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3 Determining Factors for Choosing Gender-Specific Treatment

3 Determining Factors for Choosing Gender-Specific Treatment

Gender-specific addiction treatment is great for people with special needs or that require unique treatment

Choosing the right form of addiction treatment is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Since lasting recovery and sobriety are the main goals for rehab, different approaches according to the different circumstances of each patient can highly improve the chances for healing.

One of the decisions that affects deciding between gender-specific addiction treatment or a co-ed program is what someone needs. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that men and women have different needs when it comes to addressing substance abuse, so it is important to identify your unique circumstances to see if you could benefit more from a gender-specific addiction treatment program.

Addiction treatment that is unique to women and men share the same principles, and the programs are usually very similar. Gender-specific treatment for both sexes provides psychological and physical care to their patients while teaching people about their addictions and giving them the tools the need to stay sober after rehab ends. However, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains in one of its publications, the success of the program may depend upon the assessment made of specific characteristics and needs of the patient, because those needs will affect what form of treatment will work best. Although the goal might be the same for gender-specific treatment, the treatment itself can vary.

For that reason, some counselors or primary care physicians recommend that their patients undergo detailed evaluation before they seek gender-specific programs. Also, other patients may think about choosing a specialized form of treatment after considering their own circumstances. The following three factors should affect whether or not you choose gender-specific addiction treatment:

  • History of trauma or abuse – Traumatic childhood experiences or a history of abuse may make it difficult for someone to participate in treatment while sharing a facility with the members of the opposite sex. When people overlook this problem before they choose a form of treatment, one of the most important issues may be the patient cannot participate in group therapy; she may even find it difficult to relax and concentrate on the programs. The American Psychological Association states that diversity is a valuable aspect of group therapy, but only if its members can relate to each other and contribute to more open communication.
  • Special services – Most gender-specific rehab centers offer special services for the special needs of its patients. For example, a single mother who is participating in a treatment program may need daycare services or some other forms of social services. Other centers may offer accommodations and care for pregnant women or for men with severe mental health disorders. Addiction treatment for women usually incorporates facilities and services with the needs of female patients in mind, while those for men offer programs that men might find more stimulating.
  • When addiction affects one specific gender – Statistics show that men and women are prone to different types of addictive drugs. For example, in 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published statistics that show women are at a particular risk of addiction to prescription painkillers. The reason behind this fact is that doctors are more likely to prescribe painkillers to women and in higher doses than to men. The report shows that there has been a 400% increase of women dying from painkiller overdose in just 13 years, and only a 265% in the case of men. A patient may opt for a gender-specific addiction treatment center if it focuses on a particular substance of abuse.

These three points show only some of the variables to consider before deciding where to seek addiction treatment. Although both men and women can benefit from a co-ed program and achieve lasting recovery, some may find it easier to reach that milestone under a gender-specific program. If a counselor evaluates you and say that this type of care is the best option for you, then you and your loved ones should make an effort to find such a program.

Before you select a treatment center, also consider the distance to and the cost of the center that provides gender-specific treatment. As is the case with most specialized treatment services, they might not be as available as other centers, and the cost may be higher than traditional settings. However, if you have considered all the factors and found that the various benefits outweigh the costs, then a gender-specific addiction treatment program is an excellent option for those seeking addiction help. With professional care, you can overcome addiction and regain a productive and satisfying life free from drugs.

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