The various advantages of gender-specific addiction treatment are proof that most times, therapists misappropriate treatment. Addiction, as a disease, affects both males and females. However, both genders experience addiction differently. Hence, addiction treatment should take this into consideration.
Therapists who make this mistake mean no harm. However, knowing your exact needs is crucial to the addiction recovery process. The differences in experiences are fundamental to choosing the addiction recovery treatment plan that’ll work.
Going into this article, there is a fundamental fact you should have in mind. There is a difference between ‘sex differences’ and ‘gender differences.’ The premise of sex differences is biological and genetic. While ‘gender differences’ revolve around a cultural definition, the individual’s self-perspective. Does the person answer to ‘he,’ ‘she,’ ‘them,’ etc.?
However, gender differences cannot be exclusive of sex differences. Hence, this article will focus on addiction treatment for males and females. Hence, we will take a look at why gender-specific addiction treatment works.
What does Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Mean?
Gender-specific addiction treatments refer to measures designed to treat men and women separately. According to research, fundamental and cultural disparities exist in how men and women abuse substances. The major influencing factors, in this case, are dependence, substance choice, and brain responses.
Substance addiction in men and women also stem from different reasons. Relapse in both genders also results from different circumstances. All these and more culminate in why gender-specific treatments are necessary.
With the advent of this specialized treatment, individuals can enjoy a comfortable and supportive recovery experience. Keep reading to see how addiction affects men and women.
How Men and Women Experience Addiction Differently
The advantages of gender-specific addiction treatment justify several research observations. There is a difference in how either gender uses drugs, including the choice of drugs.
For men, an addiction to marijuana and alcohol is typical. In contrast, women are more likely to suffer addiction to prescription drugs. Even if both suffer from the same substance abuse problem, addiction treatment for men differs from women’s.
The reasons for the use of drugs also differ in both genders. For men, the resultant pleasure causes addiction. These pleasurable experiences include concentration, sociability, or improvement in sex drive.
This is unlike women who depend on drugs due to traumatic experiences and abuse. They need to heal from these emotions while not becoming vulnerable to a third party.
Another major cause of abuse for women is family. Women who grew up with drug-abusing parents are highly susceptible to addiction. The same goes for women with abusive partners.
This wide gap in the leading causes of addiction emphatically calls for gender-specific treatments. Beyond the causes, the extent of dosage also influences treatment. Generally, women abuse substances in lesser quantities than men. Also, women are more liable to falling into substance addiction faster than men.
This faster rate of addiction depends on the anatomy of a woman’s body. With lesser body weight, women have more body fat and lower body water. The presence of fat causes longer retention of alcohol.
This is as against men with more water, which will eliminate alcohol faster. The extended presence of alcohol worsens its effects as it will invariably end up in the blood.
Also, substance dependence progresses faster in women, due to susceptibility to the following disorders;
- Bipolar disorder.
- Seasonal Affective disorder.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Also, in most cases, women have conflicting dispositions to ‘seeking treatments.’ These factors make it very critical for women to have different recovery programs from men. Hence, people looking for the best addiction treatment in Toronto must understand these salient points.
Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment
There are several advantages of gender-specific addiction treatment. These are due to its peculiarities. One of such is that the therapist is always of the same gender as the patient. This unique approach establishes a level of confidence and trust between both parties.
Most people find it very easy to be vulnerable to persons of the same gender. This is basically what recovery sessions need to establish as base-conditioning. When in the room with a therapist of the same gender, expressing feelings becomes easier.
In this condition of trust, it is easier to engage in honest conversations. The patient won’t feel shame or fear of judgment. Leveraging on this is the power of gender-specific addiction treatment. True healing from addictions and past experiences can only occur when the patient is vulnerable.
If a therapy session experience involves men and women, emotional attachments can develop. This can lead to romantic relationships, which is purely unprofessional. Though romance distracts patients from current experiences, it also causes loss of focus on recovery. And, nothing is more important than recovery for a substance addict.
Earlier in this article, we established the likely causes of addiction for both genders. With a therapist of the same gender, dealing with these issues becomes more natural.
A same-gender therapist can easily connect and understand what the patient is going through. This is a critical factor for women and helps a great deal with their recovery.
These resultant advantages of gender-specific addiction treatment ease meeting the different expectations of either gender.
One of the many advantages of gender-specific treatment for women is how deep conversations can go. Women fall into addiction mainly because of issues related to the people in their lives.
Only another woman can understand these issues ranging from motherhood to family, workplace, relationships, etc. Having another woman around breeds the safe environment women need to open up.
Another benefit of gender-specific addiction treatment for women is that it helps heal from trauma. Women experience trauma in different ways, ranging from verbal to physical and sexual assaults.
They’ll most times open up on these issues only to another woman. Hence, both the therapist and the recovery support group should comprise women.
These abuses are issues that affect self-worth and value. For instance, a mother experiencing abuse will not be comfortable talking around children. This is why overcoming resultant addictions becomes easier with an all-women support group.
Men-Specific Treatment: Why You Need It
The cultural stereotype of men makes it difficult to be vulnerable to women. This worsens when the man boycotts treatment, for fear of being perceived as weak. However, amid other men, mustering the courage becomes easier.
Owing to this, some processes have been tested and trusted for men. One of such is ‘correcting thought processes.’ Upon the correction of these thought processes and behaviours, getting rid of an addiction problem becomes more comfortable. On the other hand, introspection fails with men, since it is the acknowledgment of emotions.
Another issue that is very difficult to deal with in men is sexual abuse. In most societies, most people tend to overlook this situation. When a man experiences this, there is arguably no way he’ll open up to a woman.
However, the presence of a male therapist will provide a haven. It is also easier to build friendships, networks, and connections in an all-men support group. All these culminate in creating the environment for healing.
The significant advantages of gender-specific treatments are the conducive environment and understanding ears. Addiction, more often than not, stems from social, family, financial, or psychological issues.
Breaking from these conditions requires vulnerability. This is only easy when patients don’t fear their values or strengths judged by others.
There are several addiction recovery centers in Toronto. However, our understanding and focus on gender-specific treatment stand us out. With experienced therapists, we offer the best addiction treatment for men in Toronto. Reach out to us now, let’s help you get your life back on track!