How does gender play a role in addiction and treatment?

Men and women have several biological differences, and those differences do play a role in addiction and treatment.

The role gender plays in addiction and treatment

Studies have shown that there are differences between men and women when it comes to addiction and treatment.

Addiction differences are:

  • Women begin using drugs at a lower dose than men.
  • A women’s addiction progresses faster than men’s.
  • Women face a greater risk of relapse than men.
  • Generally, women seek treatment sooner than men.
  • Women have more psychological distress, mood, and anxiety disorders than men.

Differences in treatment include:

  • The impact of substances is more significant for women and causes greater medical conditions than for men.
  • Men blame external reasons for their substance abuse, where women blame themselves.
  • When entering treatment, men outnumber women two to one.
  • The reason for seeking treatment differs between men and women as well. Men enter therapy because they have lost or are about to lose their job or due to a medical scare for women though it tends to be about family.
  • Women have a more challenging time entering treatment due to child care restraints and other factors.

Those are the fundamental differences between men and women for addiction and entering treatment.

Does treatment differ for men and women?

Once an addict enters treatment, does the treatment differ for men and women? If it does not, it should.

For men, one issue is anger and their inability to ask others for help. These two things can be addressed in treatment. Men also do better with a confrontation type therapy where they confront the fact that they are an addict or alcoholic and then seek treatment.

On the other hand, women do not do well on the aggressive type of therapy as it only adds more guilt and shame to their mental image as an addict or alcoholic. In addition, this type of treatment will enforce low self-esteem. Women come into rehab with low self-esteem already and have issues with trust. Both of these will need to be working during treatment.

Think of it as a dual diagnosis type of treatment because if you do not address what started the addiction, you cannot recover from it. Women and men handle their problems differently, and that is the reason it is best to find a center that will provide personalized treatments in your recovery plan.

449 Recovery in Orange County treats the addiction and the underlying issues. Our treatment plans include individual counseling, group counseling, and family counseling. In addition, we provide a safe, clean environment for you to work on your recovery. Visit the 449 Recovery website to find out more about the treatment options and therapies we provide.

If you are ready to start living clean and sober, call us today at 855-435-7449 to discuss your options.