of each group and are therefore, often, more comfortable settings in which to work on your recovery.
Picking the right treatment center, offering the best programs, environment and care can be an overwhelming process. Stopping by this site and reading this post is a great first step. We can help. Please call us at (844) 747-7772.
The Development of Treatment Programs
Most treatment programs were developed based on the needs of male clients. These generalized programs were then used originally for female drug and alcohol abusers, even though the circumstances between each gender’s use of substances varies tremendously.
Men tend to start abusing drugs or alcohol for the perceived benefits they hope to gain from ingesting the substances—looking to increase work production, have a good time or even improve their sex lives. Women, on the other hand, often abuse substances seeking to escape painful emotions. They may also start using drugs or alcohol because their spouse or partner is using. Certainly, there are exceptions: men who develop substance issues the result of childhood trauma or painful emotions, and women seeking an edge at work, a good time, or to better their sexual experiences. Still, there are inherent differences.
Women and Addiction
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction provided these stats:
- Approximately 4.5 million women in the US have a substance abuse issue. 3.1 million use illicit drugs on a regular basis and 3.5 million misuse prescription medications.
- Women’s body weight tends to be lower than men’s, and they carry more body fat and less water. The body will retain alcohol in its fatty cells longer than if it had a higher water content. A woman’s internal organs have a longer period of time where they are exposed to the effects of the alcohol she has ingested.
- Women also have lower levels of enzymes capable of breaking down alcohol in their stomach and liver. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream at a faster rate for women, which means their blood alcohol content (BAC) will increase more rapidly than a man who has had the same number of drinks during the same period. As a general rule, one alcoholic drink for a woman will have twice the impact the same drink has for a man.
- When women become addicted to drugs or alcohol, they tend to progress more quickly than men. Their recovery looks different, and they will also relapse for different reasons than men.
- Women who use marijuana, cocaine or heroin also move from first use to dependence on these drugs more quickly than men. They report having problems of greater severity and also have more consequences related to their health than men.
- The reasons women become involved with drugs initially are often linked to their relationships with men.
- Research studies indicate the majority of female drug users—more than 70 percent—have experienced sexual abuse by the time they turned 16.
- Most of the women have a family history where at least one parent had a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Women are also more likely to be living with mood disorders, such as:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Cyclothymia (a milder form of bipolar disorder)
- Major Depression
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (a long-lasting, low-grade depression)
- SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Why are Gender Specific Programs Important?
Since men and women experience addiction differently, it makes sense that their treatment experience should be different, too. Addicts have a laundry list of excuses and reasons why they can’t go to rehab right now, and the excuses they use tend to vary by gender. One-size doesn’t fit all. Having a group of peers to call your bluff is invaluable. Gender specific treatment also tends to remove many of the distractions common in mixed-gender treatment settings.
Honey Lake Clinic holds the distinction of being named the #1 Christian Mental Health Program in the United States.
Christian treatment programs offer a unique advantage of being able to approach issues holistically based on three dimensions—body, mind and spirit. Many other approaches either neglect the spiritual dimension entirely or pay it lip-service in passing. A biblical understanding of how we’re made, as physical, psychological and spiritual beings, means all three of these dimensions play an important part in our health and happiness.
Benefits of Choosing Christian Treatment
- Christian counselors recognize a higher authority. While many mental health professionals look to the latest trends and leading voices in psychology to find authority, Christian doctors, therapists and counselors know the inerrant word of God provides principles which lead clients to discover the abundant life Jesus spoke of in scripture.
- Christian counseling accepts absolute truth. While some counselors encourage their clients to listen to the guidance of their hearts and do what they think is right, Christian counselors know the human heart can be deceitful. Christian counselors encourage you to apply the guiding principles and truths of God’s Word.
- Christian counselors do not treat you as the product of impersonal chance. They recognize you as having been uniquely created by a loving, caring and healing God.
- Christian counseling has a higher goal. While many counselors help their clients in a pursuit of happiness, Christian counselors want to help clients in their pursuit of God and a meaningful and purposeful life. God’s unconditional love, mercy, grace and forgiveness are freeing—both in our receiving them, and also in our extending them to others.
- Christian counseling offers real healing. Secular counseling is limited in addressing deep emotional and spiritual wounds. Christian counseling can bring the client into a closer relationship with God where real healing can take place.
- Christian counseling offers real hope. The Christian faith looks forward to a blessed hope—a wonderful eternity with God in heaven. There will be no pain and suffering there—only love, joy and peace. Gaining an eternal perspective, you will find hope for a beautiful and fulfilling life here and now.