How Gender Roles Impact Recovery

Apr 8, 2021

Many studies have explored the differences between men and women when it comes to addiction and recovery. Indeed, there are many factors that impact men and women differently. From biology to body fat, men and women in recovery each face unique challenges.

Help is available for any one — man or woman — who seeks it out. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and you wonder how gender roles may impact recovery, this brief analysis can help guide you in the right direction.

Gender Differences And Addiction

There are many differences between genders that can play a vital role in recovery. Some make a positive difference, while others can have potentially negative results. Each difference must be considered to enhance the efficiency of the recovery process.

First, there are biological differences between men and women that can have a serious impact on the development of addiction. For example, a woman’s body is approximately 45-50% water, while a man’s body is about 55-65% water. This lower water volume in women causes higher concentrations of alcohol in their bloodstream compared to men.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that males use drugs at a higher rate than females. Males also tend to develop an addiction at an earlier age, use larger amounts, and use more frequently. Binge drinking and tobacco use are common instigators that lead more males to substance use. But do opportunities and early exposure play a role in these gender differences, or is it something else?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a study to learn more about the chemical differences and exposure to opportunities that lead to addiction and how they affect both genders. The researchers confirmed that both men and women were likely to continue use equally after the exposure began. However, while females tend to become addicted faster than men, males are less likely to discuss their addiction, leading to necessary differences in their recovery.

We Must Consider Cognitive Behavior

Depending on their gender and cognitive behavior, some people are less likely to reach out for help regardless of their background, upbringing, or any social expectations. The differences between the cognitive behavior of males and females have an enormous impact on recovery.

Males will typically use substances because of the benefits they receive, such as pleasure. Females have more emotional distress than males, and most females find substance use beneficial for coping with traumatic events. However, females also tend to reach out for help sooner because addiction takes a toll on their emotions.

Because males are exposed to substances at an earlier age, their substance use is statistically higher. While males and females use substances for different reasons, males can become more dependent on the addiction because it reaps certain benefits, rather than relying on the addiction to cope with psychological distress.

These differences come down to cognitive behavior. Males often find that substance use enhances situations, while women find that substance use alters emotions. Therefore, the feelings that lead to their addictions and their reasons for getting help are not likely to be the same, which also impacts how they approach their recovery.

Recovery for females may require more emotional direction, while males can get help on a physical level. Now, this is not saying that females do not require physical direction and males do not require emotional direction — both genders will need a treatment plan that includes both of these elements. However, gender-based treatment centers can help each gender have a more targeted focus on their recovery process. Being surrounded by others of the same gender who understand them can also be beneficial.

At Renaissance Ranch, we offer a number of free classes on addiction that are open to the public. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, you can gain insight and solidarity from our compassionate, knowledgeable educators. We provide classes for women only, for family members of those suffering, and more.

Are There Different Treatment Approaches For Different Genders?

Yes, the approach to treatment plans can change with genders. Gender-related treatment plans can help guide individuals on the right path without the distraction of the opposite sex. Treatment facilities that are gender-based often find that men and women feel more comfortable communicating with the same-sex about sensitive topics.

Both genders will benefit from treatment centers, but the approach can make an enormous difference in who is going to get help, why they want help, and how they can get help. Gender-focused treatment centers are a safe place for recovery, providing hope for the future based on individual needs.

The recovery process is different for each gender. Therefore, you may seek a specific facility that is gender-based. Renaissance Ranch is a treatment center for men that gives them the understanding and support they deserve. Our approach is specifically designed for men and we believe that with a focus on the right boundaries and the right community, the recovery process is more efficient. Our facility is both family-based and faith-based, and we care about every level of the recovery process. Once you complete your treatment, you’ll enter into the Band of Brothers, our lifelong support system of men who have committed to health and happiness in recovery. The Band of Brothers hosts regular weekly and monthly meetings on our campus, organizes a wide variety of enriching activities, and serves as a constant source of emotional support throughout your journey of recovery. If you or someone you love is looking for a gender-based facility for men, look no further than Renaissance Ranch. Get the focused help you need in a caring community of men just like you. To learn more, call us today at (801) 308-8898.