When it comes to alcohol and drug dependency, the disease of addiction doesn’t discriminate. People from all across the demographic spectrum can and have succumbed to chemical dependency no matter their age, gender, race or ethnicity, sexual preferences, religious affinities, socioeconomic background, heritage, and so on. Additionally, there’s not a one-size-fits-all medication or treatment that will yield optimal results for everyone suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs.
As a result, addiction treatment programs like those offered at Guardian Intensive Outpatient consist of a number of different treatments with which individuals can personalize their recovery to ensure that the treatments received address their specific and individual needs. And yet, despite the breadth of treatments available there still exists a need to accommodate the incredibly variable needs of those who require treatment for addiction, which is why there are increasingly numerous programming options available for individuals that meet certain demographic criteria and, therefore, have very particular needs.
Why is Gender-Specific Programming Needed When Treating Substance Abuse?
Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to health care. When a woman goes to the doctor for routine care, she will have more specific and different needs than her male counterpart. In the case of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, the case is much the same in that men and especially women will have particular needs that may not be addressed by addiction treatment programs that aren’t gender-specific.
There is growing research seeking to identify underlying mechanisms and causes for many neurological disorders, of which addiction is widely considered. According to experts in the field, the circumstances, events, and thought processes that contribute or lead to the development of a substance abuse disorder are different for women than for men, which is why gender-specific programming is crucial in order for individuals to receive the individualized care they need to recovery from physical dependency. Moreover, the path to addiction tends to be different for women than for men, which illustrates the need for treatments that address these differences; women have shown to begin abusing substances at much lower doses than men, but women increase or escalate dosage much more rapidly than men.
Additionally, women have shown greater rates of relapse than men after an initial period of sobriety, after inpatient treatment. In short, due to the difference in how addiction and relapse occurs in women versus men, there’s a need to incorporate treatments that will address the respective histories, experiences, and risks faced by men and women.
Men’s Needs vs. Women’s Needs When It Comes to Addiction
Although rates of addiction tend to generally be higher for men than women, there are a number of other statistics that illustrate the differences in men’s and women’s treatment needs when in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. For instance, women who suffer from major depression are seven times more likely to also suffer from alcoholism than women who do not suffer from major depression. In fact, symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even borderline personality disorder tend to be significantly common among women also suffering from substance abuse disorders than those who aren’t, which reflects the high instance of comorbidity—suffering from one disorder such as addiction as well as another co-occurring affliction—among women in treatment.
However, research also tends to show that women tend to experience shorter periods of active addiction before seeking treatment, but are also prone to higher rates of relapse and repeat rehabilitation. On the other hand, men suffer from alcohol and drug dependency at higher rates and tend to be more reluctant to seek treatment. Being between two and three times more likely to abuse a chemical substance than women, men also tend to more frequently be users of more than one drug at the same time, or poly-drug users.
How Guardian Intensive Outpatient Gender-Specific Programming Works
Due to the specific needs that many women suffering from chemical dependency tend to have, Guardian IOP offers gender-specific programming in order to optimize treatment for every individual in recovery. For both men and women, this means same-sex peer group sessions in which to have a safe, accepting, supporting environment where individuals can discuss or address progress or problems that they wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing in a mixed group. Moreover, our gender-specific programming considers the particular needs of men and women in recovery. For example, female patients will benefit from receiving dual-diagnosis support and learning relapse prevention skills.
Discover Recovery from Drugs & Alcohol Addiction at Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program
Guardian Intensive Outpatient anticipates the diverse, individualized needs of those in recovery by offering a variety of treatments and programming that make recovery possible for all rather than a select few. If you or someone you love is suffering from chemical dependency and would like to learn about our gender-specific programming and other offerings, call Guardian IOP today. We have a team of experienced recovery specialists available to help match those in need with the programming that will deliver them to lives of health, sobriety, and fulfillment.