The world of substance abuse treatment is dynamic and ever-changing. In the last 15 years, more specified methods have begun to take hold. From clinical methods to medical philosophies the variety of help we have now is immense and can be very effective. The key to finding the right help for the right person at the appropriate level of care is critical. Assessing an individual case with a qualified and invested social worker is the correct first step to offering appropriate help at the appropriate level of care. Whether the level of care is Detoxification, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or a general outpatient will play a vital role in patient placement.
One very effective niche we’ve seen recently is gender-specific treatment at all levels of care. Men’s treatment, men’s rehab, and substance abuse treatment specifically for men have shown very strong and positive results. Here are a few reasons we’ve seen that make men’s rehab so effective.
Fraternity- Fraternities aren’t new, but they are relatively new to Men’s substance abuse treatment. Finding commonalities in rehab and treatment and bonding over them is showing to pay off in big ways. While patients are in a residential level of care, for example, they interact and bond in ways that create relationships that will carry on following a residential level of care. Think of it as a fraternity without the sometimes present substance abuse, but replaced with spiritual bonds. These friendships formed in men’s treatment are important and carry through in life following rehabilitation.
Lack of distraction from the opposite sex- In many cases having a gender-specific program for men limits the distraction that is present in co-ed facilities. Straight men can focus on treatment rather than focusing on their sexual desires. The same can be said for women at gender-specific facilities for women. It’s common in substance abuse treatment to work on co-occurring disorders such as co-dependency, sex addiction, pornography addiction, or love addiction. Gender-specific programs offer a safe environment where education, healing, and recovery become the priority rather than entering into unhealthy relationships.
Vulnerability- It’s not a secret that society has pigeon-holed men into not talking about their feelings. And, although progress has been made in this area men typically have a more difficult time sharing feelings, especially when women are present. The ego wants to control and dictate what should be said, worn, and how one needs to present himself to be accepted. In men’s rehab and men’s treatment centers, this isn’t the case. At least for the male who identifies as straight. A group of men can feel safer to process with each other without the influence of the opposite sex. And again, the same can be said for women. One downfall or area we still have work to do is for the LGBTQ community. Services strictly for this population could absolutely use more support and more options when it comes to substance abuse treatment.
Men’s rehab and men’s treatment is a phenomenal option for the addict or alcoholic who is in need of care. Gender-specific centers can offer the stability, safety, and lack of distraction one needs to heal properly. When men and women can be vulnerable, free of distraction, and tether to a fraternity, recovery can be powerful and lasting.
Help is just a phone call away. There are many, many options for substance abuse treatment.
Unique Problems Men Might Face in Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery doesn’t impact just men or just women, but when it comes to addiction, there are sometimes differences in the way alcohol or substances affect us, and the way that we handle addiction and recovery, that are different between men and women. For that reason, it’s important to think about some of the unique challenges than men might face when trying to overcome alcohol or drug abuse.
For many decades, people have assumed that substance abuse was pretty exclusively a problem that affected men, which means that a lot of studies have been done on the challenges and problems that might come up during treatment. A recent focus on female addiction has shifted some of the spotlight away from helping men, but there are still some hurdles that men face.
In our culture, men are expected to be “strong and silent” types—people who deal with their problems quietly and privately. The stereotype of the man who can handle it all, without any help, puts added pressure on men who are facing addiction because they are afraid of looking weak if they reach out and ask for help.
A man’s biological makeup also means that he is able to use drugs and alcohol for longer periods of time, or in higher quantities, before it has a detrimental impact on his physical health, which means he may be able to hide it longer.
One of the main reasons that women cite for putting off addiction recovery treatment is family—if a woman is the primary caretaker of children, a spouse, or aging parents, she may not feel like she is able to leave for an extended period of time to go through recovery. For men, the shame and guilt might come from the fact that they are the primary breadwinner, or one of the breadwinners, in the family. Leaving for an extended addiction recovery treatment program might seem like a financial impossibility.
Finding a treatment center that is close to home, and one that offers different program lengths, can help alleviate this stress. You may also be able to achieve success in an outpatient program versus inpatient, which would allow you to continue working through the treatment.
Men (and women) often go through treatment and successfully recover from addiction only to find that upon leaving the inpatient program or lagging in their participation in outpatient recovery options, they fall back into the same bad habits. Men who have friends that consume alcohol or use drugs recreationally might find it difficult to resist the peer pressure to join in on these activities, even after a successful recovery. Studies have shown that men have a higher risk of relapse, so it’s important to find a program that offers the right aftercare—such as mentors and support groups—to prevent this from happening.
Finding the right program is important to ensure men get the help they need to overcome addiction.