Centers for Drug Rehabilitation Might Treat Men and Women Differently

6 min read · 3 sections
Evidence-Based Care
Expert Staff

Drug addiction is a problem that affects people across every demographic, but the individual effects of the problem can be felt very differently. Perhaps the most basic example of this is how men and women are prone to substance abuse, impacted by substance abuse, and treated in our centers for drug rehabilitation. The crossroads of gender and addiction reveal many facets of male and female psychology, and how drugs and alcohol derive their addictive power.

Gender-based Psychological Barriers to Drug Treatment

When it comes to treatment, the function of gender in behavior and psychology can also create its own barriers. Women tend to face an uphill climb. Researchers writing in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that women were less likely to stay in drug treatment centers for longer than 30 days when compared to men. The short duration was attributed to women being away from their families and responsibilities, to the point where the distractions and guilt they felt at being away from children and domestic obligations hampered any further progress in their therapy.

Naturally, concluding treatment prematurely carries a number of risks, as the women (or men) who take this option are not yet ready to live sober again. Returning to a home environment where there is stress, an addicted partner, access to drugs and alcohol, or a combination of all three, could present a situation tailor-made for relapse, and a resumption of addictive behavior and mental health imbalances even more damaging than the initial experience.

What Are the Types of Programs Available at AAC?

At American Addiction Centers, we are sensitive to the unique needs of women and men in treatment. While the core components of treatment will be essentially the same for everyone who comes into our programs—behavioral and alternative therapies, drug education, and support groups—we do take care to ensure that you feel comfortable in treatment. In some cases, this may look like women’s- or men’s-only therapy groups or separate quarters for men and women in our residential programs.

Any questions or concerns on the topic of men’s or women’s treatment in any of our AAC facilities can be answered by one of our Admissions Navigators when you call .

Are Any of These Treatments More Successful for Men or Women?

While many therapy types, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have comparable success rates with men and women, there may be some therapeutic approaches that benefit specific populations. For example, many women with substance use disorders are trauma survivors, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This makes trauma-based approaches particularly important for female patients. Seeking Safety, an approach used to address trauma, is often used for women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has been shown to have greater success in terms of improvement in substance use and PTSD symptoms than a standard model of community care.

Please reach out to us to learn which of our facilities utilize Seeking Safety and/or other trauma-based therapies or for any additional questions about our treatment approaches for women and men.

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