Telescoping: Why Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Is Best

The need for gender-specific addiction treatment is rising. There is a simple reason for this; both genders have close addiction realities. While in time past, the number of women suffering addiction wasn’t alarming, inow is. The numbers keep rising, closing the distance between the male and female folks. The norm used to be that only men suffer from addiction. However, research and studies now prove that addiction-inducing circumstances are rampant with women.

While this is certainly not a reality to gloat over, it calls for attention. The conventional addiction treatment won’t suffice anymore. There needs to be separate addiction treatment for men and treatment for women. This is simply because both genders respond to substance abuse differently. Also, the causes of addiction in men differ from that in women.

These addiction-related issues and treatments are the broader scope that will be explored in this article. However, we will narrow our focus down to the concept called Telescoping. This is because we cannot define this focus-concept exclusive of the gender-specific addiction treatment context. 

What does Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Entail?

Society poses slightly different circumstances to men and women daily. The realities that cause issues for men differ from that of women. This gender-based experience disparity is responsible for the differing causes of addiction in the genders.

For men, the common causes of addiction include;

  • The various expectations of being a man
  • Self-medication resulting from the will to appear tough
  • Work (life) pressure
  • Genetic susceptibility
  •  Health issues
  • Trauma and grief

The details are slightly different for women. The following and more may result in addiction for women;

  • Depression
  • Trauma from physical or sexual abuse
  • Low-self esteem
  •  Stress and social pressure
  • Lack of parental communication

Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment

The most common cause of addiction for women is that which results from various forms of abuse. As you can see, there are slight differences in both genders. This makes it ineffective and inefficient to employ the same treatment for both genders. Both genders suffer different causative problems and also react to addiction differently. This is where gender-specific addiction treatment comes in.

The term refers to addiction treatment recommended based on gender. In which case, the sequence and type of treatment for women differ from men’s. Details like support group structures and activities vary based on gender.

Addiction treatment didn’t used to be this way. Treatment based on gender only gained traction early in this century. Since then, the act of placing women in the same treatment program as men stopped.

Furthermore, according to research, women react faster to substances than men. Hence, women can get addicted to a substance faster than a man will — telescoping. Also,women’s bodies acclimatize to the substances faster, even if use is at a lower level.  This also translates to mean that during recovery, women can suffer a faster relapse. For these reasons, centers for addiction treatment in Vancouver and other areas pay closer attention to detail. 

The recovery program the therapist chooses is then based on inferences he or she makes of the patient. Note that gender-specific addiction treatment works best when both therapist and patient are of the same gender.

This arrangement is best as it allows for the freedom of expression between both parties. Female patients will never feel comfortable sharing some things with male therapist. They’ll rather speak and enjoy the understanding of the female therapist.

The same goes for men who wouldn’t feel relaxed narrating issues to a female therapist. While this seems like going overboard, the cultural realities in our subconscious are to blame. Men will find it uneasy to be vulnerable, especially to women. However, therapy and other recovery processes all thrive on the degree of vulnerability.

Different factors call for gender-based treatments. However, a significant cause of it is Telescoping. 

Related article: The Healing Benefits of Music Therapy for Addiction Treatment

What is Telescoping?

Telescoping is a psychological phenomenon, measuring the time between initial drug use and dependence. Following observations, it is more common in women than in men. If a man and a woman take their first drink at the same time, the woman gets admitted to rehab faster. 

Telescoping, as a process, makes the individual go through the 5 addiction stages faster. These stages include: acquisition, escalation, maintenance, withdrawal, and relapse.

You should note that telescoping doesn’t depict intensity, but rate. The fastest of these stages is between acquisition and maintenance. At maintenance, the individual gets stable, but at higher doses, if it involves telescoping. 

How does Telescoping Affect the Genders?

Telescoping treatment is pervasive; its effect is seen in every form of addiction. With every substance disorder, telescoping affects women in different ways than men. Here are some disorders and how telescoping results in the difference. 


According to research, while men seem to start gambling before women, it is telescoped in the latter. The research made use of over 4000 participants. Women didn’t start on time. However, the time between starting and addiction was relatively shorter than the men’s.



Varying research was conducted in different corners of the world. This resulted in varying results and inferences. While some argue that telescoping doesn’t occur in this case for women, some say it does.


Women take this substance in lower doses compared to their male counterparts. The study also shows that women don’t take the substance for a longer period. With this particular substance, the telescoping effect is affected by age. For women between the ages of 12 and 17, the addiction rate was higher. However, for women between 18 and 25, the rate was lower in comparison to the men.


The rate of addiction to stimulants is roughly the same in both men and women. However, some inference concludes on the vulnerability of women to the reinforcing effects of stimulants. Hence, women are more likely to get addicted to cocaine faster than men.



Reports have it that men are more likely to get easily addicted to this substance. 

Advantages of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatments

Gender-specific addiction treatment comes with several benefits. We have looked at most of these benefits in the section above. The process doesn’t always guarantee a 100% success rate. However, the benefits can’t be ignored.

No one is judging you.

No one wants anyone to condemn their life choices. This is where you’ll experience one of the benefits of telescoping for addiction treatment. By recognizing the peculiarity of genders and treating them as such, patients are less scared of judgment. Without the opposite gender present, talking becomes easier.

No one is judging you

Common grounds

Finding common ground is arguably the most crucial step in therapy. Specialists need to show patients that they understand them. It’s easier for a man to understand a fellow man than a woman will. Also, the same-gender specialist gets to share experiences relating to the patient’s situation.

Reduction in distraction

Having a same-sex therapist-patient relationship eliminates unnecessary romantic distractions. Emotional connections may occur during opposite sex therapists and patients. However, with gender-based treatment, you eliminate the possibilities. 

Final Take

Gender-based addiction treatment has proven to be an easier way to help addicts. It breaks down every wall between the therapist and addict and fosters vulnerability. 

Here at Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs, we offer addiction treatment for men in Vancouver. Our experts will take the time to design a custom treatment that will help you reach long-term sobriety. Contact us today!

with addiction treatment in Vancouver with us. We have experts who are ready to help you back to normalcy.  

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