Some research claims that men and women benefit in different ways from certain forms of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for substance use disorders.1 Gender-specific rehab programs provide a solution to the ways that addiction can sometimes manifest differently in men than in women.
Additionally, traditional societal viewpoints have stigmatized men for seeming “weak” or for wanting to seek help for co-occurring mental health issues when this is simply untrue. For some, it can therefore be advisable to seek a rehab program specifically designated to treating men. This way, the program thoroughly understands the unique challenges that men may face in recovering from their addiction and can therefore provide more customized treatment.
This article will help you understand more about men and substance abuse, the types of men’s drug treatment that can help you overcome addiction, how to find the best rehab for men or men’s alcohol rehab center, and answer common questions you may have about a substance abuse program for men.
Statistics on Men and Drug Use in the United States
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) TEDS report states that:2
- Men, age 18 and older, have almost twice the rate of substance dependence as women.
- Men are more likely to abuse marijuana and alcohol, but women are more likely to abuse prescription drugs.
- About 609,000 out of 1.84 million admissions to substance abuse treatment were female (33%), while 1.23 million were male (67%), according to the most recent data available in 2011.
- Alcohol abuse was by far the most common reason men sought treatment, with 42.3% of treatment admissions in men.
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Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
How Does Substance Abuse Affect Men Differently?
Many recent studies have focused on the negative effects and consequences that addiction has on women and not the unique challenges that men face when recovering from substance use disorders, nor benefits of gender-specific treatment for men. This may highlight the need for more conclusive recent research in men struggling with addiction and the specific ways it impacts them.1,3
Most research shows that men and women have comparable outcomes after they have received substance abuse treatment. However, factors that are related to relapse appear to be different. Women appear to be more sensitive to relapse contributors like trauma, physical and sexual abuse, negative emotions, and cues or triggers for resuming use than men are. Studies have shown that men in recovery also appear to receive more social support at home than women.5
A clinical review examined several studies that looked at the differences between men and women who received different interventions for substance use disorders. There were no gender differences with behavioral therapies for cocaine use disorder, but disulfiram, a medication used to treat certain substance use disorders, appeared to be more effective in men with cocaine use disorder than women. Men who are treated for alcohol use disorder with naltrexone appear to have poorer treatment outcomes than women. Naltrexone seemed to reduce alcohol’s stimulating effects more in women than in men.1
What Types of Drug & Alcohol Treatment Programs Are Available for Men?
There are different types of programs that provide drug rehab specifically for men. These programs offer different levels of care, that can include:7
- Detox, which helps men stop using drugs or alcohol and become medically stable so that they can enter a short-term or long-term residential treatment program.
- Inpatient treatment, or residential rehab, where men live onsite and receive different therapies to treat their addiction. This can be on a short-term (3–6 weeks) or long-term (6–12 months), depending on a man’s individual needs.
- Outpatient treatment, or outpatient rehab, where men live at home but travel to a rehab center to receive treatment on a regular basis.
Are There Men-Only Rehab Centers?
Yes, there are gender-specific and male-only inpatient rehab centers and outpatient programs. People who may benefit from this type of program include those who prefer the company of their own gender during rehab, without the distraction of members of the opposite sex being present. In gender-specific rehab for men, you get to focus solely on your treatment goals while receiving the support of other men who understand your situation. This can help build a sense of camaraderie and help you feel less isolated.
American Addiction Centers offers gender-specific rehabilitation programs at most of our drug rehabilitation centers across the United States. To learn more about our programs, call us at .
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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Men’s Rehab
- Polak, K., Haug, N. A., Drachenberg, H. E., & Svikis, D. S. (2015). Gender considerations in addiction: Implications for treatment. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 2(3), 326–338.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Substance use in women research report: Sex and gender differences in substance use.
- Green, P. (n.d.). Gender and use of substance abuse treatment services.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2011). Gender differences in primary substance of abuse across age groups.
- Becker, J. B., McClellan, M. L., & Reed, B. G. (2017). Sex differences, gender and addiction. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 95(1-2), 136–147.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Substance use in women research report: Sex and gender differences in substance use disorder treatment.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (third edition): types of treatment programs.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Men and Mental Health.
- Green, C. A. (2006). Gender and use of substance abuse treatment services. Alcohol Research & Health, 29(1), 55–62.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Media guide: The science of drug use and addiction: the basics.