The Importance Of Gender-Specific Clinical Care In Recovery
Recovery from addictions and alcoholism might be the single most important undertaking a young adult can embark upon. When drug or alcohol dependency takes hold, all hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the future can be lost forever.
There Is Hope
The good news is that with the right treatment and therapy, recovery is possible. The child that you knew and the future that they once held so dearly can come back into focus once again. In time, they will start to regain confidence, make better decisions, and regain control of their lives, and will eventually win back the trust and support of their loved ones as they continue on their sober journey.
Inpatient Recovery In Colorado Springs
Our recovery center in Colorado Springs is unlike any other, as we focus solely on adults with the intent of building strong foundations and values that will support them well into the future. We feel that this age-specific approach is important; it is also a big differentiator for us, as we are one of the only recovery programs in the state of Colorado that specializes in adults, offering them gender-specific programs to further support their success.
Gender-Specific Recovery In Colorado
Gender dictates how we approach recovery. Men and boys are more comfortable and less distracted when they are in the company of other men, and the same goes for groups of women and girls.
By separating the genders, we are allowing our patients to be more truly who they are, without fear, without distraction, and without the inherent sexual tension, self-consciousness and posturing that often goes hand-in-hand with mixed-gender treatment programs.
In recovery, the most important thing is to get to the root of the problems that led to the addiction in the first place, so we can better understand how to address the underlying stressors. Patients learn to recognize the trigger behavior that leads to using, and to develop effective coping techniques to help combat these triggers. For this to happen, a person must be open, honest, and above all willing to look at themselves without pretense.
In a mixed-gender situation, this might not be possible, as both sexes tend to adopt certain roles in order to mask what they perceive as weakness, or to gain the attention of another program participant.
Additionally, if the balance were tipped in favor of either gender, that gender’s interests and cultural norms could potentially take over the group, which may overtly or inadvertently cause undue tension.
Why Gender Specific Recovery Is Important
- Males and females have different needs in recovery
- Addictions manifest themselves differently in men and women
- Women’s addictions can be associated with promiscuous sexual behavior or abuse, eating disorders, and self-harm, either as a willing participant or as a victim while they were in a vulnerable state
- Women are more likely to be physiologically sick as a result of their addiction and may need a different focus of care to help them regain their strength and physical health
- Men are less likely to be affected by issues of sexual abuse but are more likely to be affected by legal issues and violence towards others
- If treated together, each gender’s issues will conflict with the other, creating a divide
- Males in a group setting are likely to be more vocal, thereby getting their needs met at the expense of the females, who may hesitate, hold back, and go unheard
- Issues that are unexpressed because a person feels uncomfortable in a mixed-gender setting may lead to compounded feelings of failure, guilt, and shame, which will affect treatment outcomes in a negative way
- Sexual attraction or the development of an intimate relationship can quickly take the place of the addiction or ease emotional distress, thus stalling progress and negatively impacting clinical outcomes
- Unaddressed issues that linger following treatment are the seeds of relapse
In addition, females who struggle with addictions and alcoholism have a greater incidence of other mental health issues combined with their addictions. They may also face an increased social stigma because of their addictions; even in 2017, society is much more apt to forgive or overlook a man’s transgressions, while a women still has a higher standard to answer to.
Gender-specific treatment provides a way to get to the heart of these issues, removing stigmatization and allowing the healing to begin.
Benefits Of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment
- Gender separation allows patients to address gender-specific issues such as sexuality
- Both genders will share more freely and be more honest in the company of same-gender peers
- Less assertive individuals will feel more comfortable opening up
- Bonding behaviors are strengthened
- Male-female sexual distractions are eliminated