Many men are held to the expectation that they should be tough, which is often associated with drinking or doing drugs at parties. It is no secret that the stigma men face surrounding substances can leave those in recovery feeling guilty or down on themselves. However, overcoming this stigma is crucial to maintaining long-term sobriety. Completing a men’s treatment program and following through with continuing care at Renaissance Ranch can help individuals appropriately respond to peer pressure and effectively overcome masculine stigmas while in recovery.
How to Overcome Masculine Stigma in Recovery
As stated in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, in recovery, men develop feelings of hope, self-efficacy, coping skills, empowerment, and the meaning of life. However, stigmatization can have harmful effects on an individual’s success rate in recovery. Men with SUD and co-occurring mental health conditions that experience societal prejudice negativity or discrimination against their sex or marginalized identity may develop further problems. Therefore, they may experience mood disturbance, demoralization, and feelings of demotivation in recovery.
How to Effectively Respond to Peer Pressure in Recovery
When met with peer pressure without knowing the effective tools to use ahead of time, the situation can feel awkward. Therefore, some men abruptly say yes to make a good impression or walk away feeling like they got embarrassed in front of an entire crowd. Either way, the outcome is not the greatest.
Using the skills learned in therapy and putting them into action in certain situations can be quite effective. It can be difficult to simply say “no” in certain situations. Sharing a personal reason for staying sober is not necessary. Overall, an individual needs to remember their core values and stay diligent. A few tips may include:
- Recognizing specific triggers
- Bring a sober friend for support
- Prepare ahead of time
- Be assertive
- State statistics about drinking and driving
- Walk away
Avoiding Situations in Recovery
It can be difficult for some men to effectively respond to peer pressure from strangers or close friends in social settings. Sometimes avoiding certain settings and changing one’s routine may help prevent emotional distress while in recovery. This does not mean pure isolation is the way to go, but instead finding alternative activities may be a wise move.
For example, participating in sober events may prevent social conflict with others. Simply not exposing oneself to drugs or alcohol can help prevent certain triggers and ease those intense cravings. Trying new sober activities or different group therapies may also increase the likelihood of meeting other people who have similar beliefs about staying sober. This works great in making new healthy connections. Choosing to keep old friends who push drugs and alcohol may put someone at risk for relapse and experiencing astigmatism. Sober activities for men may include:
- Playing sports
- Attending alcohol anonymous (AA) meetings
- Participating in group therapy
- Trying adventure therapy
- Going hiking
- Venturing art festivals
- Board games
Statistics and Continuing Care
As stated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately more than 932,000 individuals in the U.S. have passed away due to substance relapse. Up to 85% of individuals relapse within their first year of recovery from drugs or alcohol. Ongoing treatment has been proven over time to reduce these rates significantly.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), continuing behavioral therapies outside of treatment can help an individual maintain sobriety while in late recovery. Family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and twelve-step facilitation (TSF) can make a world of difference in an individual’s thought processing. Science has pursued professionals that certain stressors such as people and different environments are linked to triggers and drug and or alcohol relapse. Scientists have worked on developing different treatments to better cope with triggers to help individuals successfully maintain recovery.
Maintaining Lifelong Sobriety With Renaissance Ranch
Seeking continuing care while in recovery may be a challenge for some men. Unfortunately, gender norms play a huge factor in this. Accepting additional support may also be viewed as weak or too “feminine”. Reaching out once again for help may feel defeating. It is common to experience fears of letting loved ones down after gaining their trust back. Although some men do just fine on their own in early recovery, others might need additional guidance and that is perfectly normal. Taking time to research a reputable facility can improve one’s odds of having a successful recovery.
Joining the Band of Brothers program at Renaissance Ranch can help men overcome masculine stigma as a means of facilitating lifelong sobriety. Once their treatment program has been accomplished, one can join the alumni program. This opens a new window for alumni events and fun yet enjoyable experiences to come. Everyone involved in the Brothers program understands that sobriety is something to be extremely proud of. Stigmatism is not found at Renaissance Ranch. Weekly meetings are hosted for support. Quarterly retreats are planned, as well as annual events to blend the newer members into the program. Long-term sobriety does not have to be as tough as it is made out to be.
Facing the challenges in recovery can be a difficult journey. The effects of stigmatism can be harmful to one’s mental health. Recovery should be a positive experience. Stigmatism is the last thing anyone wants to deal with and can bring a great deal of stress and demotivation. Here at Renaissance Ranch, we believe in providing the best quality care to all those who participate in our programs. Men who have gone through our program are constantly connecting with newer members and showing them that there is hope in recovery. The Band of Brothers alumni program and events can help change a man’s perspective to live a healthier lifestyle. Call Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898 to learn more.